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Savings Made By Sewing |Patterns|

all my free patterns. find them HERE

Today I get to do something with a great meaning to me. I am part of the Savings Made By Sewing series hosted by Dana, over Sew Thrifty. I will be sharing with you my tips to save some money on patterns over there, while I put up a tutorial to help you copying a pattern from a loved rtw. 


When I became a SAHM I knew our income would get a drastic cut down, and I knew I had to be more careful where I'd spend my money on. I stopped buying new fabric, and I didn't allow myself to buy any patterns because I had already a huge collection of pattern magazines, such as Burda, Patrones, Manequim... most of those patterns are women's, but from time to time they get kid's editions too. Sometimes, when I can't find the pattern I want from any of these, I will adjust any other basic one into what I want/need. Other times, I simply use rtw pieces to copy the pattern from. There are a few ways to make it, but today I will show you how to do one of the ones I use more often: the pins method. 

This is pretty simple, or not. It depends on the piece you are copying the pattern from. I picked a tank top to show you how I do it, I hope the pictures are clear enough. 

Start by folding the front or the back piece in half vertically. It doesn't really matter which one you do first. Make sure to align the seams and hold them with pins. Make sure it aligns at the armholes, neckline, shoulders, etc. Get a sheet as big as your piece (if it is too big, tape a few together). For this tutorial I used a piece of cardbox, hoping it'd be easier to explain how it should look, but any kind of paper works fine. 
Align the fold on the top to the edge of the paper and pin the piece to the paper (try using a rubber base, or anything foamy underneath). Start at the top and pin to the bottom. Straighten the fabric and pin through the side seam too. Leave the shoulder for now. Use another pin to drill around the edges and seams, from one to the next pin you have added before. You will create lines all around (see last picture above). 

Once you got it all drilled, unpin the bottom of the tank top, so you can pull it up and lay it flat on your table. MAke sure to keep the top pins in place so it doesn't move from the right spot. Repeat the drilling process all up the armhole seam, neckline and the shoulders. I tried to show how it will look like once you take your fabric top off, but I'm not sure it's easy to see in the picture (first from the second row above). With a pen, connect all the dots and you will get a pattern piece. My back piece has a not too stretchy elastic so when I got there, I just had to pull it so the fabric would get it's normal shape and pin it right there, then pinned through the elastic line to have a line on the pattern that shows me where I should add the elastic. When sewing, you can measure the elastic, not stretched out to know the measurements you need for it. You can see that line on the last picture above. 

The back piece is done, let's do the front one. You just do it the same way. Pay attention if any parts have special details. My front was slightly gathered on the top, so when copying the pattern, I didn't pin it close to the edge as I did with the rest of the center. See 2nd picture above. You don't want to stretch any parts of your fabric unless needed as in the elastic on the back. The distance between the edge and the top, is the distance you'll need to gather in your front top. Use a sign to note it. 

There you have it. It is a nice one, you just need 2 pattern pieces. Because I did mine in cardbox I then copied it into tracing paper for the final touches. Align the side seams to make sure they match. if they don't, draw a line that fixes it. Repeat it for the shoulder seams, and you're done. Before cutting into your fabric, you need to add seams allowances all around it but the folded edges, which are the front and back centers. You can also make a quick muslin first to check for any other adjustments. 

Savings Made by Sewing {Sew Thrifty|} Great tips for saving money and sewing

Make sure to follow along for a whole lot of useful tips. 

Fabric: July 6: Sew Thrifty | July 7: Feather's Flights | July 8: Mabey She Made It | July 9: Phat Quarters | July 10: Vicky Myers Creations
Patterns: July 13: Sew Thrifty | July 14: Sew a Straight Line | July 15: House of Estrela | July 16: Sew Straight and Gather | July 17: A Real Life Country Housewife
Supplies: July 20: Sew Thrifty | July 21: Bernina Representative | July 22: Pretty Practical | July 23: Finn's Door | July 24: Lulu and Celeste
General Tips: July 27: Sew Thrifty | July 28: From-a-Box | July 29: Willow & Stitch | July 30: Knot Sew Normal | July 31: Bringing it All Together by Sew Thrifty


  1. I LOVE this! Thanks so much for being a part of the series!

    1. Thank you for having me Dana. I wish I could have done a tutorial for all the ways I copy patterns from RTW... hehehe


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