11 Things to Heed When Sewing a Cloned Garment

Dear Readers, thank you for visiting my blog!

Today’s post follows a previous one where I wrote about my class project for an online class. It was on re-creating an existing garment, without taking it apart. It was offered by Kenneth King through PatternReview.com. You can read my previous post to catch up.  Well, I’ve made progress! Two years after taking the class, the clone is finally done.

Obviously the methods used in the class cannot be detailed here, but I urge you to consider it, and it’s still offered on the Pattern Review website. It now has streaming videos, which I did not get the benefit of, two years ago. We did have a live chat with Kenneth, though, and could post on a dedicated forum.

Without further ado, here’s my cloned jacket in glorious pink linen! (Excuse the un-staged, messy sewing room. Yup, that’s Minnie Mouse in the background). The original is in black linen which is also pictured below. To briefly describe it, it has a draped front and a jean-jacket style back.

Finished front
Cloned jacket
Finished back
Clone back
Original back
Original back

Below are a few things to keep in mind when replicating an item exactly:

  1. Keep the original handy until the cloning is done. I mean, completely done.
  2. Examine the original very closely, more than once.
  3. Measure the original garment in all areas including small details – more than once.
  4. Heed the small details. If you’re making an exact replica, details matter. I almost missed four things: 1) small belt ties on the sides, noticing them on the second examination; 2) a small shaped facing which was appliqued to the inside of the collar at back neck, probably to cover the back neck vertical seam; 3) the fact that one of the seams of the two piece sleeve was bound with bias binding, and the other was mock flat-felled; 4) last but not least, the edge of the front drape is an interfaced facing (not just a turned up hem as I previously thought).
  5. Mark the new fabric pieces accurately. Any marking method which can be removed later will work. I used the FriXion pen which disappears with ironing, but still made sure to mark on the wrong side of the project.
  6. Speaking of marking, I used a tracing wheel and carbon only on the muslin.
  7. For Heaven’s sake make a muslin for the first clone.  If you plan to make more copies of the same, a muslin is not necessary for each one. I made all my fit tweaks on the first muslin. My goal was to copy the design of the garment. Other students in the class chose to copy the great fit of their garments.
  8. Make hand basting your BFF!
  9. Keep copious notes and write down every step of your cloning activities. Should you decide in the future to indulge in garment cloning again, these notes will come in handy.
  10. Think through the sewing process. After some thought, I started with the center back seam, downwards to the lower back piece at the waist,  and outwards from there. For experienced sewers, this is pretty intuitive.
  11. Take a cue from the Bishop Method and organize the construction in “units”.

Am I happy with this jacket? You bet! Other than a bit of a poochy area on the armscye back, it’s flattering , and flattering properties are key in a successful garment.  The next version will be a jean jacket in denim. I’m also thinking leather. Any other suggestions? Fall sewing, here I come………….

What do you think of this project? Any questions? Would you take the clone class since it’s something new to learn? Addition to my sewing repertoire was my main reason for taking this class by Kenneth King. And I was thrilled with it!


Usual disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Pattern review.com. I am a happy member of the site, and just loved this class.

6 thoughts on “11 Things to Heed When Sewing a Cloned Garment

  1. Any class with Kenneth King is worth it!
    Thanks again,Samina, for all the great details. Good job on the clone! Sew many ideas, so little time!!


  2. Very nice cloning! Really appreciate your detailed insights on how to do this. I’ve watched the class but not put it to practice. I’ve printed your post, for future reference. Thank you!


  3. Thanks for your comments! They are really appreciated. I learned new techniques in this class – just when I was getting a little smug about knowing all that I have to know about sewing. Which is, of course, not true 🙂


  4. To my eye, the rub-off looks very nice and wearable, but doesn’t look identical. The draped pieces in front look longer and narrower than those on the original jacket. You set yourself a high challenge in picking a draped garment because you have to deal with bias. When I’ve tried to copy garments, I’ve ended up with small inaccuracies that changed the look of the garment.


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