Clothes Design Tutorial - sort of

I started with this beautiful piece of vintage fabric given to me by a dear friend.

Then I saw another friend wearing a lovely blouse. I tried to take notice of the details (while being a good friend, of course, and carrying on a conversation) then sketched a picture when I had a spare moment.

When I had an evening to myself to work on my clothes design project, I took a few of my own shirts out of the closet. I chose each of them for a different aspect. One had the curved shape I wanted in the back. Another had the measurement I would need across the back and chest so I could slip it over my head. Still another one had the sleeve shape and the flair below the waist.

I laid the clothing,  one at a time, over  the a piece of butcher paper (I usually use muslin for this) sketching the desired shapes the best I could. Next I cut them out. It was nice to have a large piece of fabric for this. I didn't have to worry about making mistakes. I knew I had plenty of room to work with for this clothes design project.

I put in all the pleats and gathering, then sewed it all together, trying it on several times to check the fit. The sleeves were definately the toughest shape to figure out. I had to give them a second try. Wherever I was unsure, I set my stitching length to a basting stitch just in case I needed to make changes. This makes using the seam ripper easier. After trying it on again to make sure the fit was right, I re-stitched seams with a regular stitch length set on my machine.

I also added a vintage button to a belt and large ric rac to set off the ruffle.

So there it is.
My clothes design tutorial. Sort of.
All in all, it was pretty simple.

So. Find some lovely fabric. Now. Go into your closet and find your favorite shirt or dress. Or go raid your friend's closet. Tell her you will return it unharmed in a day or two. (I plan on raiding my daughter's closet soon.) Look for designs without zippers and complicated collars. Simple is best.

Now. Give it a try. And when you do, put a comment with your blog link. I would love to check it out.


  1. Hi. I love your shirt. Congratulations on such a great design.

  2. Tina you are incredible! I don't know if I could ever sew something so nice without a pattern.

  3. Weird! I stopped by to say "HAPPY B-DAY LADY!" And you were sewing a shirt like I'm WEARING - right now! I kid you not! LOL
    But I did NOT make mine; picked it up at Ross for like 6 bucks last summer. I keep thinking it is too low though and just tonight was thinking what fabric I have that would fix it...
    Thanks for the inspiration!
    God bless you Tina.

  4. i found you in the flickr springtop-thing and i like your top very much:-)
    maybe i´ll try something just like it...

  5. It looks great! Thanks for sharing!

    I have a weekly Thursday blog party especially for people to share things they've made to be worn. Stop by if you'd like!

  6. I have been keeping up with the entries on the Spring Top event and your top caught my eye. I keep going back to it. Great fabric....great design. Looks so fun to wear and very beautiful. You did a wonderful job. Good luck to you.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...