How to hack patterns, sharing my hints and tips…

Hi everyone – this blog accompanies my YouTube video on pattern hacking tips. You can watch the video by clicking below, all of the patterns I talk about have been linked below (where possible) simply click on the pattern link and it’ll take you straight there.

Tip No. 1 – Take inspiration from the high street, designer wear, Pinterest etc.

I love to take inspiration from all around me and keep a Pinterest board of clothes and outfits I’ve seen that I like to use as inspiration for making new garments. I used a combination of the Megan Nielson Sudley Dress and Fibre Mood Mira Dress patterns to make the dress on the left and a combination of the Sagebrush Top by Friday Pattern Company and the Fibre Mood Norma blouse to make the blouse on the left. Both of these garments had been inspired by outfits I’d seen on the high street. If you’d like to follow me over on Pinterest you can do so here 🙂

Tip No.2 – Add elastic, waist ties or a belt to a garment

If you don’t feel like a dress or top you’ve made is very flattering, particularly with the smock style dresses that are so popular at the moment, consider adding elastic, waist ties or a belt to bring the garment in and give a more flattering fit. The pictures below show my recently sewn Wildergown by Friday Pattern Company before and after adding elastic. I felt much better in this dress after the waist had been drawn in a bit! I’ve used an Art Gallery Rayon to make my version below and it’s linked here.

Tip No. 3 – Try adapting a dress pattern into a top or a top pattern into a dress

Here I’ve used the Megan Nielson Darling Ranges and Sudley dress patterns to create a cropped peplum style blouse by switching up the pattern pieces a little. Over in my video I give some examples for doing this hack the opposite way around and hacking a top into a dress. The left is in an Atelier Brunette Double Gauze and the right is in an Art Gallery Rayon.

Tip No 4. – If a pattern isn’t working for you, think about why and what you could change…

If there’s something you don’t like about a pattern, think about what that is and how you can change it to make the pattern work better for your own personal style and body shape. For example I wasn’t too keen on the skirt and frill of the Myosotis Dress pattern, by simply switching up the skirt tiers and making them more evenly sized, I felt much more happy in the dress once it was made.

Tip No. 5 – Consider changing your sleeve length or removing sleeves altogether…

I made two sleeveless versions of the Megan Nielson Darling Ranges Dress (I use this pattern a lot!!) by making a simple change to the armhole pattern piece and bias binding the armholes where there would have been a sleeve. I love how my two versions of this hack turned out (you can see the other one in my video).

Tip No 6 -. Add frills, ruffles or pockets to make a garment feel more special…

I switched up the pattern pieces of the Sew Over It Shift Dress and Top pattern to add this frill to the shoulder of the long sleeved top version of the pattern. I also added a ruffle to the hem of a recent Indigo Dress by Tilly and the Buttons. These simple additions can create a whole different look in a garment, I’ve used a floral viscose twill for my Indigo dress linked here.

Tip No 7. – Add a button band to a top, dress or playsuit…

It’s a reasonably easy change to add a button band to a garment where there wouldn’t normally be one. In this example I’ve hacked the Sew Over It Poppy Playsuit to have a front button band. I love the different look and feel this gives to the playsuit and it’s always fun to have a play around with some pretty buttons!

I hope these hacks have been helpful and that you enjoy watching my video too 🙂 Don’t forget to follow me over on Instagram for more photos and sewing chit chat.

Take care and happy sewing!

Sally xx

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