Saturday, 28 March 2015

Recreate at Ray Stitch

Two weekends ago I attended an afternoon workshop at Ray Stitch in Islington to recreate a garment. You select a favourite piece of clothing (I took two) and the very knowledgable Alice Prier demonstrates how to construct a pattern from it.

I chose to take a dress that I bought from Uniqlo S/S 2013. It is a very predictable LBD and I took it along because it fits perfectly and has pockets. What more does a girl need?
I also took a lovely late 1950's vintage dress that has some unique detailing on the skirt section.
I thought about creating a bit of a mash-up of the perfect fitting bodice (Uniqlo dress) with the interesting details of the 1950's dress!

The tools and equipment you need for this technique are:

Pattern paper / any large paper
French Curve
A2 or larger foam board (the sort you get in an art shop)

Alice advised us to start with the bodice of the garment and find the centre line. So far so good. Luckily my dress was symmetrical - things get a little more complex for asymmetrical garments. Draw a straight line on the pattern paper (with the foam board underneath), fold the dress in half lengthways and pin down the dress with the fold on the straight edge you have drawn on the paper.

You can now draw around the outside edge of the dress. If you have any internal seams use a pin to follow the line of the seam and when you remove the garment, draw a pencil line using the pin-holes as a guide. It is best to use the French curve to create smooth lines if the pin-holes look a bit wonky.

Continue for another few hours. Mark the pattern pieces as you go with cutting instructions and grain line information. Once you have marked out all your pieces you can then add your preferred seam allowance. I used the standard 1.5 cm. Alice advised us to add a little extra on side seams to give you more flexibility on the final fitting.

Overall it was a very informative and fun afternoon. Classes run regularly at Ray Stitch if you want to try it out yourself.
I now just need to find some time to make a new dress with my self-drafted pattern!


  1. I have a jacket that I want to copy at some point. Maybe I should look into the course. Good luck recreating your dress,

    1. Thanks Tamsin. I'm looking forward to recreating my dress and also giving the self-drafting of another item a go too!

  2. I'm excited for you Caroline! So many possibilities once you have a good fitting block

    1. Hi Alex - just need to squeeze an afternoon of sewing into the schedule to get started on the self-drafted adventure!