Thursday, March 12, 2009

Talk Back Thursday

If you haven’t checked out my 1-year anniversary give-away, take a look here!

Photo from - sorry, the "click to look inside" doesn't work here - link to book follows below.

Thank you so much to Uta, Joanne, Claire S., Sarah, Vicki, Summerset, MeredithP, Alison, Elaina, Becky, Delia and Linda T for “talking back” to my confession last Friday! I confessed that I have never copied a RTW outfit (although I just added 2 RTW dresses to my wardrobe that I am dying to copy!) and asked if other people have ever tried it.

I got a pretty wide range of responses:

a) I’m not really interested, it seems too technical and not so creative (1)
b) I’ve thought about it a lot, but never tried it (1)
c) I want to try it right now with a specific RTW piece from my wardrobe (1)
- This from Claire S. who has a “have you lost weight?” pair of jeans! Oh how I want one of those! ;)
d) I’m doing it right now! (1)
e) Yes, I’ve tried it once (2)
f) Yes, I’ve done it several times (3)

In general, the people who have tried it reported being pretty happy with the results! That’s good to hear! :)

People mentioned three major methods of copying RTW. The first method requires taking apart the RTW garment. I bet it would be reasonably easy to be precise with this method, although it wouldn’t appeal much if you were copying a beloved garment!

The second method involves altering one or more commercial patterns to come up with a pattern that was very similar to a RTW garment. I imagine that some skill in pattern drafting would help here. Elaina introduced me to a new term for this (maybe one she coined?) – Frankenpattern – like Frankenstein, only with less grave digging under a full moon. ;)

The third method involves tracing various views of the RTW garment without taking it apart. There seem to be several variations to this method, including covering the garment with tape (one pattern piece at a time), rub-off methods and tracing with a stiletto wheel.

I got two recommendations for resources: MeredithP recommended this book: Patterns from finished clothes: Re-creating the clothes you love by Tracy Doyle and both Becky and Linda T recommend the Jean Haas method of using tape, which can be found in the 2005 Aug/Sept issue of Threads magazine.

Finally, Elaina reminded me that you really need to be familiar with the standard pattern pieces and basic construction steps used for making the particular type of garment you are trying to copy.

Joanne raised the next big question – how about designing/drafting your own patterns? Look for this coming soon, to a Friday Confession near you! ;)

Thanks again, so much, to everyone who took the time and trouble to leave a comment! Your comments really encourage and inspire me! :)


techno-librarian said...

I tried it once... I used the "painter's tape over the RTW" method, and it was pretty good! Only minor alterations necessary, and that was because the fabric on the old garment had stretched out. :)

Bunny said...

David Coffin has a fabulous piece on Youtube re: copying RTW. It just seams so easy and makes so much sense.

gwensews said...

Nothing is difficult if you know how to do it! I've only copied design details-never a whole garment. Good luck!