Dressmaking has always been my first sewing love. I first started when I was a kid because hey, who wants to wear the same thing as all the other girls! As I grew up and my body changed into a “less than conventional” shape it became more of a necessity as well as a creative outlet. Now over the years, through trial and error, I have honed my pattern collection to a lean, mean, fits well and is actually flattering machine. But every now I then my fingers get itchy and I decide to branch out and try a new pattern. Now sometimes I will completely fluke it and end up with a garment that not only fits well, but looks great. Sadly though that is defiantly the exception and not the rule.
So this week when I was working with a new skirt pattern that turned out to make me look like I was wearing some sort of diaper, the question of what to do with it arose. I will fully admit that normally with this sort of disaster the bin is the only solution, but not this time. This time I was determined to salvage the wreck. But how?
After examining the skirt from every angle, I decided what was causing the trouble was the waistband. It was too small and not fitted enough to suit my body shape. So I could either make a waistband pattern myself…..if I could actually remember how, or I could borrow a waistband from an existing pattern. This is a process I like to call Frankensteining.
Taking bits of one pattern and adding it to bits of others is a great way to create a new, guaranteed to fit style. There are a few things you need to be aware of, so here are my top tips for Frankensteining patterns:
1: Make sure you know at least one of the patterns fits you well
This really only works if at least one of the patterns is a tried and true favourite that you know fits you like a glove
2: Make sure the seam lines are the same
If a skirt has a centre back seam but the waistband band does not or vice versa, you may need to make some adjustments. Just remember to add things like seam allowance.
3: Not all patterns will have the same sizing
As much as two pattern that are both the same size should have the same measurements, most of the time they don’t. It’s very important that that you measure both patterns to make sure it works. If there is any difference always use the pattern piece that you know fits, and alter the other.
4: Rob Peter to pay Paul
Sometimes when combining two patterns, even if they both have the same design lines things don’t quite line up. For example when combining a skirt and shirt pattern, both with panels but neither exactly the same size it’s crucial to make the seams match, but not make the pattern any bigger or smaller. So the solution is to take bits off one panel, but add it to another.
Now I am very happy to report that my Frankensteining was a huge success and I now have a very funky skirt added to my collection.
And here is another one of my Frankensteining creations.
I’d love to see any of your successful Frankensteining. You can share your creations or comments on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TheSharedStitch