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Tips & Techniques > saving a worn out well fitting garment as a toile!

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Posted by: Janie Viers
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About Janie Viers star
Member since: 4/8/02
Reviews: 61 (tips: 29)
Skill level:Advanced
Favored by: 5 people
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Posted on: 6/7/05 7:22 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 4 people   Very Helpful by 8 people   
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I had a blouse that fit like a dream. I wore it to death. I loved it to death. Finally it was rather stained, ragged and ugly. I washed and ironed it and took it apart. I used the pieces to compare my perfect shirt with the patterns that had come up lacking! I overlay each piece of the blouse in fabric to the paper pattern to discover minor variation in pattern, cut and straight of grain. I lost the shirt in a move, but still remember fondly the shirts that fit so well after I destructured the original.

If you have panties, pants, tops or dresses that have bit the dust, use them as the basis for making pattern changes so you can have them live on forever. The item has to be really unwearable for me to feel free to pick it to pieces, though! JanieV

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craftysista said... (1/5/10 9:37 PM) Reply
What a great tip, and I really appreciate Muria's "'Patterns from Existing Clothes" book recommendation. I just ordered it and I can't wait to get my hands on it! Thanks :)
moushka said... (7/13/05 9:42 AM) Reply
The September issue of Threads has a great article on copying a RTW garment with masking tape. Looks like a great way to copy an existing garment without having to take it apart. HTH.
Linda Mae said... (6/17/05 10:55 AM) Reply
I had a favorite garment that I washed, removed seams and ironed well, then pressed onto freezer paper that I had for quilting projects. It was easy to cut out since the pieces don't move! If the parts are larger than the paper width, you could piece the paper and tape together. Once cut out, it was easy to mark the darts, etc., by not removing the full piece from the paper and slipping the marking paper between fabric and paper.
Emesse said... (6/15/05 7:32 AM) Reply
Very good idea.Thanks
Muria said... (6/9/05 10:00 AM) Reply
There's a book called "patterns from finished clothes" that I checked out of the library once that had instructions on how to copy something without ripping out all the seams. Unfortunately, if it had a lot of detailed work, you had to pick out the details to make the copy (I have a wool skirt in my closet that hasn't fit since 9th grade, but I loved the details on it, so I hang onto it on the off chance I'll either find a way to copy it bigger, or can wear it again). :) I can think of several shirts over the years that I wish I'd kept to do this with, although half the time, it's the fabric I loved as well.
Georgene said... (6/8/05 11:36 PM) Reply
Look up my tip for 'Making a Rub-off' and copy your garment without unpicking a stitch.
Clev said... (6/8/05 4:50 PM) Reply
I was planning to do this with a vintage blouse that I've owned for 20 years and was probably made at least 20 years before that. I LOVE THAT BLOUSE. The construction is so unique. The fabric is so old that it has holes all through it. I've tried to buy one like it but I'll never find a duplicate. The only thing holding me back is my love for it. It's like a sacrifice. Cut it apart, make a pattern, all good, but the original, the cutey, will be gone forever.
appleC said... (6/8/05 10:33 AM) Reply
I really want to do this. But the ironical thing for me is that if I like a garment to death, I take extremly care of it so it never wears out or gets stained. Maybe I should wear it more often so I can tear it apart and make more :)
SandraB said... (6/8/05 9:12 AM) Reply
What a wonderful idea. Thanks for sharing.
MsConnie said... (6/7/05 11:41 PM) Reply
I just did this with my favorite pair of Old Navy lounge pants - talk about great minds... ;>]
Annie- oh said... (6/7/05 8:44 PM) Reply
Janie - I love your enthusiasm for sharing good ideas ! And your sense of humor, too! Now, could we do this with people, some people...or do we let them go? Annie (just home from a large family reunion)
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