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Make Your Own Clothes: How to Make a Pattern


Sewists don’t need a lot to succeed. With the right supplies, fabric, and patterns, they are able to create show-stopping pieces that are pretty and functional at the same time. Learning how to make your own clothes can save so much money! But in order to make your own clothes, you need a pattern! While there are free sewing patterns scattered across the web (hello,!), they might not always fit you just right. This is why learning how to make a pattern is an invaluable skill. If you learn how to make your own pattern, you can learn how to make your own clothes and you can make them fit like a glove! It is surprisingly easy to learn how to make a pattern. Keep reading to learn the necessary steps to take to learn how to make your own sewing patterns from one of our favorite bloggers, Remona Gopaul from The Stitching Scientist! You will be a pattern-making expert in no time when you follow along with Make Your Own Clothes: How to Make a Pattern.

Make Your Own Clothes: How to Make a Pattern
Table of Contents

Making Your Own Pattern: Intro
Your Supplies for Pattern Drafting
How to Make a Pattern: The Steps


Making Your Own Pattern: Intro

If you have tried shopping for patterns recently, you know how expensive they can sometimes be. Today, I am going to show you how to draft your own pattern for a versatile top/shirt. For this tutorial you can use an existing loose-fitted top with sleeves to create your own pattern. To create your pattern, you need white craft paper. When buying your paper, ensure that is heavier than your standard notebook writing sheet. Having somewhat of a heavy paper makes everything easier to manage when you are tracing and cutting. I like using the same rolls of art paper I buy for my kids’ art projects. Sometimes, I even use poster paper if I plan on saving my patterns for future use.

Your Supplies for Pattern Drafting

  • Large sheet of craft/art paper
  • Different color sharpies
  • Tape measure
  • Ruler
  • Scissors


How to Make a Pattern: The Steps

Step 1:

Take a your large piece of construction paper (I used 20"x 40") and fold in half. Lay your shirt on top of the folder paper as shown below. Fold the sleeve toward the center of the shirt and trace all teh way around. Mark a line where your neck line starts on the front of the shirt.

How to Make a Pattern: The Steps


Step 2

Draw an arc from your front neckline to the top of the shoulder.

How to Make a Pattern: The Steps 


Step 3

Add seam allowance to the pattern by tracing all around your pattern from step 2 about 1/2" from your original lines. You do not need to trace on the center fold for seam allowance.

How to Make a Pattern: The Steps  


Step 4

Since your paper is folded you do not need to trace a separate pattern for your front and back bodice. Cut along the back bodice line as indicated below for the back. Once you finish cutting all the way around, you will have two pieces; the one on the bottom is for the back bodice and the one on the top is for the front bodice. Cut along the blue line on your top piece and you will have your completed front bodice.

How to Make a Pattern: The Steps


Step 5

For the sleeves, you will be doing the same thing as you did for the bodice pieces. Place your sleeve on the folded paper ensuring that the top edges of the sleeve line up with the folded edge of the paper. Mark off the desired length. Trace the inner part of the sleeve toward the underarm.

How to Make a Pattern: The Steps


Step 6

Fold the sleeve toward the center of the shirt and trace from the inner arm to the top.

How to Make a Pattern: The Steps   


Step 7

Here the fun part of creating your sleeves!

  1. Trace about 1/2" all the way around your trace from above for your seam allowance. Do not add seam allowance to the fold.
  2. Place a dot about 1" from the center of the sleeve as shown below.
  3. Draw a long s-shape from the underarm to the top of the sleeve.
  4. Trace about 1/2" from your line created the step above for seam allowance.

How to Make a Pattern: The Steps


Step 8

Cut around your green long s-shape toward the underarm and then follow through all the around on the green line.

How to Make a Pattern: The Steps  


You're done!

You now have pieces for your front, back and sleeves.

 How to Make a Pattern: The Steps 


Here is a shirt, I made using the pattern created in this tutorial.

How to Make a Pattern: The Steps  







Remona Gopaul from the Stitching ScientistFind more of Remona's tutorials and free sewing patterns on her blog, the Stitching Scientist, and on her designer profile here on






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In my limited sewing experience, it actually seems easier to copy your own existing clothing than to work with commercial patterns. The few times I have purchased patterns, Ive had some major disasters with sizing. Its extremely disillusioning to have put all that work into a garment, only to discover it doesnt fit properly - and proper fitting seems to be something that is only learned with experience. I would much prefer to learn by making clothing I already know will fit.

I love watching your videos and all of the tutorials. You really do make it look so easy, where I have to think real hard to get something together LOL! but it is because I am a novice, but I want to get good at sewing for myself especially. I love you and your site thanks so much

This tutorial is awesome! I like to make clothes but hate spending $15 or more on a pattern. I definitely plan on trying this over the weekend.

I'm glad I found your post. I'm having a hard time to create my own pattern.

Excellent! Thank you so much!

I've always thought sewing is the most difficult thing to do but you just made it look so simple and straightforward! LOVE this amazing tutorial, keep up the good work! and Id really love it if you visit my blog at https// and let me know what you think Happy blogging!

I'm new to sewing and this pattern is made for the beginner...Just what I need!...Thanks, Mike

I did this and it fit great. I'm going to make more this way.


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