Wardrobe Redress: Fancying up my closet

Nope, I’m not talking about interior decorating, I’m talking about a whole new redress series here on Craft Leftovers!

I’m going to turn my attention from the apartment and studio (which I think are looking pretty good because of all the apartment redress projects) to the closet. Specifically, to my clothes.

Last year, sometime around this time of year, I decided to start making my own clothing. I made exactly one skirt…and then stopped. Lame.


Well, I’m giving it another go. But instead of trying to just use other people’s patterns I’m going to draft some of my own. Patterns specifically for me. For my size exactly. And I am so excited! I’ve already made my first shirt! And it’s the most awesome shirt I’ve ever worn in my life!


I discovered this amazing new book at Borders last month called Design-It-Yourself Clothes: Patternmaking Simplified. It is amazing!


First it’s packed full of really cute and really classic clothes. The whole premise of the book is that by drafting a few basic patterns, you can easily alter them for a bazzillion unique items–all made to a size that is uniquely you!

It’s starts the pattern drafting section with how to take your 24 basic measurements. You know that whole “bust, waist, hips, inseam” thing? Yeah, totally not going to cut it when designing your own clothing.

My Grandma’s sewing book Singer Sewing (Green hardcover edition) has you take somewhere around 50 measurements! And that was before women were wearing pants on a regular basis so most of the leg measurements are simply “skirt” type measurements. I mashed the two together and had my friend’s friend measure me. It took about a half hour or so.

I’m actually making a zine called “Measure Me” for Ames C.art to hand out at the next Sew n’ Swap. We are going to take everyone’s measurements and jot them in the zine so we can start on the right foot for making and altering our clothing.

Anyway, back to Design it Yourself. With some really basic rulers, paper, and a triangle I was able to whip up my own shirt pattern in under an hour. I messed it up the first time too. I was so excited I didn’t follow the directions precisely, ha. That will teach me for skimming. I used some leftover knit fabric to make my first mock up. There wasn’t enough for sleeves, but it actually is the perfect undershirt, or top for the summer. It fits, well, like it was made just for me! Amazing.


I bought some really cute fabric that was on sale (little cowboys on it) and I’m going to use this same pattern to make a second shirt –long sleeved this time. It should be finished by next week and I’ll show it to you then along with some process photos.

I’m really excited about getting back into making my own clothes. I’m a creative person and I want to wear nice, unique, interesting clothing, but my wallet can’t afford it. Thankfully, armed with this book, I’ll be able to make up my own unique patterns.

Do you make your own clothes? What are the most helpful resources you have found? What is your favorite garment to make? How do you incorporate your leftovers into your clothing?

Happy stitching!

2 thoughts on “Wardrobe Redress: Fancying up my closet

  1. Can’t wait to hear more about your process, Kristen. The only clothes I’ve ever made for myself were from patterns, and never ended up fitting quite right.

Comments are closed.