Sewing Circle: Mixing and matching patterns
Q: I have a question for you. I would say that I am an intermediately skilled sewist and I am really getting in to garment construction. I have a bodice that I would like to use from one pattern and a skirt I would like to use for another. How can I tweak the bodice/skirt so that they will both be the same size? The sleeves too. I rarely like the sleeve options and I would like to know how you have altered the sleeves from one pattern so that they fit with a bodice from a different pattern?
The good news is it's pretty easy to mix and match the skirt and bodice and sleeves of a dress from different patterns. Well, I should add a caveat: if they have the same basic silhouette.
- Make sure that both dresses have the same waistline.
- If they both have a natural waist, for example, and both patterns are sized the same, you shouldn't have any problem at all mixing and matching--you'll just use attach the skirt from Pattern A to the bodice from Pattern B.
- The trouble comes if you have a pattern with a scooped waist panel and a bodice with a straight-across midriff panel--just cut them both out straight across, in that case, to be safe.
- Again, if they both are your size (measure the pattern pieces, add it all together, and subtract your seam allowances to check), you should be able to match Patterns A and B, no problem.
I have never had a problem using a sleeve from Pattern C, for example, either!
- Check the armholes and make sure that the bodices from Patterns B and C are similar--a skimpy tank dress won't work with an almost-raglan sleeve, of course, for example.
- But if both B and C are similarly shaped bodices with regular armholes and sleeves, you shouldn't have any problem using the sleeve from one and the bodice from the other!
I mix and match patterns all the time. Here are a few examples...
This dress that I remade:
This dress, an example of modifying a scoop-waist pattern to a straight-across waist:
And this one! (Dunno why it's so blurry all of a sudden...)
If you look through my blog you'll see I rarely follow a pattern exactly. Have fun learning and mixing and matching!!
Readers, any other success or warning stories about mixing up patterns? Please share!