Thursday, September 22, 2016

Pattern Hacks

You see pattern hacks all around the internet. Mine is not especially different but it was fun to puzzle out.

The bias binding hasn't been pressed, so it is a little bubbly.

It started when I saw a blog post at The Sewing Workshop (TSW) involving a variation on their Eureka top. This is such a simple pattern - front cut on fold, back cut on fold, and sleeve cuffs - so it is perfect for some easy hacks.

The folks at TSW worked with knits, as well as some Alabama Chanin techniques and the results are quite lovely. So I dutifully followed their instructions to create new pattern tissue. That's when I realized that such an approach would not let me use some pretty remnants I wanted to use. So I started over with blank front and back pattern tissues. The tissue was cut for the full front and the full back.

Next I placed a remnant underneath the pattern tissue and determined where my slicing of the pattern tissue should occur. I drew a line on the pattern tissue following a straight edge on the remnant. That way, the slicing was based on the specific remnants I had. After each slice, I added tissue for the 5/8 inch seam. Sometimes I added 1.25 inches to one seam in order to max out my use of a particular piece of fabric. This was a fun puzzle to solve.

Finally I put it all together. I am fairly pleased with the result. The drape is very different with a woven fabric than with the knits that TSW used. My fabrics are cotton (black and white shot), silk dupioni (solid black) and a Japanese cotton print.

I also have been *hacking* on a completed pair of pants. These started life as a nice basic (yawn) pair of Valencia pants in a pretty gray textured linen. No sooner had I finished them than I somehow brushed up against some bleach, leaving an ugly spot in a prominent place.

Another Eureka in a pin-striped woven fabric, Valencia pants in gray shot linen.

The spot was not in a particularly great place for a pocket, so I added a hand-appliqued patch using remnants from the linen. Then I added some additional patches so it would not look so odd. It was OK. In fact the patches are pretty hard to see.

But every time I put them on, I took them back off again. They just seemed frumpy to me.

So the next step was to create 6" darts in the hem at each side. These pants have no side seams and that created a slight lantern shape. I liked that better but it still needed something else. So finally I added a 1 inch horizontal pleat right above the dart, and a pocket (why not?) near the waist band. The pants now hit me right above my ankle, as this shortened them by a total of 2 inches.

You have to look closely to see the patches on the left side. You can see the pocket on the right side.

I like these a lot, way more than the original pants. I think I like pattern hacking.