Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Big Rub Off

I bought this top earlier this summer. Yes, I occasionally buy things. I really like it and thought I would like to remake it, so here's how I made my pattern. This is a very simple tutorial on how to do a rub off. This particular top does not have darts and is very unstructured so it's quite easy to make a pattern. If you've never done this before, I suggest starting with a simple T-shirt that you really like that does not have darts.  
Begin by laying the garment out flat, making sure that everything is very flat.
If you'll notice, this top is shorter in the front than it is in the back. I folded the top in half, making sure that my seams were perfectly aligned.

I took my muslin and pinned the straight edge to the center front fold of my top.
Take a piece of marking wax and simply mark over the lines of the garment.
This is how the piece will look once it has been entirely marked. 
Once you unpin the muslin from the garment, be sure to mark you piece.
I love clear plastic rulers and could not live with out them. I think they are available at Joann's Fabrics, but they are also available at office supply stores. Now you want to true your pattern. With your ruler, go around and mark the seam lines.
You want your corners to be very square. The best way is to use the lines of the ruler along the straight edge and draw your seam line in.

Now add your seam allowances.
In this picture I just wanted to show how how wonderful the clear plastic rulers are. I marked the seamline in red so you can see how easy it is to add the seam allowance.  Since I will be sewing this on the serger, I am adding 1/4" seam allowances.

If there are any curves on your pattern, you will want to make sure that the front and back are the same.
Match the seamlines.
I like to put a pin exactly at the intersection. The pattern pieces stay secure while I make any adjustments. This point is my underarm seam. Make sure that any curved lines match.

Now I can check and see if my side seams match. My front was just a little longer than my back. Here you get to be the designer. If you would like the extra length, just add it. I decided that I wanted my top to be longer than the original, so I added an extra 3 inches to the bottom of both my front and back.

Now for the sleeve. Again, fold the sleeve in half.

Pin the straight edge of your muslin to the folded edge of your sleeve and then mark.
Especially for my sleeve pattern, I like to rub a straight line down the center. This will give me my grainline. Be sure to take the muslin off of your original garment before you do this or you'll have wax on your garment.
Now you can clearly see the difference of the front and back. In order to transfer the lines to the opposite side of my muslin, I use a tracing wheel and tracing paper. I like a waxed tracing paper that is rather difficult to find. Helen Haughey carries the wax paper and you can contact her here. This tracing paper is so much better than what you can find in a fabric store.
At this point I have marked in my seamlines and I am adding my seam allowances. At the hem of my sleeve, I placed the ruler on the bottom of my underarm seams and then drew a straight line across. 

I've added my seam allowances. The hem here is 3/4". 

In order to have your hem allowance look like this,

fold the hem allowance up just as if you were going to turn it up to sew it. Now cut on the line that was added for seam allowance of the underarn seam.

A view from the back before cutting.
The finished sleeve.
The front pattern.
The back pattern.

The original garment. Rather than make the binding around the neckline the same as the original garment, I decided to leave one end free and tie a bow.
And my version.
I recently saw a post on how to make a pattern from a ready made garment and the way they went about it was more difficult than it needed to be. Give this a try, but start with something simple. Later on I will do a post on rubbing off something more complicated.
Good Luck!

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