I recently saw this on pinterest I believe, and was curious. I have created some patterns from RTW, but I usually use a method that requires poking several sewing pins into the garment along the seams lines.  I was wanting to sew yesterday but didn’t have a pattern for jeans so decided to give this method a try! See below for step by step instructions on how. Let me start by saying that I work out of my kitchen. I pattern make on the kitchen island and sew in our music room. So if you see any tomatoes, melons, pots and pans in the background, please excuse them. I promised them their five seconds of fame 🙂

So this is a very basic method. Not technical at all. You grab a roll of painters tape and create an outline for each individual pattern piece. To create the outline, I tore off small pieces of painters tape and placed them on the stitch line or seams. The image below if of the front leg. My aim here is to flatten the front leg and paste the tape on it, such that I can get a one-dimensional rub off of the leg.


Next, I filled in the outline with more painters tape:IMG_8072



Once this was done, I was able to peel off the tape, and it came off as one big chunk. I then placed it on pattern paper and made sure it was flat.  Next, I used this nifty measuring gauge to add a half-inch seam allowance all around. The dotted line became the outline of my pattern piece for the front leg and I used the dotted line as a guide to cut out the pattern. IMG_8074

This is what the pattern looked like after cutting it. Say hi to Poochie!!!IMG_8080

And my kid wanted to make an appearance as well. Love this little stinker..IMG_8083

You can leave the tape on if you like, but I pulled it off and added a grainline, name of the pattern, and how many to cut. I added an awl punch at the crotch. I didn’t care to add notches, but typically I would. This pattern is so simple that I did not bother. IMG_8087

That’s it! That’s all you have to do to create a pattern. Repeat this step for all patterns pieces on your garment and you can replicate your favourite garment over and over again.

Now the back I did slightly different because the pant leg on the back is usually wider than the front leg as you can see below.


To overcome this , I first taped just like I did the front leg. I re-used the tape from the front because I hate wasting and killing the environment, so I try my best to re-use. I was not too careful about taping at first. Then I went in with a pen and outlined along the stitch line to get the accurate shape.IMG_8091

This is what the back looked like when I was done with the portion of the back leg that sat flat. I still had to tackle the part of the back leg that extends beyond the side crease to the side seam.IMG_8096

For this I flattened the pant leg, allowing me to tape all the way to the side seam. My finger is pointing to where the side crease was . That’s it! IMG_8097

I did the same with the back yoke, waist band and pocket. I also tried drafting the pocket but it was not as accurate as using painters tape. IMG_8098

Here is the waist band. It’s a contoured waist band as this is a low-rise pair of jeans. Be sure to make CF and CB on the waist band as the waist band has an extension and this can be confusing while sewing. I also recommend using notches to match up the Centre Front, Centre Back, and side seams.IMG_8100

If you liked this tutorial, check out the rest of my tutorials HERE

The one thing I have to figure out is adding the front facing fly before I can cut. To make things super simple, I am going to go with a mock fly zipper and use this pattern as a base.

I am hoping to finish the pattern today and then cut and sew hopefully tomorrow. I would be beyond excited if I can get this completed this week. I know there are some amazing sewing divas out there that pop out a new garment every other day,  but I have to be realistic about my sewing goals, given all my other commitments.

Anyhooz- tell me what you think about this method. Have you used it? If so, do you love it? Or do you have another preferred method? I prefer this over cutting up the garment. It wastes tape, but its more green than cutting up the garment and wasting it. There are so many poor people in this world that could use old clothes, so I really don’t want to destroy any garments.  I’ll be back with my white skinnies soon .Send me some sewing motivation <3


Update: I made my skinny jeans using this method and you can see there HERE




17 Comments on Pattern Making using Painters Tape!

  1. I’ve never thought of using painters tape, great idea! Can’t wait to see how your pants turn out! I’m sure great as always!

    Your little girl is such a cutie, and your doggie too! 🙂

  2. Great idea! I want to give it a try. Also I have a couple shirts which are way too big. I think I could make a pattern from one that fits and make altering them easier and more accurate.

    • HI Sandi!
      If you are happy with a garment, try this method. Sew up one garment and if you are happy with it, then you can put the pattern on tag (a thick paper that comes in rolls) to re-use the pattern over and over again.
      Welcome to my blog! 🙂

  3. Hello! Great tutorial, an idea i have never seen before. I really like your blog, just found it from the 2015 RTW fast group. You have a new follower!

  4. OH I am SO excited! I wore out a cool bib overall jumper years ago and tried to copy it but the whole thing came out giant because I was basically trying to trace to copy and ened up adding at least a half inch to each piece..I’m looking forward to trying this to get more accurate pieces!. thank you!

    • HI Kitty!Yay- so glad you found this helpful. Let me know if you end up trying it..even if its not a carbon copy, you can still use the rub off as a base and do some minor alterations to get the fit perfected!!

  5. An ingenious idea. I had tried many times to copy pants as they are so hard to find any that fit. This technique is so simple and worked very well. I finally have another pair of pants that fit just right. Thank you so much for sharing a terrific tip

    • I am so glad this method worked for you. I think all women worldwide share the frustration of not finding pants that fit! Now that you have the perfect pattern, you could even commit it to tag (manilla paper) to use it over and over again!

  6. This looks like such an interesting method! I’m writing a tutorial on how to make a baby tee shirt pattern, and I’d like to link to this post as an alternate method. Is that okay?

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