Archive for Pattern Hack

Designer Inspired Silk Tanks

Hello, what have you been sewing? I’ve been working on some silk tanks. I saw this look from the Bally 2015 Spring collection and was really taken with the v-neck tank. The front seam, deep v, wide shoulder – yep, all of it. I decided to work from my Scout Tank which is loosely based on Grainline’s Scout Tee.

Here’s the first version:

Scout Tank

It’s made from a remnant of pale pink silk noil. Love the combination of drape and texture in this fabric.

Scout Tank

Scout Tank
For the next one I decided the v needed to be deeper and the shoulders a bit wider. The shoulder seams needed to be moved towards the back. And there was a bit of pulling from the armscye towards my bust – not enough to be uncomfortable, but enough to tweak the fit a little. Here’s the second version:

Scout Tank

Woohoo! Very happy with this one – it’s got the design features I liked in the Bally tank and is perfectly wearable in real life (ahem, the v-neck is safe to wear to work). The armscye fits better too.

Scout Tank

This one is made from a lavender silk-cotton twill. I am so digging lavender right now and having a hard time finding fabric this color. I’d like to make one more of these. I think a fabric with a little more body might be nice – any suggestions?

Scout Tank

I’m also joining Gray All Day’s Sew it Chic link up this week. Be sure to check it out!

Details: started with Grainline Scout Tee sz 0, added front center seam, v-neck, wider shoulders, lower armscye, and pretty sure the original pattern was shortened 1″ or more

Feature or Flaw?

Although I’ve sewn plenty of cooler weather things it’s been hard to get inspired for pictures. But now that it feels like spring I’m ready to find a cool doorway… This is a swing tank based on Grainline’s Scout Tee first seen in a wild floral last fall.

Feature or Flaw?

Have you ever bought a piece of fabric and then discovered a big flaw that you couldn’t cut around? That’s what happened with this black linen. There’s a pretty noticeable line where the fabric changes from light grey to dark grey. I debated buying more fabric or covering the line with trim. In the end I figured why not make it a design feature! I was able to line it up on the front just over the bust like a yoke. And I think it manages to look pretty intentional. What do you think?

Feature or Flaw?

The only change I made for this version was to reduce the amount of swing a little. I just overlapped some of the “slashed & spread” sections to make it a bit more fitted through the body – I probably took out about an inch from the front and back. Next time I may lengthen it a bit in the front.

Details: based on Scout Tee sz 0, added about 3″ width to the bottom of the front and back, shortened by 1″, cut in the shoulders, brought the neckline up and added a bias bound slit to the neck

Hemlock Sweater

This project started with a perfect teal sweater knit from Stonemountain. I’d already used this fabric in dark and light grey to make two pairs of Hudson pants so I knew it was easy to work with and nice to wear. I noticed that Beth at SunnyGal Studio just posted a sweater she made with this knit too! So if you happen to live the in Bay area you might want to get some of your own.

Hemlock Sweater

I used a modified version of Grainline’s free Hemlock tee pattern. I’ve used it before to make a few t-shirts, including one that I “skinnied” by removing 2″ of width from the front and back. I also lengthened the sleeves, and used bands to finish the neck and sleeves. The pattern has been shortened by several inches, too.

Hemlock Sweater

The fabric has a bit of drape and makes for a nice, relaxed and casual fit. A confession: I’ve already bought more of this fabric in a dark grey but I haven’t decided what to do with it. Maybe a Linden sweatshirt? Any suggestions?

Details: Grainline Hemlock tee, removed 2″ width from front & back, lengthened & narrowed sleeves, shortened by ~4 inches?, used bands to finish neck and sleeves, double needle hem

Rachel Comey Inspired Peplum Top

This project was inspired by this fantastic boxy peplum top by Rachel Comey. It spoke to me for so many reasons: the gathered peplum is only in the front – the back is straight, so not too much poof, a boxy fit and casual vibe, girly but not too girly… also love that color – anyone know where I can get my hands on some lavender silk CDC?

Rachel Comey Inspired Peplum Top

This top started me on a boxy gathered peplum inspiration binge – just check out my fall sewing pinterest board if you want to see more! Or take a look at the lovely pepruffle top that Lisa at notes from a mad housewife made.

Rachel Comey Inspired Peplum Top

I used Butterick 3383 as my starting point. I cut the bodice pieces at the shorten/lengthen line and added a gathered rectangle to the front and a flat rectangle to the back and I lengthened the sleeves a little (wrinkles are optional). A pretty easy pattern hack.

Rachel Comey Inspired Peplum Top

I intended this as a test of the pattern hack so the fabric is a sage green tencel twill that I reclaimed from another project. I had to piece together several sections for the front peplum since there was barely enough fabric. In the end I love it and have been wearing it constantly. The next one is almost done!

Details: B3383 sz XS shortened at the shorten line, gathered rectangle added to front, flat rectangle added to back, sleeves lengthened about 2″

Scout Swing Tank

Another Grainline Scout pattern hack! I’m getting so much mileage out of this pattern. The inspiration for this top started with the Madewell Scout tutorial that Jen posted. I decided to mix it up a little and use it to create my own version of a different Madewell top. There are an awful lot of Madewell tops on my pinterest boards to choose from!


I slashed & spread the pattern to create the swing shape and cut in around the shoulders a bit more than on my previous Scout tank hack. I used Madewell Scout variation tutorial for the split neck. I also brought the length up a little.


I picked up the fabric from the sale floor at Stonemountain & Daughter. It’s a cotton jacquard with an interesting loose weave. The print is both loud and a floral – not my usual style. This was intended as a wearable muslin but I’ve ended up wearing it quite a bit. I’ve also made another version in a black yarn-dyed linen which I’ll tell you about when I get a picture.


Details: a little fuzzy – started with the Scout in sz 0, added 4″ width to the bottom of the front and back, shortened by 1″, cut in the shoulders, brought the neckline up and added a bias bound slit to the neck

End of Summer Malvarosa

After making my first Malvarosa I knew I wanted to make another… with a few changes. No good pattern left unchanged (should be my motto).

First order of business was to pick up some fabric. I headed to Stonemountain & Daughter with “2 yds rayon print” on my shopping list. The bright cobalt blue of this print caught my eye. Later I realized this looks very similar to the fabric that Caroline used for her Saltspring dress. Is it the same?


The changes: I wanted a sleeveless dress so I started by switching out the top of the Malvarosa bodice for Butterick 3383 (view C). I have a rayon tank made from B3383 and love the fit so this was an easy choice. I used a bias binding for the neck and armscyes as I’m not a huge fan of facings. Since the rayon is pretty slippery I used a cotton-silk fabric to make the bias tape which makes things a bit easier. I opted to leave out the pockets since I figured the rayon would make droopy pockets. I also shortened the bodice about 1/2″.


I’m still enjoying the drop waist silhouette and this dress has gotten lots of wear during hot summer days. Looking forward to making another one for fall. Maybe in plaid with short sleeves?

Details: Butterick 3383 (view C) sz XS neck through armscyes combined with Malvarosa sz 34 on top graded to 36 at bust and 38 at waist; shortened the skirt by 2 inches; shortened the bodice by 1/2″; bias binding instead of facings

Plantain at the Beach

Remember back to Me-Made-May? I discovered two gaps in my handmade wardrobe: very casual clothes and business clothes. So here’s some proof that I’ve filled in the first gap with a couple of Plantain muscle tees.


This is similar to the last one I made but I straightened out the sides a little more. This is made from a 100% cotton knit and is pretty much what I had in mind when I first hacked this pattern. The knit is from Stonemountain & Daughter in Berkeley and is really soft and light – just right for a summer tank.


This top is perfect for all kinds of adventures, including a day on the Sonoma Coast at Stump Beach in Salt Point State Park.

Details: Deer and Doe Plantain, sz 38, finished with narrow sleeve bands and almost completely straightened out the original plantain waist/hip curve

Anthropologie Inspired Plantain Dress

Another pattern hack! This one was inspired by a dress I saw at Anthropologie. What struck me most was the clever layering of lightweight knits to create an opaque dress. The tiers of light fabric give it nice movement and I also liked the combination of different stripes.

Tiered Plantain Dress

I used the Plantain Tee by Deer and Doe as the base. I got the idea to slash and spread the pattern from FaSewLa’s post about her swingy Plantain tee. And referenced Grainline’s tutorial for instructions. I added about 3 inches of width to the front and back pattern pieces and extended both down by about 12 inches.

Tiered Plantain Dress

I cut two dresses out and attached them at the neck and arm scye so the right side of the bottom layer faces the wrong side of the top layer. The top and bottom layers are hemmed separately which allows the layers to move separately. Both layers are made of lightweight rayon knits. And, yes – they are transparent and clingy on their own but really great together!

Details: Plantain sz 36, slashed and spread to add 6 inches each to front & back, lengthened ~12 inches

Pattern Hack – Grainline Scout Tank

I’ve been on a pattern hacking kick lately. First up is a sleeveless version of the Grainline Scout Tee.

This pattern hack is inspired by a friend with a very cute top. I recently saw her in a loose fitting, slightly cropped tank. Rather than steal hers I thought I’d make my own. Her top reminded me of the Scout Tee so I headed home and whipped up the first version. This one is in Nani Iro Pocho double gauze from Miss Matatabi that I have been hoarding for just the right summer top.

Grainline Scout Tank in Nani Iro Double Gauze

One of the cool things about the inspiration top is the v-neck in back. So I gave that a shot, too.

Grainline Scout Tank in Nani Iro Double Gauze

Altogether very happy with this first attempt. But the more open front and back necklines made it a little loose on top. So to improve the fit I added little ribbon bra-strap carriers using Dixie DIY’s tutorial.

This one’s gotten plenty of wear so I knew I wanted to make another. For the second one I removed a little fabric along the neckline (took a small wedge out of the front and the back) for a closer fit up top and shortened it more.

Grainline Scout Tank in Rayon Chambray

This one is made from a tencel chambray which has a lot of drape. I didn’t want to fuss with using the tencel for bias tape since it’s a bit slippery but I didn’t want to use the heavy cotton-poly pre-made stuff either. So I made some bias tape using a cotton-silk blend that’s been sitting in my stash. It was really easy to work with and a good match to the weight of the fabric.

Grainline Scout Tank in Rayon Chambray

Quick question: does anyone have a good method for applying bias tape around a v-neck? I sort of made this up as I went along and while it turned out ok I wouldn’t mind some tips or pointers to tutorials if anyone knows of one.

Details: Scout woven tee sz 0, lowered armscye, no sleeves, modified front and back neckline (lowered and removed some width), shortened by ~2 inches

Khadi Hemlock

The Grainline Hemlock pattern has been a great base for both knit and woven tops. This is the second time I’ve used this kimono sleeve variation with a woven fabric – the first was with a kick ass Nani Iro double gauze.

Khadi Hemlock

The fabric is a hand-woven khadi from A Verb for Keeping Warm in Oakland. It’s lightweight with a really interesting texture. I added a little pleat to the sleeves which is especially fun with the stripes.

Khadi Hemlock Pleated Sleeve

Details: Grainline studio’s free Hemlock pattern with 2″ removed from the front and the back, the shoulders extended by a couple of inches, 3-4″ shorter, pleated shoulder