Friday, April 8, 2011


The more I sew, the more I enjoy creating patterns from favorite clothes we already own.

Take this little dress...

Scarlett wore this all winter long, with leggings. I loved how comfortable it was and decided to create spring dresses for her, based on this pattern.

I took the dress and created a paper pattern. From there I altered the pattern to make it short-sleeved and added a flouncy ruffle. This was what the new pattern became:

A simple happy summer dress.

The fabric I scored for only $3 a yard in the clearance bin and it is Juicy Couture. It is a lightweight, loose, and super-soft knit.

Tips for Making your own Patterns from Clothes:

1. You can create patterns by measuring and guestimating without cutting up the old item. However, being able to cut out clear pieces make pattern-copying much easier. This is where thrift stores became a gold-mine. Pay $1 or so for something that you don't mine destroying so you can use it to create a pattern.

2. Use pattern paper. Please, please, please don't go cheap and try to use anything else. It is on a grid and will make your life much easier.

3. Most pieces are symmetrical. Therefore, you only need to draw half of the pattern on the paper. Then place it on a fold and cut it out to ensure both sides are exact.

4. Make sure you add seem allowances! So important.

5. Be flexible. Improvise if things are
turning out perfect. See the ruffle on her skirt above? That was a last minute add-on when I realized I made it too short.

6. Have fun! Make the pattern your own. Add your own details and don't try to make an exact replica.


  1. What a darling dress! Thanks for the tips. Any suggestions for how to figure out how much fabric to use where it's gathered?

  2. i want you to sew "juicy" across the bum. he he. actually, i love the fabric. and it looks super cute on. fun. i just cut out a pattern last night, hopefully i'll have some stuff to share with you soon :)

  3. I guess how much fabric is in the gathered section based on the bottom hem on the dress. I think it is pretty close so I just use the same measurement. Hope this helps!



Question or comment? I'd love to hear it!