To break anything down to its basic shapes (and to make a pattern from those shapes) you'll need tools. For this floral knit dress, I used the seam ripper and the awl. A seam ripper is great for cutting the threads and an awl is perfect for pulling the threads out.This way, the threads break while the fabric stays intact. You can use a safety razor blade and scissors (also shown), but they work best when you've already done a lot of dissections and aren't nervous about cutting yourself.
This dress was sewn together using a 4-thread overlock stitch, which is standard for most t-shirts and knitwear. If it's not clear in my pictures, I cut and pulled at the straight threads, not the looped ones. The straight needle threads are the ones that hold the looped threads together. Once you pull them out, the dress is easy to dissect.
Here are the steps in pictures:
A. Laura Brody
I re*make mobility devices and materials and give them new lives. Sometimes I staple drape.