Replicating is one of my favorite crafts! I hope you enjoy my tips that can help you remake some of your favorite garments, sew garments from pictures and grow your skillset.

  1. Start simple, whether it be from a photo or a garment to be replicated.
  2. If using a garment you own, cutting up the garment and labeling the pieces is the best action for replication. Make sure you take notes and pictures during deconstruction and label pieces really well with a marker.
  3. If you do not want to cut your garment it will be more challenging. You will need to invest time in learning about rubbing out your piece. This can be done by adding pins to the seam-lines of each piece, laying it as flat possible, putting your pattern fabric over it and then rubbing around each piece. After, you will need to measure the original piece to  be sure it is correct with your new pattern piece. Don’t forget to add seam allowance. You will need to do this for every piece of your garment and take notes and pictures.
  4. Walk the pattern, pin every piece together and make sure it fits the piece it’s connected to.
  5. Place it on the dress form and make sure it hangs correctly or baste stitch and try the garment on.
  6. When designing from a photo, draw your design out to remember details.
  7. Try to figure out lengths and proportions by measuring different pieces compared to how they will be on your own body.
  8. Find a similar pattern to hack. Most garments are made from the same pieces, only the styles and proportions change over time.
  9. Always buy extra fabric just in case.
  10. Don’t be afraid to go back and alter something after you made it. Be forgiving, you will make mistakes.

You can do it! Here I used a 1960s hacked A-line pattern. In the end it needed to be taken in more, the neckline was incorrect and because it was too short I added an extra layer of fringe.

Reworked and for sell here.


A few other garments I have replicated for others over the years.

Behind the scenes~

My first downloadable PDF Hand Embroidery Pattern is here.


Thank you for reading,

Tracy McElfresh

Dream it! Sew it!