Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sewing Indie Month, Pattern Hacking

What do you see when you look at a pattern? Do you see just the garment that is featured, or do you see the possibilities? When my niece was around 8 years old, I took her to the fabric store to pick out patterns and fabric. She looked through the pattern books and finally chose a couple that she thought she would like. When I told her that we would then choose fabric, she replied, "but I want that." She thought that she would be getting the exact garment that was pictured on the pattern envelope, style and fabric alike. She just couldn't grasp the idea of being able to choose fabric and make something her own.
For all of us who sew, choosing fabric is easy as well as fun, but do we see the possibilities in the patterns that we purchase?
I recently was given this pattern at a blogger meetup.
I was thrilled to get it, but I didn't want to take something that another might really be able to use and enjoy. I commented to someone that this would be a great pattern for them. They replied that it wasn't their style.
So what do I see when I look at this pattern? I see a great high-waisted skirt. With a little closer look at the neckline, I see a wonderful halter dress. I also see a bolero jacket. So many possibilities.
Sew News recently did an article on adding godets to a basic straight skirt. You can find the pattern for the godet here, http://www.sewnews.com/content_downloads/Godet__12662.pdf The article is in the June/July issue.
How about this pattern from Sew Chic Patterns
When I look at this pattern, I see a bargain! In one pattern, you get 2 dress possibilities, a shirt, 2 skirts and a sash. I am hacking this pattern for next week's post, so be sure and drop by next week to see what I've done.
This week I am doing this skirt from Stepalica Patterns.
I've done a little chopping and I am so very excited about the skirt. I'll post it tomorrow.
So as you think about hacking your patterns, take a closer look and see the wealth that the patterns. I think you will be surprised at all the possibilities that can be in one little pattern. 
If you are entering the Pattern hacking contest, be sure to link your entries to this post, http://www.rhondabuss.blogspot.com/2014/05/announcing-sewing-indie-month.html . I can't wait to see your creativity! Get hacking!!

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  1. Hey Rhonda,
    Thanks for this post! I was just thinking the other day i need help with seeing beyond the pattern. But then when i think past it .... i need to know more about piecing different patterns together. (correctly) I have over 150+ pattern...i think i should stop buying because if i start to do what you are saying...i should be able to create any look from what i have! :)

  2. We are aligned in our posts today! The post I have written for today also has to do with young girls (my daughter), translating patterns into ideas, and the quest for ideas very much like this pattern hacking challenge!

  3. I love that you have a vision of seeing something different than the pattern actually offers. I have followed your blog for over a year now and the garments that you have made are so creative, being out of the box. I need to look at patterns differently and hopefully I can find my inner creative side.

  4. One of my friends photocopies the line drawings of a pattern and then lets her son and daughter color the garment in as they would like it to look. She find it helps then understand the difference between design and fabric. I love your way of seeing value in patterns based on their hacking potential.

  5. Such a cute skirt with the godets. I think I have the perfect fabric for that one, and I think DGD will love it. Thanks for sharing. You always give me ideas. thanks!

  6. You are so right Rhonda. I have clients who think I am amazing for suggesting alternatives to the copy of the picture/pattern they have brought for construction yet I consider that part of being a 'sewer'. Don't we all do that? Clearly the answer is no.
    Well done for highlighting the options in this post - I am sure many more people will start thinking of possibilities of their own now.

  7. You are so generous and creative. What a wonderful combination!

  8. I am guilty of only seeing the pattern "as is." After reading your description above, I'm going to try to think outside the pattern. I wish there were local pattern drafting classes near me. I can do simple things, but would love to learn more. Maybe when the kids are older, and in school, I'll look around a little harder for a class.
    Your niece made me smile. I remember as a child the local chain store stocking patterns and the matching fabric together. I remember 1 thing I made that was exactly like the pattern cover. :-)