Thursday, December 4, 2014

My Projects: Pattern Rub-Off Tutorial

Pattern rub-off skills can be quite handy! The idea here is not to copy but rather preserve a pattern of either something that fits you really well or something that is destroyed beyond repair. 

Last Summer, I made a pattern rub-off of one of my favorite pencil skirts. I love the fit of this skirt and was deeply disappointed when the brand didn't offer one in simple solid black. Really? Therefore, I decided to make one myself! I also made one in army green and am currently working on one in a lovely charcoal wool with herringbone stripes. 

 Finally, here is my tutorial. This pattern is really simple, and I suggest starting with a simple item like this from your closet. Let's get started, shall we?

1. Tools you will need:
* favorite item from your closet
*measuring tape
*pattern paper
*tracing wheel (pictured below)
* Ruler (pictured below- hey I don't do tutorials very often!)

2. Find your center front and center back. Mark with a pin at both the top and bottom of the garment.
3. Put pin markers where darts end, or anything of interest. It could be area of shirring, or pleats.
4. Mark your muslin. In design school we used to have to pull the warp out. Now I mark with pencil. Dig that lead in the groove of the weave and mark your long grain. This will help you see that your fabric is straight. If it is crooked, block your fabric to get that grain line straight! 
5. Place that line on your muslin on your center front (or center back, center side etc.) and then start to define areas of interest, like this dart. Pin in the amount to keep your fabric flat. 

6. Number 5 is so important, I have repeated it for No. 6. Did you get that? This is what will shape your garment and a huge part of why this garment fits you so well. Go back and make sure your darts are perfect!
7. With your pencil mark those pins and mark the edges of your garment. Hence the term rub-off. You can use chalk as well. 
8. Everything marked? Make sure before you un-pin! Take your muslin and lie it on top of the pattern paper. Label your grain lines so you know what piece is what. They will all look the same! 
9. Time to mark your paper below with the tracing wheel. The teeth will make marks you can trace over. 

10. Look closely and you will see the teeth marks. Pencil over those marks but with your ruler and "true" them up.  They might be wavy, so you need to make sure you have straight lines with natural body curve. 
11. Mark your pattern pieces. Are you cutting 2 or 1 on the fold? Is it the center back, center front, side front? You will need to know this later.
12. True up your darts and add your half inch seam allowance, or 5/8" if you prefer. Also add notches, so when the pattern comes off your fabric later you will know what is what. 
13. Choose your fabric and lay out your pattern and cut out your new dream item! May be best to try a muslin version first and tweak your pattern if necessary. Especially if your project is much more complicated than a 2 piece pencil skirt pattern. 

Finished pencil skirt #2! Army green stretch cotton! Soon my closet (pictured behind me) will be full of these pencil skirts in many fabrications! 
Oh, and the peasant blouse I am wearing was handmade too, from a vintage pattern. More info on that here

Let me know if you have any questions and what patterns you make. 
 Good luck!

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