Clone Your Clothes

I finally got around to booking onto a Clone Your Clothes course at SewOverIt, Clapham.

At first I was a little disappointed that we were restricted to jersey fabric but now I completely understand why (time constraints, primarily). I had an old, tatty bodycon dress from Whistles with a lovely shape to it which I had been hoarding for about three years for just this opportunity… if I hadn’t lost it somewhere.

Not to fear. I had an old faithful 1940s tea dress from Laura Ashley which had (by supreme coincidence) just developed a hole in the sleeve. Some nostalgic pictures of it in action:

PicMonkey Collage

The class was  in two three-hour sessions (with cake and tea on tap). The first involved creating  the pattern by measuring your existing dress (in tact, not to fear) and reproducing it onto pattern paper.11899649_963784510352863_1553616118_n

The dress I chose (by default really as I don’t own a lot of jersey) unfortunately was supremely complicated as (i) it was a-symmetrical thus increasing the number of pattern pieces required as you couldn’t always double up; (ii) it had pleats on both shoulders; (iii) it had extremely gathered sleeves; (iv) it was lined; and (v) it had darts/tucks on the bodice and the skirt.

Darts were the most instructive part of the session as in involved reverse-engineering the pattern to include extra fabric which was no longer visible/measurable in the finished dress (having disappeared into the dart).  You had to mark where the darts met the seam on the pattern (using a template of the final dress) and then draw the line of the dart seam all the way to the opposite edge, cutting it as a long line. You then eked the paper apart to add in the max amount of your dart at the top seam and stuck an extra piece of paper in the gap to represent the full amount fabric. You could then retrace around that for the final pattern piece.

[Photo to follow]

Homework was to cut out. I chose a lovely Liberty jersey, called Polly Genevieve A Dufour Jersey, which is beautiful but also a pain to sew as it is very silky in weave and consequently jams up the overlocker every two seconds.


The class was generally at an intermediate level and assumed some prior sewing knowledge. Thankfully I have an overlocker at home so could finish it myself after the class ended or I would never have managed it!


Altogether I was very please with result:




5 thoughts on “Clone Your Clothes

  1. Very nice, I’ve not made anything out of jersey for a while and was looking through wordpress for inspo. Was the Liberty jersey jamming up the over-locker because the cutter wasn’t liking it? or was it just the nature of the fabric?


    • Hello hello – so sorry for the delayed reply (it was sitting in my drafts without apparently having posted)…
      The first time I did this, as per this post, I used a sewoverit overlocker which I suspect was a bit older and less sharp than my home one. Nevertheless, it was coping fine so long as I kept my fingers alongside to really guide the fabric through. Liberty jersey is fine and very slippy/silky so I suspect it was the nature of the beast; the gripper just couldn’t get into it to keep the fabric moving through.

      The second time I made the dress from the same fabric I didn’t have any problems at all but I was using my newer home overlocker which may have had more purchase.

      Either way, the amount of fuss was minimal and you should definitely have a go with it. Just go slow and make sure you don’t get the fabric pulling at the seams. I know Liberty is expensive so you panic everytime something threatens to go wrong.


    • It’s such a nice security blanket, when your favourite stuff starts to go a bit bobbly or a few too many times in the wash. I always thought cloning involved destroying the original item so it was such a relief to realise you could do it by eye!


  2. Pingback: 1940s Wrap Dress | Darned if You Don't

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