How To Make Your Own Patterns  

How to make your own custom clothes patterns. If you don't have the perfectly symmetrical body that clothing patterns are designed for, then this article will help you to alter them so they look custom made.

When you look at someone whose clothes fit perfectly, do you wonder what their secret is? It really isn't a secret, it is knowing how to custom fit patterns so you, too can have clothes that fit perfectly. Perhaps one shoulder is higher than the other, or perhaps one arm is bigger around than the other. Many minor physical differences can be made unnoticeable when your clothing fits.

You can do this in one of two ways, it is your choice depending upon your skill as a seamstress and the amount of time you have.

In the first method, you simply use a lightweight cotton fabric (such as sheeting) cut the pattern out and sew using basting stitches. Alter the garment as needed and then take the basting stitches out and use the altered cloth as a pattern.

In the second method, you first measure yourself, or have a friend help you. Measure both left and right sides of your body, and front and back on the left and right. You will end up with measurements that you can use to draw an accurate picture of yourself.

Use a dressmaker's dummy, or if one is not available, a large piece of paper to draw an accurate rendition of you, down the the inch. Now lay your pattern pieces on the drawing, notice where dart lines, waist measurements, underarm seams, etc., fall. If they don't land where you need them to, then adjust the pattern by adding or taking away. Darts can be moved up down, left and right. Waistlines can be lowered or raised. If the pattern does not fit across you can add a little extra.

Where possible, work from the center of the pattern to help keep the pieces symmetrical. Also remember that any changes to one piece will change any other pieces that attach to the one you changed. So if you change a neckline don't forget to adjust both front and back necklines, and any collars or facings.

After you have adjusted the pattern to fit you, cut out your material and sew it with basting stitches. Try on the garment to insure that the fit is what you want. Make any other adjustments before sewing with finished stitching.

For a more professional, custom made look follow the tips here. When you finish seams, make sure they are straight and even, finish the inside of the garment, attach buttons with several neat stitches. Tack down facings with hand stitches where seams are at the shoulder and the front. Pressing after each seam will insure a more professional look in the finished garment. When you have sewn the last button on, and are finished with the garment, wash it as you would normally, give it a final damp press and it is ready to wear.

Your garment will look as if it were expensively custom tailored to fit you, because it was. As you become more experienced with adjusting patterns you will find it takes the same amount of time as when you just stitched up the pattern as it came. Don't forget to remeasure yourself periodically, since we all change our shapes depending upon season, age etc. Enjoy your new clothing.

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