There are five different ways to make patchwork clothes that I know of. Four of the methods are so easy that you don't even need directions, so I will cover them quickly, and then give instructions on the fourth.
All of these methods assume that you have clothing, or a pattern you want to use, already chosen.
The first and easiest way to make patchwork clothes, is to use fabric that is printed in a patchwork design to make the clothing desired.
The second way is to use three or more fabrics in different designs and/or colors, and cut the pieces of the pattern out of the different fabrics. With a little planning, your clothes will look quite "patchwork" when assembled.
The third way, is to simply take clothing you already have, and apply patches onto them wherever you want, using contrasting fabric.
The fourth way is not that common, but sometimes patchwork clothing is made using old quilts as fabric.
The fifth way to have patchwork clothes is more involved, but you can achieve quite impressive results, especially if you use fancy fabrics like velvet, brocade, or silk. Here's how:
- Reading your pattern, figure out how much fabric you will need for the item of clothing you wish to make. Purchase three or more different fabrics in yardage that will add up to a little more than the yardage suggested on the pattern cover. There will be a lot of seams, so you will need to allow some extra fabric. It is always advised that you wash fabric first before you cut it, in case of shrinkage and bleeding.
- Cut the all fabrics you have chosen into squares, strips, or even triangles, as large or small as you want the patchwork to be.
- Sew the pieces of fabric back together, mixing the different fabrics up as you do. Use narrow seams, and press all seams flat when you are finished. What you are actually doing is making your own "patchwork" fabric. It is very like making a quilt top. Take the time to plan out where the colors and textures will end up on the finished piece. Before sewing, lay out the pieces of fabric in the order you are going to sew them together, and place the pattern pieces on top. This will give you an idea of what it will look like when complete.
- Once you have the patchwork fabric all sewn together and pressed, you simply proceed to cut out and sew your pattern as you would with any other fabric. Take a little extra care to sew over the ends of cut seams so that they don't unravel.
With a little planning, you can have a work of art to wear!