Sewing is a form of art. No one can deny that! There are many artistic choices involved when you create a garment-from beginning to end! Others may think that the art is over after you choose your pattern and your fabric, but we sewists know better! We make choices throughout the creation of our garments, and therefore the end result is always our own unique creation.
Every detail you come up with during sewing will change the look of your end product. The buttons matter. The lace matters. The fabric definitely matters. And if you are feeling adventurous, you can add your own “twist” to your pattern!
How many of you have had this happen before: you envision a garment. Maybe it has a full skirt and a v-back with a placket and two buttons. Maybe the skirt is pleasantly full and perfect for spinning. And so your pattern search begins! You look through your own supply and then you visit a few sewing shops to see if they might have what you are picturing, but no one has exactly what you want. They might have a v-back dress, but the skirt doesn’t suit you! Or maybe the neckline is perfect but you wish the pattern was a little different at the back. This situation must happen to everyone, and what is the solution? We alter the pattern.
Some people may be a bit daunted when they hear those words, but if you can find a pattern that is close to your needs then changing a neckline here and a sleeve there is really not a huge endeavor. Let’s take a look at a few projects some of our friends at Farmhouse have “made their own”.
Miss Sally created this shirt using a Wink and a Nod’s pattern “Cissy”. Now, as you might know, this pattern is actually for a dress, and the dress has a slight v-neck in front. So what did Sally alter in order to get this new look? She changed it up by cutting a straight neckline front (and of course, remembering to cut the front lining piece the same way-those details can trip you up if you’re not careful!). The version Miss Sally made is a size 4, and she measured up 6″ from the cutting line for the hem of the dress. Ta-da! A fun, flared shirt!
Another simple way of changing up a garment is at work in this shirt version of the Bonnie Blue “Ayla Rose” pattern. Our friend Regena gave us the idea of removing the bottom layer of the dress to create a sweet top with a peplum look to it. We liked her work so much we made one of our own for our advertisement in the Fall edition of “Classic Sewing”!
So those are examples of changes that involve taking something away. What about if you add something to the pattern?
You would never think that something as simple as a sash can change the look of a project, but it’s true! Take a look at Miss Sally’s version of a Wink and a Nod’s “Janie-Belle Jumper”! You can see in the photo on the left the unaltered version of the dress, and then on the right you can see the dress with a wide velvet ribbon added. Miss Sally also added belt loops to secure the sash, and the garment is revolutionized by that simple touch!
The dress in the photo at the beginning of this post is another one of Miss Sally’s alteration adventures. She took the Bonnie Blue “Laurel” pattern and changed up the back! She cut a lower back and added a fun bow as some extra detail, and then piped the whole neckline to tie the colors together!
One of the appeals of sewing is that you can truly make your own unique project. You can create something that is beautiful and special and unlike anything that has been seen before. All it takes is some imagination!