As you know, every month I like to offer up a new free sewing pattern. But so many people have been asking me recently about how I make the patterns, how they can make their own, and how they can adjust patterns to fit them better or slightly change the style, that I thought a change was in order for this month.
So the free pattern for February is one you already have, and might already have downloaded and sewn. What? Stay with me, because we are going to do something very interesting this month that will change one pattern into something completely different.
Why learn more about sewing patterns?
Understanding how a pattern works, how it is created and can be manipulated is a really important skill for sewing your own clothes.
- It helps you take a simple pattern and add your style to it.
- It helps you understand sizing and see where you may need to make alterations.
- It helps you when you need to alter a commercial pattern for fitting.
- It can help you to create your own custom patterns.
- You can create a pattern in your custom size for the perfect fit when you sew it again next time.
- You can create a whole wardrobe of styles from just a handful of patterns.
Starting with the On A Roll T-Shirt Pattern
If you don't already have it in your pattern library, download the On A Roll T-Shirt pattern here.
Print out the pattern, assemble it and cut out the pattern in your size and now we are ready to get started.
We are going to take this pattern from this to this –> and I'll show you step by step how to do it. Honestly, its easier than you might think.
In the first video we will cover:
- Creating a horizontal contrast band
- Creating a crossover bodice
- Adding pleats to the bodice
- Adding pleats or gathers to the lower section
- All in the places where YOU want or need them
How to create your own crossover top pattern
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In this second video:
- Putting it all together
- Easing larger pieces into the central band
- Sewing the pleats
- Gathering the bottom
- Finishing the top
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References covered in the videos:
- Original On A Roll T-Shirt
- Fusible Knit Stay Tape and using a Twin Needle
- How to gather with Dental Floss
- The So Sew Easy Forum
Tweaking the design and fit
Having completed my top, there are a few small tweaks I would make to this pattern if I was to sew it again and get it just as I wanted it. I would:
- take the central band up another inch or maybe and inch and a half to fit closer under the bust
- make the central band 1/2 inch narrower
- add a few extra gathers to center front to give it just a bit more volume under the band
- add on an inch or two to the length
Then I would have the perfect pattern I could sew time and time again.
Other projects and patterns you can try
If you have enjoyed learning more about pattern hacking, you may also love the tutorials on how to draw up your own custom fit patterns for leggings and for a straight skirt. Understanding the principles behind the fit on these patterns can really help you achieve a better fit in everything that you sew. Having a custom-fit pattern also makes it very quick to sew up a new garment in exactly the right size any time you want, knowing no alterations are needed.
You should also check out these classes on Craftsy about how to take one pattern and make it into variations, all while keeping the same great fit: