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Clothing & Jewelry

Patterning Techniques: Make a Sewing Pattern from a Favorite Garment

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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.


Sat, Feb 16th, 2019  –  Sun, Feb 17th, 2019

Course Details

Length: 5 Days
Skill Levels: Intermediate to Advanced
Hours: 9am-5pm
Tuition: $190.00
Materials fee: $20.00


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

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. We will use sewing machines primarily to baste (temporary stitching) the pieces together for your pattern mock-ups. The machine sewing techniques needed for this pattern mock-up will be simple seams. Also bring: Sewing machine needles and bobbins to fit your machine.

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

Optional Tools

Materials for pattern mock-up to purchase from instructor

(This might come to about $10.00; the yardage you need depends on the size and complexity of your project):
I will have a variety of white/off-white inexpensive materials available for sewing mock-ups. Depending on the weight and texture of your original garment, your mock-up fabric might be Swedish pattern cloth, cotton muslin, organza, knit, fleece, etc


Marking tools you can purchase from instructor in class
You do not need to purchase these; you can use the instructor’s in class.

  • Needle wheel,
  • Large size professional tracing paper,
  • Foam core for mounting tracing paper

(Total if you wish to purchase is about $20.00)

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.

Meet the Instructor

North House Folk School photo of instructor, Carol Colburn
Carol Colburn
Duluth, MN

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Patterning Techniques: Make a Sewing Pattern from a Favorite Garment - 2/16/2019