I'm so excited to be a part of The Great Pattern Hack, hosted by Michael Miller Fabrics (Making it Fun) and A Happy Stitch! So excited in fact, that I decided to sew up not one, not two, but three pattern "hacks" using Michael Miller Fabrics!
After looking over all of the amazing Michael Miller fabrics I immediately thought, " Fourth of July"! Not that the new fabric lines scream red, white and blue, but the fabrics that I fell in love with kind of did. And, hey why not sew up a family's worth of red, white and blue for the Fourth?
Where to start now?...
The pattern I was given to "hack" was the Josephine Dress by Violette Field Threads (seems appropriate, right?). The dress is such a sweet dress, with the ruffle placket and pintucks and collar! The thing is, it's a dress and for whatever reason, unless it's of the knit variety, Violet just isn't reaching for dresses these days. So, why not turn the Josephine Dress into a romper!
I used the ever popular City Gym Shorts from the Purl Bee as the bottoms for the romper. To "hack" it I first sewed each piece (shorts and blouse) as instructed until the blouses hem and the shorts waistband. At this point I cut the waistband for the shorts and sewed the two short ends together. However the waist band was too small compared to the bottom circumference of the blouse. Next, I measured the circumference of the blouse and found the difference between the two. In order to be able to pin the blouse to the shorts their circumferences needs to be equal, to do that I simply added two folds or "pleats" to the bottom of the blouse.
Begin by marking 1" from the outside pleat, and then 4" (I had an 8" difference). Fold fabric from the 1" mark toward the 4" mark (toward the side seam of the blouse) to make a pleat. Press the folded fabric behind the pleat toward the middle of the shirt, pin in place. Repeat with the other side. Next, check to see that the waist band of the shorts aligns with the bottom of your blouse. If you need to make changes make your pleats slightly smaller or larger depending on the sizes you are working with.
Next, sew the waist band onto the shorts by aligning the raw edges of the shorts and waistband, right sides together, sew with a 1/4" seam allowance. Next, with the shorts inside out and blouse right side out tuck the blouse into the shorts (thus right sides facing). Align the raw edges of the blouse and shorts waist band with the center front/back and side seams of each aligned. Sew together with a 2 1/4" seam allowance. Zig zag raw edge of the waistband/blouse together. Press the seam allowance down toward the shorts to cover the seam where the shorts and waistband meet. Beginning at the back center, stitch seam allowance from the inside to create a casing, leave a 2" opening. Cut a length of 1 1/4" elastic to equal your child's waist, feed it through the casing, overlap elastic ~1" and stitch together. Stitch opening closed...and you are done!
I love the end result! A sweet "rosie" romper that is perfect for the Fourth of July but, also perfect for any summer day! I did make one other small change in the blouse, since it's a romper I didn't want Violet to have to deal with too many fiddly buttons when it was time to go to the bathroom (romper issues...) so instead I finished my placket using Snap tape! Oh, and the romper didn't really need the sash used in the pattern...but it did make a great little hair accessory!
Next, for Henry a "Firecracker" shirt...
This is really the simplest of "hacks", turn a sleeved shirt into a sleeveless one! I followed the instructions as is, omitting, of course the sleeves. Instead, I used 3/4" double fold bias tape to finish the sleeves. Open bias tape up all the way, align the raw edge of the bias tape with the sleeve edge, right sides together (fold the end of the bias tape over ~1/4" toward the wrong side of tape to hide raw edge of the tape) pin in place around the arm opening. Stitch with a 5/8" seam allowance, using the first fold crease as a guide, overlap tape slightly at the end. Press tape toward the raw edge and then foldover the raw edge. Press the bias bound edge toward the inside of the shirt, stitch in place 1/8" from the bias tape edge.
I love the way this turned out and Henry is thrilled by his new "firecracker" shirt! I think there will definitely be more of these made! He likes it because now he has a "handsome tank top" that he can wear when he needs to be handsome!
Last, but not least, moi!
I used On the Town and the Short Sleeved Jumpsuit from Burdastyle to "hack". The initial changes or additions I made were...finishing the sleeves the same way I did with Henry's above but with 1/4" double fold bias tape, I didn't want to have to fiddle with hemming the sleeves. I also added piping, because...why not, right?!
But the real "hacks" were the addition of buttons...
(Awesome red, white and blue beaded necklace from Madre Beads!)
And a bra strap "hider"...
Because, you know...there's only so much cleavage you want to show and ...who wants to see your bra strap in the back!
For both of these "hacks" I first sewed up the jumpsuit as instructed, when it was complete I put it on to figure out where I need the buttons and strap. I pinched closed the front where I felt I need the extra coverage and marked a place for the buttons. Once you've figured out the proper placement, sew elastic loops (I used a hair tie cut in half) onto the top overlap, and the buttons onto the other side. Simple as that, less cleavage showing!
For the back bra strap cover, with the jumpsuit on, mark (or have someone else do it for you) with an invisible pen where your bra strap shows on both sides of the overlap. Measure width of your bra strap. Cut two strips of fabric that are about 4" long by the width of your bra strap plus 1". Sew fabric strips right sides together with 1/4" seam allowance, turn right side out, tuck short ends in and sew closed. Next, lay your jumpsuit flat with the back facing up, tuck your bra strap cover inside your jumpsuit at the marks you marked. Pin in place and then stitch in place along previously stitched lines. Tada, no more bra strap!
Oh this was fun, wasn't it? I have to be honest with you, at first, I was worried about the whole "hack" part of this project...but, really in the end, I love the simple little changes that I made to each of the patterns. It wasn't anything mind blowing, but they were changes that made each of the patterns what I wanted them to be, they may be simple but a hack doesn't have to completely turn a perfectly good pattern inside out does it?
We all love our new red, white and blue...
And had a grand old time taking some fun photos too!
What is The Great Pattern Hack?
The Great Pattern Hack is a two-week celebration of bloggers, fabric, pattern designers and creativity running from June 29th to July 12th. Co-hosted by Michael Miller fabrics and A Happy Stitch, each day of the blog hop, a blogger will 'hack' a pattern, using awesome patterns and brand, spanking-new Michael Miller fabrics. Each blogger is using an existing pattern but making it their very own. Unique in all the world.
What is wrong with a pattern? Why do you have to hack it? It sounds so mean.
Nothing! Nothing is wrong with a pattern as is. Not a thing! We are pattern hacking to mix it up, to have fun and make it our very own. We have gathered some of the best, most creative, lively blogging sewists to share how big (or little) tweaks can offer so many versatile options without big (or scary) efforts. Think of us as sewing ninjas armed with fabric, scissors, and thread preparing to explode some awesomeness TNT. :)
How to get involved.
Want to join in! Grab some Michael Miller Fabric and show us your stuff! Hack a pattern and share your pics via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Hashtag your creations with #greatpatternhack #michaelmillerfabrics #ahappystitch and tag us so we can see your sewing ninja skills! There will be giveaways throughout the hop so get involved!
*I was given all patterns and fabric as a part of this blog event, but all opinions are 100% my own.
Happy Independence Day to you all!
Check out the rest of the tour...
The Great Pattern Hack team:
Monday 6/29 :: kick off with Jess Abbott from The Sewing Rabbit
Tuesday 6/30 :: Kait Witte from Making it Fun (Michael Miller Fabrics)
Wednesday 7/1 :: Delia Randall from Delia Creates
Thursday 7/2 :: Jane Kohlstein from Buzzmills
Friday 7/3 :: Me! A Happy Stitch
Monday 7/6 :: Rachael Gander at Imagine Gnats
Tuesday 7/7 :: Tamara Serrao at Kaya Joy
Wednesday 7/8 :: Betsy Blodgett from Indygo Junction
Thursday 7/9 :: Laura Titchner from Craftstorming
Friday 7/10 :: Kristin Timm from Skirt As Top
Saturday 7/11 :: Jessica and Ericka at Violette Threads
Monday 7/13 :: Celina Bailey at Petit A Petit and Family
Tuesday 7/14 :: Sanae from Sanae Ishida
Wednesday 7/15 :: Erin Sundet at Sewbon
Thursday 7/16 :: Wrap up and Surprise Giveaway!!!