Draft a Pattern from a Store Bought Item

Have you ever bought something you wished you could recreate?  We all have that favorite shirt, dress, skirt…
For me it was a $12.90 dress from forever21.  This super basic dress has been in my wardrobe circulation for the last few months and I kept looking for a similar pattern so I could have MORE!  Sadly I could not find anything close enough to the dress, so I decided I was going to try and draft a pattern from  dress I have.  The trick here is how to do it without destroying the dress I love so much.

First I grabbed my giant roll of paper, a pencil, rulers, and of course the dress in question.
I laid the dress on the drafting paper, being super careful to fold the front in half, lining up all seams and points.  Then started tracing.  The tough part was the inner seams.  I slowly pulled the dress down as I sketched out the shape.  this dress is so basic it only has 2 main pattern pieces.  Yeah, I know, so simple. The front piece is the exact same as the back.  And the side piece is the exact same for the front and back too! (You need to cut 4 of them, 2 sets of mirror images).  Of course when you are all done tracing out your pattern, you will want to double check the measurements- fabric stretches, pulls, shifts…


– Constructing the dress –
Sew your pieces together.  Then you will need to measure your front and back center scoop.  Cut a strip 1.5″ wide by 90% of the length you just measured.  Pin the center and sew.  You will be stretching the binding slightly to fit.  Once it is sewn on, fold the binding over leaving 1/8″ between the top and serged edge of the binding.  Fold it over once more covering the serged edge and pin in place.
Stitch the binding in place.  Do this for the front and back center scoops.

To create the straps you are going to do the same thing and the front/back binding.  Measure the straps on the dress and cut your straps to the same length by 1.5″ wide.  The construction for these is the exact same as the binding.

I love this dress so much I made a few more!  I even I haven’t taken any pictures of.  So, just remember you don’t always need to start with a traditional pattern to sew something you love


Like my lace boot toppers?  Here is my DIY Boot toppers

Did you know I have a shop?  Yes, you can order you own Little Ragamuffin Original.

Need more help?
Join me in my Facebook group.

Like my fabric?
All my fabric used here is from So Sew English

More tutorials:
Basic tips for sewing with knits
Quick & Easy three step hems
Super Easy Invisible Stitch Bias Binding
Knotty Top Tutorial

Comment and let me know how you like my tutorial.  If you use my tutorial or sewing tips and share them, please link back to me or use the hashtags  #LittleRagamuffinTutorial #LittleRagamuffinTip

1 Comment

  1. A handy tip, instead of moving the garment and tracing, leave the garment in place and push a pin through the fabric into the paper every inch or two, when you take the garment off all you have to do is join the dots 🙂

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