Friday, November 3, 2017

One Pattern So Many Ways, All In One Place/A Great Design Resource

I love patterns! There was a time when I couldn't wait for the new Vogue pattern catalog to come out. I would go to the store and literally sit for at least an hour(if not more!)and dream over the patterns. Better than a Christmas wishbook for me! 

Then...I went to school and learned how to design and draft my own patterns. One thing I learned is that a good basic design is really all you need, well that and some instructions :)

A while back, I took Butterick 5678, which is sadly out of print, but available on sites like Ebay and Etsy, and showed you how to take it from a basic shirt and add lots of design details. The instructions are a little difficult to find as they are all over the blog, so I thought I would consolidate them all here on this post. That way, if there is something you would like to try, you can easily find it. 

This was the first piece that I did. The basic shirt was used, but a Peter Pan collar added and a change in the sleeve. You can find the instructions for the Perter Pan collar HERE, and the sleeve instructions HERE.

While this looks rather complicated, it's really quite easy. The collar tutorial can be found HERE, and the sleeve tutorial HERE

This is a favorite of mine, the raised neckline. The collar tutorial can be found HERE, and the sleeve tutorial HERE.

This is a wide variation of the shawl collar. Look closely and you'll see that the collar sits up a little higher on the back of the neck. This is one of my favorite dresses for summer. The tutorial for the collar can be found HERE.

This is the narrow version of the shawl collar. You can find the tutorial for the collar HERE, the sleeve tutorial HERE, and the circular skirt tutorial HERE

I also showed you how to take the pattern and turn it into a summer jacket and add pockets HERE. The sailor collar tutorial is HERE. The sleeve has a turned up cuff, and that tutorial can be found HERE.

And finally, my favorite of all!!!!, my zebra dress. You can see my design process HERE.

This is a dress that I find every excuse to wear. 

Although the pattern I used is out of print, plenty of basic shirt patterns can be found. Any of these designs can be used with a pattern that has a good neckline, the shoulder seam sits at the shoulder, and has a princess line seam.

I think it's about time to choose another pattern and have some fun with it. I'll put that on the schedule for January. In the meantime, I'll start looking around for a good basic pattern and deciding how I can manipulate it. If you have any ideas, let me know :)

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This


  1. what a great post, you have shown that a good shirt pattern can be the basis for so many things. I will have to try that stand up collar version, it's so dramatic (in a good way :)

  2. Awesome post! Love, love the zebra dress.

  3. I love this pattern! It's the start of some of my shirtmaking journeys though I haven't used it as extensively or hacked it as much as you have. I totally agree though that a good basic pattern will allow you to make anything you can think of if you're willing to work/hack it.

  4. My favorite is the green dress with binding. But they are all impressive!

  5. I love the raised neckline - I may have to give that a go.

  6. How fabulous pieces, Rhonda! :) All of them are unique and lovely!
    I love patterns too, I have a ton of Burda magazines with all the patterns, and one of my favourite hobbi is just flip through them to find inspiration for my next sewing project. Also, I used to use simple, basic designs for custom orders, sometimes I'm frankensteining a new pattern using the parts of two, three originals. :)

  7. Oh!....that zebra dress!...to die for! I see why you would find any excuse to wear it. Absolutely phenomenal! Well done.

  8. That's wonderful news on your eyes!

    I've been trying very hard to not buy patterns with minor variations of what I have. I have to think hard about the time savings of not drafting new variation vs. having to make changes to the rest of the pattern, since the days of patterns being close to fitting out of envelope are long gone :-( Besides, there's only so much room in the pattern boxes. Thanks for showing what can be done with 1 pattern!

  9. You just keep on giving Rhonda - thank you very much

  10. Thanks so much for this post. Am always learning from you!

  11. Oh wow that Zebra dress is vavaboom!

  12. Thank you for putting them all in one post. I especially love that zebra dress! To die for!