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A friend of mine knows someone who sews "Knock offs" - Dresses that look just like those worn at the Oscars made by designers. The trick is aluminum foil Yes! Plain old tin-foil.
I tried it and it works great! On a flat surface (like your kitchen table), lay out the garment you wish to copy, then simply take a piece of the foil and lay it over the part of the dress you want to copy, then take a soft cloth and rub it gently against the foil until you see where the seams are. Then cut out the piece of foil, then trace the foil on to a piece of paper, adding your seam allowances. Do this to each section of the dress and in no time you'll have all the pattern pieces to make any garment!
As far as the sewing directions? Well, you'll just have to figure THAT out for yourselves! Patterns cost way to much these days! So I've taken some of my favorite pieces of clothing and made my own patterns from them. I only make simple things like jackets without darts or collars or simple vests, but if you're an advanced seamstress, you could sew practically anything by using tin-foil to make your patterns! I'm sure you could make patterns for lampshades and many other crafts, even wood working, by using foil to copy your patterns
But, use care when rubbing foil over light colored fabrics, as you don't want to transfer the foil on to your fabric!
Source: A friend told me.
By Cyinda from near Seattle
As I am a dressmaker, I always make my own patterns for dolls clothing. To have my patterns last forever, I use all my old X-rays. Put on a white sticker to write on so you can easily find it's back.
By Sara from Australia
This link offers free software that can be used to make hats, shawls, bags, and slippers. It's great. The sewing instructions are included with it and it's all free. Even the other software that you can purchase is a good deal because you can use it over and over to make clothes that fit precisely your body or whomever you are sewing for. I even made my daughter's wedding dress with them and they were a real lifesaver. The link is:
To make a pattern piece yourself, if you use the "non-iron" interfacing it makes a great pattern and doesn't rip as easy.
I begged my MD for a roll of paper (from the exam table) to use to trace my patterns. I then mark them with the # and size and put the new pattern, the original and instructions in a plastic ziploc bag. They are easy to use and store and I can make the different sizes.