Alright, guys. You may have noticed that I am not your go-to girl for ideas on how to hack a pattern. There are some people who inhabit that niche in the sewing world beautifully, but I am decidedly NOT one of them. Throughout my life, I’ve often thought of myself as faux-creative. What I mean by this is that if you give me a great recipe, I can give you a great meal. This holds true in the literal kitchen, where I can cook anything and everything from a recipe and make it taste pretty authentic, but if you give me a handful of items and ask me to go to town Chopped-style, you will find yourself sorely disappointed. It translates out of the kitchen, though, into almost all creative aspects of my life. As a dancer when I was younger, I could move beautifully to a piece of set choreography, but leave me to my own devices to interpret the music into movement and you’ll be left with an awkwardly wriggling jellyfish. Give me a pattern, and I can sew something lovely. But ask me to turn a pattern into something different… And I’m at a loss.
It isn’t necessarily that I am afraid to hack a pattern. It is more about lacking the vision. As with many things in my life, it is hard for me to visualize what could be without an actual pre-drawn illustration. I learned this when my husband started telling me his ideas for renovations on our first home – everything he suggested seemed impossible or ridiculous in my head, but when he would actually carry out the plans, I loved them everytime. For this same reason, my previous attempts at pattern hacks have primarily been either
A) pretty simple – lengthening the skirt of a dress, shortening the length of my shorts, swapping an A-line skirt for a big, floofy, gathered one… Or
B) inspired by or well-guided by someone else – using a well-written tutorial to add a maternity belly to a knit dress or shorten the bodice of a woven dress to accommodate my baby bump.
While this pattern hack is still arguably simple, it felt higher stakes to me because it required re-drawing the shape of some of my pattern pieces in order to make the changes I had in my head! Ultimately, this was a product of necessity. I was so excited to have the opportunity to work with this beautiful stretch faux suede from Minerva, and I immediately knew I wanted a slightly cropped, waterfall front jacket. I searched high and low and just couldn’t find a pattern that really looked like what I wanted. I started feeling pretty frustrated by this, and considered what else I might want to turn this fabric into. I kept coming back to this jacket in my head, though, until finally it came to me. I threw on an Estelle Jacket that I’d made in the past and realized – hey. I could work with this.
I left my original Estelle Jacket on (made entirely as the pattern calls for, with no changes), and walked right over to my full-length mirror. I marked where I wanted my new jacket to fall in both the front and back. Off to my sewing room, I translated these changes onto my pattern pieces and went to work. Overall, I would guess that this jacket took me about 2 hours to make. The pattern and fabric do not require finished hems, so it was a matter of a few seams before the jacket came together.
I’m totally in love with it, and so impressed that it came out exactly as I had hoped, despite the fact that I wasn’t copying a design suggested by someone else! If you’re interested in learning a little more about this fabric, or the exact changes I made to the pattern, a full detailed blog post is available over at Minerva today!!!
Though the fabric used in this post was generously provided to me by the awesome team at Minerva, all words and opinions expressed are my own, as always! The Estelle Ponte Jacket pattern was gifted to me as a Sew My Style Project Leader in 2018. Links provided throughout this post may be affiliate links – if you choose to purchase any products through these links, I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. This simply helps me justify the costs of my sewing habit and the time it takes to share it with you!! Happy Sewing!
- XX Elizabeth