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Patterning Techniques: Make a Sewing Pattern from a Favorite Garment

Course Overview

Bring a garment that you love - or cannot live without. You will not have to take it apart! You will learn to make a pattern that duplicates the cut, and even adds features such as more pockets or design details. Three techniques for copying patterns from existing garments will be demonstrated, which then are used in combination, depending on the original design features. We will decide which technique or combination of techniques works best for the garment you are making. Men’s and women’s or children’s shirts, jackets, coats, skirts, dresses, pants, accessories are all good choices. You can start with a favorite well-worn garment, or a vintage find - all are excellent projects. These techniques also apply to reproducing museum artifacts, although your first patterning project should be based on a garment which you own. You will learn to make an initial pattern, refine and mark the pattern, sew and fit a personal mock-up. The schedule will include two days learning patterning techniques and making your pattern, one day with fittings and adjustments, and two days with expert guidance constructing your garment. When you leave class you will be well on your way to finishing your treasured garment and will have a new sewing skill that inspires your future sewing projects.


Wed, Jan 15th, 2020  –  Sun, Jan 19th, 2020

Course Details

Length: 5 Days
Skill Levels: Intermediate to Advanced
Hours: 9am-5pm
Intergenerational age: N/A
Registration Cost: $445.00
Includes materials fee of $20.00

Required Tools

You will need the following tools for this class:

Basic Sewing Kit including the following items: 

  • Paper scissors
  • Fabric cutting scissors
  • Smaller scissors for clipping and trimming
  • Seam ripper
  • Tape measure
  • Hand needles
  • Pin cushion
  • Pins
  • Thimble
  • Fabric marking tools (such as pencil, disappearing marker, chalk, wax)
  • Clear plastic ruler (suggest 2” x 18” type used by quilters which cost about $9.00)
  • Spool thread - white and a color-of- your-choice that works on your sewing machine
  • Pens, pencils
  • Notebook

You are encouraged to also bring along any sewing tools that you enjoy using for hand and machine sewing.

Sewing machine – If you own a portable sewing machine, please bring it to class. Test it before coming to class to check that it is in working order, and know its basic operations. If you cannot bring one, North House has machines you can use, and you will be given basic instruction for their use. Also bring sewing machine needles and bobbins to fit your machine.

Included in materials fee ($20.00), so you do not need to bring them:
Instruction packet
Grid pattern paper
Mark B Gone washable marker
Classroom supplies/Other notions for patterning and sewing

Optional Tools

Materials for pattern mock-up to purchase from instructor:
Muslin for sewing your pattern mock-up: Carol will bring a supply of muslin for sewing your mock-up and it will be available for $4.00 per yard. Every student will need different amounts depending upon the type of garment you choose. You may also choose to bring your own white or neutral-color fabric for your pattern mock-up.

Pattern making and marking tools/supplies: Needle tracing wheel, wax transfer paper mounted on foam core, and a variety of fabric marking options. Carol will bring enough for the class to use in class, and will also have extra available for you to purchase if you wish. Cost for this would be $20 or less.

Recommended (not required) book: Elementary Sewing Skills by Carolyn N.K. Denham, published by Merchant & Mills, 2014. This book will be available in the school store on campus as well.

More Information

Once registered, students will receive a confirmation email with further class information. Please call us if you haven't received it within 24 hours.