Pattern Hacking Smorgasbord

First off, thank you for the wonderful comments and messages on all my social media formats on my last post. Your support means so much to me and helps life me up on bad days. I cannot thank you enough for both reading my posts on chronic illness and responding to them. Even a “like” makes me feel better. Chronic illness can be so isolating and lonely, but I love having an online community to make that feel less and less true. I may be at home in bed, but I am able to feel the love. ❀

I can’t use the word Smorgasbord without thinking of Charlotte’s Web.

Man, that rat knows how to live. It is living its most authentic life. Hahah.

August was pattern hacking month at the CSC and I got quite a bit of inspiration from the posts that fueled some recent sewing.

First up on my recent pattern hacks, is a Cashmerette Concord T-shirt. Anyone who follows me knows this is my TNT t-shirt pattern. I just adore it. It fits me perfectly. So why even try another t-shirt pattern to achieve what can easily be done with an existing pattern?

I didn’t even make a paper pattern for this. I was feel super lazy and having a low energy and medium pain day. I grabbed my tailor’s chalk and just made the adjustments with that on the actual fabric. I had minimal fabric leftover from my friend’s dress, but it was determined to become a 1980s inspired top.

The shirt is a bit of a flashback to an early 80s top that I vaguely remember and can’t find a single picture of. The 80s top had a tie neckline with a keyhole too and puffed sleeves with cuffs and a banded hem. Because of the small amount of fabric there was no way I could stripe match and I had to cut it shorter than I would prefer. I cut the back going in the opposite direction from the front and failed to remember to take a picture of that.

It was an easy top to hack. I extended the width of the sleeve across the entire sleeve from the centre. This gives enough width for the gathers at the sleeve head and the gathers around the sleeve band. I cut the sleeve band against the grain. This does effect the stretch of the fabric so I had to extend the length. I am probably about an inch and half too short for that so I do find the sleeve band doesn’t quite hit in the right place. But I was working with very little fabric and didn’t have enough for a longer band. I used my chalk to draw the shape of the keyhole and then cut a very long neckband. I also cut a small piece of fabric to finish the keyhole. The easiest part was likely the bottom band. You cut it slightly shorter than your hem. I didn’t even need to really cut it. It was the bottom edge of the fabric after cutting off the sleeves on the fold. I think I may have cut it a bit shorter and that is it.

Well I like this so far! #concordtshirt #sewing #sewcialists

A post shared by Andie W. (@sewprettyinpink) on

Cashmerette Concord T

I just love the top and really want to make more that look the same. Since I didn’t make a pattern paper for this, I will have to do backtracking and make it. I can’t kick past Andie for not doing it. It was an accomplishment for me to cut out the top that day. No way I was putting my spoons toward making a pattern.

Next up on the pattern hacking smorgasbord is a *finally* finished pleated Cake Pavlova skirt. Another TNT pattern for me. Speaking of TNTs, which is all that I used in this post, have you heard of the upcoming Sewcialist TNT month? I’m pretty excited for it! Clearly TNTs have also been on my mind.

Cake Patterns Pavlova Skirt

The skirt is black so unfortunately you might not see the pleats I added. There are two pleats halfway between the centre and the side seam on each side and on both the front and back.

A note on the socks. They are the Wolf and the Tree Going Rogue socks. I never got around to posting on them and these are the only pair I made. I will say they run bigger than I thought they would and I had to size down significantly. I really love them though and will eventually get around to making more since I am on board with matching my socks and cardi (cardi is my Gryffindor Sophi Cardi).

Cake Patterns Pavlova Skirt

There is a side seam pocket on the left side of the skirt and the zipper is on the left side of the skirt.

Cake Patterns Pavlova Skirt

The above picture highlights the pleats a bit better. The fabric is from the thrift store and is a lovely and extremely soft cotton stretch suiting. I had no idea fabric like that existed, but it is lovely. The waistband is unfortunately a bit tight. It’s due to the interfacing on the waistband. I am hoping it relaxes with washing. I should have used knit interfacing to make for pie room in the waistband. I started making the skirt earlier this year and left it aside to take out the waistband. I’m kick myself for not removing the interfacing at the same time. 😦

As long as I am not swollen or having GI issues, I can wear the skirt without issue. It’s just not going to be one I reach for on bad days.

Finally, my last pattern hack is using the Cashmerette Springfield top.

While at work one day, I got it in my head and HAD to draw it out.

I have been wanting a tie-neck top for a while and had never gotten around to it. I saw Elizabeth make a top with ruffle cap sleeves and just had to make one. Then my brain suddenly put the two together at work and I freaked out because it became my dream top. Add to that a lovely tunic length and a high-low split hem! OMG. A veritable smorgasbord!

Cashmerette Springfield Top

Cashmerette Springfield Top

Edit: No shame posting the back with a big sweat stain from having worn it all day. Hahah. πŸ˜› Shirt is poly crepe so no breathing! Also as an aside… I’m noticing how wonky my ankles are looking here. Yeay, EDS? lol

For this pattern hack, I had changed the neckline to a v-neck. I just drew the line on my pattern and folded it under. I extended the front by 2 inches and the back for 3.5 inches for the high-low hem. The top already has a split hem. I used the pattern view with the princess seams on the back. I do see from pull lines that I might benefit from going up a size in the butt area due to the extra length and needing to skim over my widest asset (har har). But otherwise, the fit is good. I added some handstitched gathers to the shoulder area of the neckband to help it sit well. The ruffle cap sleeves are just long rectangles gathered. The sleeve and neckline are finished with bias binding.

Cashmerette Springfield Top

Cashmerette Springfield Top

Cashmerette Springfield Top

Really feeling myself in that picture. Ha!

Cashmerette Springfield Top

A bonus to this post is my alteration of my Auberley dress. The sleeves never quite felt right. They were big enough, but with EDS sometimes woven sleeves can be too constricting and can cause issues. I split them down the centre and then added some cute cuffs with snap closures and gathered the sleeve hem into them. What I achieved is a sleeveless feel for my wonky joints but a sleeved look that is “on trend.”

And now after all that, I want some fair food. Bring on the cotton candy and popcorn!

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9 thoughts on “Pattern Hacking Smorgasbord

  1. Well done Andie! Great clothes and love the idea for the sleeve that deals with your issues. My sleeves are currently having to deal with splints from fingertips to midway to my elbow.
    Your looking good, I know that can be a pain when you’re really struggling, so here’s hoping it’s something good to hear.
    Thinking happy, positive thoughts for you, Take care. Lucy

    • Thank you so much, Lucy! I was also thinking ahead to maybe needing splints soon. The tendons in my elbow and hands are going so I can’t grip a lot anymore and have them fall out of place easily. So I will definitely need braces soon.

      On looking good, I definitely have an invisible illness. I look great, but am sick. Although, this was a nice string of good days albeit with little sleep. lol.

      Sending you happy and postive thoughts and lots of gentle hugs!

      • So sorry you’re going to need splints 😦 But, if you need any tips on making them more personal while not impeding what they do give me a shout.
        I’m on half term from Adult Ed and have decided it’s time my power wheelchair got a makeover so I’m having all the metal work sprayed Rose gold, the seat, headrest/arm rests are a soft but darker gold faux leather. My waterproofs have a zebra from my toes to top of my chest standing against a background of light browns, ochre and old gold. Whenever it rains here (often!) I think of you and my fellow Zebra.
        I understand the `invicible illness’ I swear I look great to people when I’m at my worst.
        Take care, butterfly hugs and lots of good thinking Lucy

  2. I also get that song in my head all the time! Top quality song reference. I have a couple of concord hacks in my brain at the moment – this might give me the push to get them out of my head and into reality. Maybe. I’m feeling pretty lazy lately! (In a morally neutral way :P)

I love comments, but sometimes I may be slow to respond/approve. I will respond though. :)

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