Pattern Hack

  • Updated Pattern Review of the Dutchie Jacket

    Pattern: Kids Dutchie Jacket
    Designer: Ellie & Mac
    Fabrics: Black French Terry from Rubyjam Fabrics and Buffalo Plaid Flannel from Spotlight
    Skill level: Intermediate
    Measurements: Chest: 21″; Waist 20.5″; Hips 21″
    Size made: 3
    Adjustments: Hacked their instructions on the welt pocket.
    Pros:Love this jacket cause you can mix woven in the bodice with knit for the sleeves.
    Cons: I found the instructions a little confusing. Definitely read each step before progressing. 

    The Wrap Up

    I’ve actually made this jacket for Jemma before (which you can read here) and while I loved it, I found the instructions a little heavy to follow. To be honest, some of it is that because I am such a competent sewist I tend to assume what the next step will be and go ahead with what I logically think will work, but sometimes patterns need to be done in a certain way for all the elements to work, so it doesn’t always work in my favour to jump the gun!

    As I mentioned in my last review, I wasn’t a huge fan of the visible stitching lines on the front welt pocket, so this time I was determined to alter them out. I cut out all the pieces and ended up having a think about it overnight and came up with a pretty good solution I think.

    I filmed it all to show how I did, you can see it all in the YouTube video below. 

    It is definitely a great pattern all in all, I just recommend you take your time while sewing it and you will get great results.

    How to eliminate the visible stitching lines on the welt pocket, plus short review.

    What next?

    Need help with your sewing? 

    Learn to sew with confidence and let me guide you to more sewing success.

  • Pattern Review of the Willow Wrap Dress with how to add pockets

    Pattern: Willow Wrap Dress
    Designer: Love Notions
    Fabrics: Cotton Lycra from Clover & Co. Fabrics
    Skill level: Confident Beginner
    Measurements: Bust: 45″; Waist 39.5″; Hips 47.5″
    Size made: XL graded to 2XL at waist
    Adjustments: Shortened to Empire waistline
    Pros: Gorgeous pattern for showing off your bustline
    Cons: No pockets, but watch my tutorial on how to add them!

    The Wrap Up

    I love this pattern so much I have made 3 of them!

    I am a huge fan of the Love Notions Willow wrap, it is such a flattering pattern with a variety of options. You can choose from dress or peplum length, and to be honest, you can also cut between the peplum and dress lengths to create a tunic length as well if you wanted. There are also 5 different sleeve options, 2 neckline heights and it is great for Maternity and Nursing.

    I would note that with the flutter sleeve option I think it is better suited for lighter, drapier fabrics as when I used the 220gsm Cotton Lycra it was just a bit too ‘stiff’. I didn’t think it sat as nicely as when I made it from a double brushed poly.

    I also prefer an Empire Waistline to a Natural Waistline, so I used the tutorial I made for the Margot Peplum, also from Love Notions, to shorten my bodice to Empire.

    This is the Feature Friday pattern for Love Notions, Friday 31st March, 2023 which means here in Australia it will be on sale for $5USD (approx. $7.50 AUD) till around 3pm Saturday 1st April.

    Use code MEGAN10 for an extra 10% off at the checkout!

    I also think every dress should have pockets, so make sure you check out my video review below which includes a tutorial on how to add pockets to any dress! Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel while you’re there so you don’t miss any future reviews and tutorials.

    Pattern Review and How to add pockets to your Willow Wrap Dress

    What next?

    Stop wasting fabric and time on projects that don't fit right. 

    Learn to sew with confidence and let me guide you to more sewing success.

  • Pattern Hack – How to create a tunic length from a dress

    Pattern: Tidal Dress & Top
    Designer: Love Notions
    Fabrics: Cotton Lycra
    Measurements: Bust: 44″; Waist 39″; Hips 48″
    Size made: XL graded to 2XL
    Adjustments: None
    Pros: I love the panel at the front on this, its great to give the illusion of a trimmer front section, especially if you use a darker fabric for the back panels
    Cons: I had some trouble with the grading and how it sat on my tummy. I think you need to be really careful when grading out given where the panel is.


    The Wrap Up:

    I recently helped retest the Love Notions Tidal top and while I loved all the length options, I felt that it would lend itself really well to tunic length, so here are my top tips on shortening any dress pattern to tunic length!

    Decide on the length:
    Tunic length is typically longer than shirt length, but shorter than dress, so usually sitting somewhere at the top to mid thigh. I took the above knee piece and cut across the piece about 6 inches up from the bottom of the dress pieces.

    Once I had done that to the front, I loaded my back piece and sat the front piece I had already cut out on top of the back piece.

    I made sure that I lined up my shoulder pieces so that I would know where to cut it along the bottom.

    Once you’ve cut your front and back pieces, you can carry on with cutting the other pieces as normal and put it all together as per the instructions. If the pieces don’t line up exactly, don’t worry too much, you can even them out before you hem it.

    I’m really happy with how the tunic length of this one turned out, as well as the normal shirt l made. The blocking on this one is so flattering, worth giving it a try for sure!


  • Pattern Hack: Adding a Neckband

    Pattern: Wylde Dress/Top
    Designer: Stitch Upon A Time
    Fabrics: ‘Summer Fruits’ from Sew Unique Fabrics. Cotton Lycra 220gsm
    Measurements: Bust: 42.5″; Waist: 39.5″; Hips: 47.5″
    Size made: XL
    Adjustments: Changing the bodice from fully lined to a simple neckband
    Pros: LOVE where this hits my waist and flairs out hiding my tummy
    Cons: The fully lined version was cumbersome, hence this tutorial on using a neckband instead!


    The Wrap Up:

    My first SUAT Wylde that had me falling in love

    I first made the Stitch Upon A Time (SUAT) Wylde in the top version a few weeks ago and immediately fell in love. The fitted bodice, low neckline and skirt that flairs out from the bust is the perfect combo for my figure to help me feel more comfortable about my mum tum. I tend to favour a lower neckline in general as it detracts from my tummy and focuses more on my décolletage.

    The only thing I didn’t love about it was that it was fully lined. Luckily, adding a knit neckband was a really easy thing to do and I’m going to show you how to do it as well!

    Adding, or changing a neckband to either a higher or lower one is a pretty simple process, it just involves some maths. Which you can also do on Google if your mathematically challenged like I am haha.

    Obviously for this example I’m using the SUAT Wylde dress/top, but the same principles apply to any knit top really. To start with, you need to cut all your pieces out as indicated in the pattern except for the lining pieces or collar/hood if its something else you are changing. You then need to sew your front and back pieces together at the shoulder seams. (pic. 1)

    Pic. 1 – Front and back pieces sewn together at shoulder seams
    Pic. 2 – Fold the pieces in half to find the centre of both the front and back

    Next you want to fold your bodice piece in half (as shown in pic. 2) to find the centre of both the front and back pieces. It is easier to do this on a flat surface as next we’re going to measure it.

    Once you’ve done that, you need to lay your bodice pieces out in a way that you can measure the neck opening. (pic. 3) In my example, it is roughly 15.5 inches. Remember, this measurement will be HALF of what the full opening actually is as we folded our bodice pieces in half. Again, for my example, if I could lay out my neck opening flat, it would be about 31 inches.

    Pic. 3 – Laying out the neck opening
    Pic. 4 – Measuring the neckband piece

    Now the ‘Rule’ for working out how long to cut your neckband piece is usually around 85%-90% of your neck opening. My neck opening is roughly 31 inches. I went to Google and typed in 85% of 31 inches = 26.35 inches. The good thing about knit garments is that there is a little bit of wiggle room being that its stretchy. I rounded down to 26 inches. THIS IS YOUR NEW NECKBAND size. I then halved it = 13 inches to make it a little easier to cut the piece.

    To cut your new neckband, get your remaining fabric and fold in half (pic. 4). Now, the height of your neckband is a little bit of personal preference. A common adult neckband height is 1/2″ so this can be a good starting point. You just have to remember to double it, as you’ll be folding the neckband in half and also add a little bit for seam allowance. I generally cut my neckband pieces at a height of 1.5″ x whatever length I need.

    The piece I cut for this garment was 26 inches long by 1.5″ high.

    Once you have that worked out you and cut the new piece can go ahead and attach your neckband as you usually would. If you aren’t super confident at how to sew the neckband on, this is a pretty good tutorial on YouTube to watch by Seamwork.

    My biggest tip for a professional neckband is to make sure you quarter both your neckband and garment. It makes it so much easier to attach and a much nicer finish.

    All done!
    Them just sewn feels 😍

    Finish your neckline with either a twin needle or Coverstitch and Tadah! You’ve just converted your fully lined neck opening to a neckband.

    Now, there are some differences between the 2 garments as seen below. The neckband does give the garment a more ‘closed’ opening, but I definitely still like it. To help give it more of the look of the original design I think the next one I make (yep I’ll be making more cause I love it), I will try a neckband at 95% instead of 85%. This will allow the neckline to be more relaxed and settle back into more of the original opening size.

    I hope this helped give you some confidence to giving this a go yourself, its not as scary as it seems, and if you get it wrong, you can rip it off and try and again 🙂

    Tag me in your makes on Insta so I can see your beautiful creations @sewandtellau