sewing machines


Have you ever had a favorite piece of clothing that you wished you had a pattern for so you could recreate it for sewing on your Janome 660? If this is something that interests you, the good news is that it is easier than you might think to copy garments to sew on home sewing machines.

With a little effort and good tracing skills, you can make your own pattern from a favorite shirt or other favorite garment, then sew it on any of the great Janome sewing machines available.

What You Need

To copy any garment and make your own paper pattern to recreate a garment on your home sewing machine, you will need the following items:

  • Wax, craft, or pattern paper for the pattern.
  • Straight pins.
  • Various clear and flexible rulers.
  • A pencil or pen.
  • A surface you can pin to, like a piece of carpet.
  • Fabric with similar qualities as the original to keep shaping the same.

Lay Out Paper and Garment

Start by pinning your paper to the pinning surface to hold it down. Next, lay out your garment face up over the paper so it is flat. Be sure to use pieces of paper large enough for each different piece of the pattern. Fold the garment as needed so you can trace individual sections that must be pieced together and stitched on your sewing machine when making your new piece of clothing.

Trace the Garment

Choose one part of the garment to trace around. Please a line of pins into the paper around the edges of the fabric. Once you have pinned the shape of the piece into the paper, remove the pins and connect the pinholes with a pencil and ruler. Use a flexible ruler to draw accurate curves. You can also trace around the garment using a tracing wheel to mark the shape of the pieces.

Add Seam Allowance

Before cutting out your pattern pieces, remember to add a seam allowance so the garment fits properly after you have sewn it on your Janome 660. Mark an extra 5/8-inch on all sides of the outline on the paper to denote the seam allowance. Most seam allowances are 5/8, so add that same familiar amount to make your seams accordingly. Add extra to the pattern for areas where the fabric needs to be folded over, such as waistbands.

Mark the Pattern Pieces

After adding seam allowances to the paper pattern pieces, go through and add the essential marks that a professional pattern designed for sewing on Janome sewing machines would have. Make indications where waistbands, buttons and closures, pintucks, seam intersections, darts, pocket placements, collar endpoints, and any others to help you get the best fit when the time comes to assemble all the pieces.

Cut Out the Pattern Pieces

Once your paper tracings have been clearly marked, a seam allowance has been added, and each piece has been individually labeled as to its part of the pattern, you can begin the cutting process. Then use the newly copied paper pattern pieces the same as you would any professionally-made pattern.

By using this simple method, anyone can copy a favorite garment to recreate it with personal sewing machines like the Janome 660. Be sure to take your time, remember to add extra space for seam allowances, and include all important marks so you get the right fit. You may want to start out with a simple project like a t-shirt for your first project. Before you know it, you will be making all kinds of garments with Janome sewing machines whether you have a purchased pattern or not!

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