Copy Your Clothes

Learn the skills used by couture fashion houses to copy elements of historical garments without the need to pull them apart.

Book Tickets

Is there a favourite shirt you wished was available in another fabric or a skirt worn so much that it has become threadbare?

In this one-day workshop led by creative pattern makers and Museum tutors Rebecca Zehr or Michelle Lewis, learn the skills used by couture fashion houses to copy elements of historical garments without the need to pull them apart.

Under the guidance of our expert tutor, students will be taught the following skills:

  • Identifying the components of a garment
  • Copying the basic garment shapes and details (such as pockets, pleats, gathers)
  • Basics of pattern drafting
  • Adding balance lines, grain lines, seam allowances, notches and cutting instructions
  • How to check the patterns for accuracy

Bring in two simple garments or one more challenging garment to begin in the session and finish at home in your own time. You will need to pin into your garment so please make sure you select something that will not be damaged by pinholes. Using techniques used by couture pattern makers, you will use voile fabric to map out your garment. Rebecca will then demonstrate how to transfer the voile pattern to paper.

Beginners are welcome. No previous pattern making experience is necessary, but students will benefit more if they have some prior sewing experience.

Muslin and specialist equipment are provided but students will need to bring a notebook and pen to make their own notes during the workshop.

Numbers are limited for this workshop, please book early to avoid disappointment. If you have any questions regarding this workshop, please get in touch.

About the tutors

Rebecca Zehr has more than 15 years of experience working as a creative pattern cutter. She has worked for designers such as Mary Katrantzou, Erdem, Victoria Beckham and has developed patterns for a variety of styles ranging from intricate showpieces to tailored designs. Rebecca has an MA in fashion design from the University of Applied Sciences in Hamburg and also completed an apprenticeship as a dressmaker before her studies.

Michelle Lewis has over 10 years of pattern making experience and has worked in London and internationally for renowned luxury fashion labels including Zandra Rhodes. 


Confirmation email: Once you have made a booking, you will receive a confirmation email detailing all the information you will need prior to your workshop. You will also receive a reminder email one week prior to your workshop.

Registration: Please check your confirmation email for the registration time of your workshop. If the registration time for your workshop is before 11am, please ring the intercom on arrival. For health and safety reasons, it is not possible to admit participants earlier than the registration time.

On arrival: Upon entry, please present your ticket(s) on your device or a note of your booking reference number.

Eating and drinking: No food or drink is permitted in the Museum, other than bottled water. The Fashion and Textile Museum is located in the heart of Bermondsey Street, surrounded by award-winning restaurants, cafes and pubs. So, if you would like to enjoy a meal or a drink before or after your visit, there is plenty to choose from. For more information, check out our plan your visit page or our FAQs.

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