Tips On Copying Garments from RTW

Have you ever wanted to copy a RTW garment and make a pattern out of it? I see clothes all the time at the mall or online shopping and think how easily I could make it myself. Actually, it’s a lot easier to copy a garment than you think.

Closet 600 Tips On Copying Garments from RTW

The blush colored blouse pictured below is one I copied from a garment I bought at a local store. The original is made from a super soft linen.

tops 600 Tips On Copying Garments from RTW

Bonus: there are no darts, zippers or other details on this blouse, it’s super easy to copy. Here’s some pointers when copying a garment.

      • Take care in picking a fabric to use for your copy. You’ll want to pick a fabric similar to the original if you are looking for a similar drape.
      • For a first time go, pick a RTW garment that doesn’t have a lot of details to copy over.
      • Plan on making at least two garments, you’ll fine tune each one. On mine I made two, but moving forward I’ll make a few tiny adjustments for a perfect little top.
      • Copying a knit garment is even easier than a woven.

A handmade closet.

Have you ever copied a garment? It’s a great way to learn about garment construction plus, it’s fun. I highly recommend it as a way to improve and challenge yourself. Let me know what successes or  problems you’ve had below.

 Tips On Copying Garments from RTW

About Jill

I write for the Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery blogs. I love sewing, vintage and would love to get a comment from you!
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4 Responses to Tips On Copying Garments from RTW

  1. Dixie Alms says:

    The first project I copied was to reline a wool winter coat! The flimsy shiny lining was falling apart, but the coat was in great shape! So, I carefully removed the thin lining and copied it as a pattern onto a quilted thinsulate lining. I was lucky that the coat was rather full and large, so even with the bulkier new lining there was still enough room for me and any sweater or jacket that I decided to wear for the day.

    • Jill says:

      Wow, that’s ambitious! I have a lining that I’ve wanted to replace in a vintage wool coat but I’m a bit intimidated.

  2. Dixie Alms says:

    You’re going to cringe, but I made myself a new bathrobe from one that was literally falling apart. The only piece I cut off to copy was the sleeve. For the other pieces (front and back yokes), I laid my old robe flat and copied the shape onto a piece of gridded pattern fabric. Since I didn’t have much pattern fabric and didn’t want to buy any, I cut a piece of the gridded fabric about 6″ long from each piece (front/back) of the robe. I laid out my fabric . . . cut the yokes on the bias, cut the sleeves, and cut the lower front/back pieces by eyeballing the length needed. From there, I made a quilt sandwich of the yoke pieces, and quilted them. I added the sleeves and the lower fronts/back, hemmed the bottom and sleeves and added snaps to the front. I’ve had a number of compliments on my clearance fabric bathrobe! It was a piece of cake! (And, it amazed everyone in the store that day since I sewed it on an open sew day in the classroom.)

    • Jill says:

      No cringing here. Do you know how much bathrobes cost? It’s crazy! I actually have a robe that is falling apart too, but I love it, so I might just copy it myself. Good idea! And, I know I can make one that’s perfect for well under 50.00+. Love it!