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Patterning an Existing Windshirt
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Jeff Brown
(northshorehc) - F

Locale: New England
Patterning an Existing Windshirt on 05/15/2011 07:15:24 MDT Print View

I was wondering if anyone has experience making a pattern from an existing piece of apparel.

I've tried pinning it over patterning material, tracing, etc, but I can't seem to get it right. The biggest challenge right now is trying to get a pattern out of the arms.

Does anyone have a method they could share?


Christopher Zimmer
(czimmer) - F

Locale: Ohio
Re: Patterning an Existing Windshirt on 05/15/2011 07:44:22 MDT Print View

This might not be the most ideal way to go about doing it, but ripping the seams out of the windshirt you want to make a pattern of would work. That way you can lay the pieces flat and trace them out much easier. You might not want to do it with a brand new windshirt, but if you have one that is all torn up it would not be as crazy to do.

Jeff Brown
(northshorehc) - F

Locale: New England
Good Idea on 05/15/2011 09:19:02 MDT Print View

Hi Chris,

Thanks. My windshirt has a few miles left, so I didn't want to take apart the seams. I actually cherish this thing (no longer made my M.Hardwear unfortunately). But then I started thinking...

I probably only need to remove one of the two seams on only one sleeve, and most of one shoulder. As it lays flat I can mark the seam that is still intact on the pattern material. Then I can just flip it to do the other arm.

The body of the jacket should be much easier.

One thing I'm unsure of is the type of stitch I should use when sewing it back together. The existing stitch is over-the-edge chain stitch, and my machine only does straight stitches.

I could just use a straight stitch over seam tape and hope for the best until I get a chain stitch machine. I just want to make sure its comfortable wearing a short sleeve underneath, or no shirt at all.

By the way, great photos on your site. The Eagle shots are amazing. I've never seen one skimming just above the water ready to grab its catch like that.

Thank you again for your help. It kept the momentum going..

Edited by northshorehc on 05/15/2011 09:30:32 MDT.

Steofan The Apostate
(simaulius) - F

Locale: Bohemian Alps
Patterning on 05/15/2011 11:24:56 MDT Print View

Stuff the jacket sleeves & shoulder area up with fiber-fill and roll tracing paper around it. Trace a rough outline onto the paper, cut it out and compare back to the sleeve. When you get a "good" shape add enough for seams on a new sheet of paper then use it to trace on and cut fabric... OR you could rip apart a perfectly good jacket and sew it back togther.
Be sure to make two new jackets... I'll take the large sized one, thank-you in advance!!


Jeff Brown
(northshorehc) - F

Locale: New England
Fiber Fill on 05/15/2011 11:39:16 MDT Print View

Hi Steve,

Thanks for replying to my post. I think I'll try this method before I pull the seam ripper out.

I actually have a small unopened back of fiber fill. Time to head to the attic..

So you want a jacket.. Thanks for the vote of confidence! :)

d k
(dkramalc) - MLife
chain stitch substitute on 05/15/2011 11:55:34 MDT Print View

In lieu of a chain stitch, you can just do a straight stitch, then do a zigzag stitch over the cut edges.

Jeff Brown
(northshorehc) - F

Locale: New England
Chain Stitch Substitute on 05/15/2011 12:08:18 MDT Print View

Thanks Debbie. Though my current machine does only straight, I have another portable that does zig-zag. I appreciate the tip!

I happen to be in the middle of the fiber-fill step right now and the fiber-fill is working awesome. I just packed in all in the sleeve and it fills all the voids showing the full shape of the arm/sleeve. Nice.

Great help guys. Thanks.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Chain Stitch Substitute on 05/15/2011 12:34:35 MDT Print View

French seam is doable with straight stitch machine

This probably won't work for putting your shirt back together but it would be good for your new shirt. I have used this many times.

Jeff Brown
(northshorehc) - F

Locale: New England
French Seams on 05/15/2011 13:45:38 MDT Print View

Hi Jerry,

Thanks. I may try this on my new shirt. I plan to experiment with stitches a bit now that I know I have a few options.

Below are a couple of photos of my work with fiber-fill and how I patterned the sleeve. I used an old sheet and a Bostitch P3 stapler.

I owe my success with this to everyone that posted here. A huge thanks!

Windshirt with polyfil


Kevin Beeden
(captain_paranoia) - F

Locale: UK
pattern on 05/20/2011 08:46:28 MDT Print View

For something with a simple, single seam, like I imagine the windshirt sleeve is, then I'd simply lay the garment out flat so that the arm seam is one of the folded edges, and then trace around the outline of the arm, and the two sides of the armscye. The arm seams are usually simple straight lines. The scyes are curved... and front and back are usually different (depending on the scye design).

Then add the seam allowance, depending on the type of seam you're planning to use.

I've used this method for other items, such as fleeces, with Raglan sleeves, and multi-piece sleeves. It worked fine for me.

[edit] d'oh! you've sorted it...

Edited by captain_paranoia on 05/20/2011 08:48:02 MDT.

Jeff Brown
(northshorehc) - F

Locale: New England
Thanks. on 05/20/2011 17:01:48 MDT Print View

I'm still plugging along making sure I get the pattern right. I'll be a pro once I get it down.

My sleeves actually have 2 seams, which helps explain the contoured shape.