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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: debsews
Date: 01-08-2006, 04:34 PM (1 of 4)
I read the thread about deconstructing a dress to get a pattern and decided today to rip apart a dress that I loved and fits great. The dress is a shirtwaist button front with sleeves and a collar. What do I do now? Be specific because I have never done anything like this before and usually pick the easiest patterns at the store! I'm assuming I need to trace a pattern but that's where my creativity stops.
Thanks in advance.
User: debsews
Member since: 09-16-2005
Total posts: 254
From: AndreaSews
Date: 01-08-2006, 08:43 PM (2 of 4)
Oh boy, you jumped right in, didn't you?! Well, good for you :) While deconstructing, did you try to notice the construction sequence? I mean, did you try to figure what must have been done first, next, etc? Yes, you'll need to lay out the pieces and trace them. When I did it this summer with a funky pair of pants I had, I layed them out onto an old sheet and cut them out of that first. That way, I could practice figuring out the sewing sequence and making sure I got the fit right, and then I used those fabric pieces, all marked up with pen, as my pattern pieces for the real thing. I would try to trace a dotted line along the stitch line, and then, since it's my habit to sew with a 5/8 seam allowance, I'd be sure and cut it out with the 5/8 seam allowance too. Some people prefer to use a smaller seam allowance, and the serged seams of our ready-to-wear clothes certainly don't include 5/8, so make a conscious decision about that before you cut. There are all kinds of fancy tools you can buy just for the process of copying a garment, but I just used that old sheet and a pen and some pins. If there are darts, you'll need to open them out. To trace the stitching line, I just folded the seam allowance up a little at a time, and drew a dotted line beneath it. There are more precise methods, but again, by tracing onto cloth, it became so easy to sew up a "muslin" and test it--"Exact" didn't matter to me anymore.
User: AndreaSews
Member since: 02-18-2005
Total posts: 1007
From: debsews
Date: 01-08-2006, 08:59 PM (3 of 4)
Well I didn't exactly pay a lot of attention to the sewing sequence but I have ironed the pieces and traces a couple of them onto tissue paper. I added a 3/8 seam allowance to those because I figured with the little bit there was already that should be about 5/8. Then I figured I would make a test one and see how that goes but I'm just playing at this point because I don't know what I'm doing. This dress is a straight dress with a couple of darts around the waist so I've marked those. Oh well if I get it done I'll be sure to let you know.
User: debsews
Member since: 09-16-2005
Total posts: 254
From: Carol in ME
Date: 01-25-2006, 02:01 PM (4 of 4)
The trick I learned from my first tailoring boss: take apart only half the garment. Then you have the other half to refer to when you wonder about the order of construction. Good luck on your project!
User: Carol in ME
Member since: 01-27-2003
Total posts: 105
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