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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Copycat Pattern Work - Sleeveless Tee

Why do we talk about copy CAT's?
Izzie the Kitty is unique!
I have a favorite sleeveless tee shirt, in fact I have more than one of this tee - in yellow, orange, dark and light pinks, black..... You get the idea. Though I might not find the high quality Pima Cotton the original is made from, I would love to be able to try making a similar shirt in knits I run across. Also I have a piece of Spoonflower cotton interlock knit printed with one of my Mama's designs - I would love to get this pattern going, in that fabric.

The original tee is sleeveless. The hem hits at the high hip. The shirt is a little bit boxy, but not really loose. There are no darts. The neckline is high with a minimal scoop. In the past I've copied simpler things like aprons and tote bags. This is a good shirt for my first pass at a more complex pattern copy project.

1) First, I pinned along the side seams and the hem. Then I laid the pinned side seam along a 'fold' line, and traced around the hem, after pinning the hem down.

2) I used one of those cardboard cutting out boards (the kind with a grid line on it) underneath, and pinned through that after I released the hem, and pinned the shoulder seams together. I connected the dots the pins made from the shoulder seams. The armscye I traced. You can also buy cork board in rolls instead of the cutting out boards. I had several of these cardboard cutting out boards, and they seem to work OK for pinning into.

I found I had to do the tracing and pinning in stages. You pin, trace, and release, then lay other parts down. I tried out push pins, but they made kind of large holes if I wanted to wear the original garment again. I think large regular pins can work just as well.

Why do we talk about copyCAT's?
Nothing more unique than my kitty!


  1. Hi Laurel! Just listened to your podcast about the pattern copy-chatting, and I want to alert you to a possible problem when you stick your sewing pins into cardboard a lot. In addition to sewing, I knit and crochet a fair number of doilies. Doilies require wet blocking, and for this I lay them out on a piece of foam-core board covered with a towel, and I use my long, stainless steel quilting pins to secure them. At one point I had made several doilies in a short period of time, and then I did some pattern-cutting-out, and was wondering why so many of my pins wouldn't go through the fabric, when it dawned on me that pushing them through the cardboard was probably dulling them. So now I have two pin cushions--one for sewing, and one for blocking doilies and other knitted items.

  2. Good advice Barbara! Thanks for taking the time to post.

    I'm going to add your important suggestion to the show notes - which I did not post promptly after publishing the 'cast. They are up now and your suggestions will go up there.