Making a pattern from an existing garment: the vintage dress

Last night I took a seamripper to this little vintage beauty…
Vintage dress
…and ended up with all of this.

I ironed the pieces flat and traced them onto plain white non-ironable interfacing. I’ve made patterns with newspaper before and it sometimes rips and/or gets smudgy ink on fabric and fingers. This interfacing is flexible but tough. I wrote instructions and piece descriptions directly onto the interfacing with sharpie.

Before cutting into my lovely spring stripes, I’m going to practice in two ways. First, I’ll re-sew the vintage dress (all the seams needed strengthening anyway) to get a feel for how the little details are constructed. Second, I think I’ll make a dress from this funky fabric my mom mailed last year…juuuust to make sure I have it right!

Vintage fabric for a dress project



  1. Pingback: Sewing in my underwear | Foxflat's Blog
  2. chicenvelopements · April 7, 2012

    I really need to learn how to do this. You’re amazing!

    • foxflat · April 7, 2012

      Thanks Beth!

  3. tami · April 6, 2012

    don’t be sad…it’s almost your birthday!!!!

  4. craftybynight · April 3, 2012

    I’ve always been too scared to tear apart something I like in case I hurt it or can’t get it back together right. You’re so brave, ha! I can’t wait to see the finished product! Also, you could try using blank newsprint for patterns. I buy end rolls (which is a TON of paper) from our local newspaper for $1 a piece. It won’t solve the tearing problem (I reinforce delicate parts with tape) but it would take care of the smudgy ink problem and it’s ridiculously cheap.

    • foxflat · April 4, 2012

      Yeah…I don’t think I’ve ever fully disassembled a garment I liked either! This is an experiment for sure. I can be your guinea pig 🙂

      • craftybynight · April 5, 2012

        I wish you luck and want tips when it comes together, as I’m sure it will!

  5. lauren · April 3, 2012

    That fabric is going to look really good as that dress! I can’t wait to see it – I’d like to try to do the same thing too one day.

    • foxflat · April 4, 2012

      I cut the pieces out tonight!

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