Making a pattern from an existing garment

There’s not just one way to do this, but this is my process. Not everyone learns or does things the same way, so I’m hoping that in this tutorial, you get the gist of how to make a pattern from an existing garment and do it in a way that makes sense to you.

What you’ll need:

Roll of paper
Dritz pattern board
Pencil and marker

1. I placed paper on the pattern board
2. I’m doing the front of the shorts first.  I placed pins in the seams around the front of the shorts.  I don’t want to put pockets in the new shorts, so I didn’t pin down the outline of the pockets.  I just followed the line at the top of the shorts all the way to the side seam.


3. Next I pulled all the pins out and used my pencil to draw the lines, connecting the pinholes.
     Then, I drew my center line  and my horizontal cutting lines (with zig zags) and guidelines (no zig zags)


I knew from trying on the original shorts, that I wanted to make them wider and longer from waist to crotch.


4. Before cutting the pattern into the four pieces, I decided to draw a cut line between the lower guidelines, in the event I want to  lengthen them for another pair of shorts, but I won’t be using that line this time.
The two center verticle lines will give me the added width I want for these shorts.
The three lines between the upper two pieces and the lower two pieces serve as the added length and guidelines.
The three lines between the lower two pieces are guidelines.


5. Using the guidelines, I pinned the pattern pieces to the new lines of the larger shorts.


6. After I pinned all the pieces in place, I traced around the new shorts, being careful to blend the uneven lines between the pattern pieces.


7. Then I added an additional 1″ all the way around the pattern for a large seam allowance.  After the fittings, you can trim off the excess.

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I hope this helped you.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.

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