Skip to main content

Made By A Fabricista: Hacking Patterns

Do you like to hack your sewing patterns?  To hack a pattern, you are basically altering it from its original design.  Most times I see an inspiration online or in-stores and I check my pattern stash to see what pattern I have that I could easily modify to fit the design.  For this blog post I used 3 different fabrics to create 3 different looks by hacking the selected patterns I used.

For the first look I took McCall’s 7999 which is a TNT pattern for me.  To hack it I first converted the pattern from a set-in sleeve to a raglan sleeve style.  I had an inspiration picture that I referenced of a knit dress sketch. The rib knit I choose was perfect for this project.  I had a good weight and excellent stretch retention which I liked for this design.  I also liked the speckle detail that was in the fabric.

Once I made my style lines, I then created open curved shapes along the sleeve seamline and added binding.  I really love my new dress; this is the perfect item to add to my fall wardrobe.

The second look was based off another sketch that became my inspiration.  I loved the high low hem line and exaggerated sleeves.  I knew the perfect pattern would be Simplicity 8889, another favorite of mine.  To start I changed the hem line making it longer in the front with curved lines blending to the hem.  Next was to make the sleeve, I came across a diagram to draft an exaggerated sleeve. Using the slash and spread method I modified the sleeve from a short sleeve.   It required great amount of ease which was then pleated back into the armhole.

The fabric I used was a sateen, the amount of hold and structure the fabric created was beautiful!  The sheen on the fabric created such a lux feel and look.  I loved sewing with this fabric, and I created beautiful buttonholes on it as well.  With the weight of the fabric the look would be great as just a shirt or even a like jacket to through over other shirts. 

For my last look I was so happy to be able to recreate.  I had this picture saved as inspiration for a long time.  When I came across this pinstripe denim, I knew it would be perfect for this make.  It very lightweight and great for shirting styles.   I used Simplicity 9239 which is a jacket pattern.  What drew me to this pattern to hack it was the silhouette and the drop shoulder detail.

To hack I first converted the pattern into a raglan style line.  I then also lowered the drop shoulder to be closer to the original inspiration picture.  Since this was going to be a shirt instead of a jacket, I cut the center front on the fold.  Additionally, I extended the length of the front and back hem making a high low,

The most unique detail and what really brings it all together is the soutache decorative braid along the front seam lines.  I love this detail and what really makes it unique.  I made markings on the shirt for placement, but the actual motif is completely freehand.  I tried to make both sides look as even as possible. For now, I just have the ends tied off but would love to find a fringe tassel or something similar to add later.

If you are considering hacking some patterns for yourself my best advice is to look at the line drawings and not the actual picture itself.  Often time the styling or fabric choice on a pattern cover will have us miss an opportunity for a great pattern.  Pinterest is also a great source to pull inspiration.  See what style lines and silhouettes of patterns are like your inspo.  Also don’t be afraid to mix elements.  Take a sleeve from one pattern and add it to the bodice of another, give that design a new interpretation. 

JASMINE  @sewmuchjazz

Unfortunately Fabric Mart Fabrics sell out quickly!
You can find similar fabrics by shopping the following categories: RIB KNIT, KNITS, COTTON, SATEEN, & DENIM.


  1. I could not pull off the bold styling, but I love it on you. Creative and inspiring.


Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment! All comments are reviewed before posting to help us eliminate spam. Your comment will be posted within 24 hours.

Popular Posts You Might Like

Made By A Fabricista: Melton Wool

Guess what sewing friends, this is a great time of year to make a new traveling coat for the holidays! We're heading to celebrate in a colder climate than where we reside, so a heavier coat is a necessity. I'm already a big fan of wool in general, so a coat in wool Melton was high on my list of wants, both for warmth and sustainability. I decided to sew an Octave Coat by Love Notions. I've sewn this pattern in recent years both in a heavy fleece and in a knit coating I bought from FM years ago. The original pattern includes a shawl collar or hood option, and this enormous moto-style collar is a free add-on. I love how it's both dramatic and has a vintage flair. I appreciate the thigh-length bodice of this coat, I really need that kind of coverage. The wide overlap of the lapels also adds to the layers of warmth I crave.  Rather than a button closure or the waist tie closure option, I just added a simple heavy-duty snap. I might go back and add one more for security, but

Made By A Fabricista: An Outfit for First Snow

We had a marvellous autumn in western Canada with warm dry days and just a couple of hints of frost. When I was perusing Fabric Mart Fabric's site in October, I was tempted to focus on pretty florals for blouses or dresses but part of me knew that ... (da dah dum ... ) winter is coming . Fortunately, Fabric Mart was stocked with a huge selection of fabrics that are perfect for winter or holiday sewing. Over the past several months I've been planning my sewing projects so I have pieces that work together. To stick with that theme, I decided to pick a print fabric for a top, and a solid for pants, using navy as the neutral. Pants For the pants, I selected Navy Poly/Nylon/Spandex Stretch Corduroy. This fine 14-wale corduroy is warm enough to wear outdoors but will be especially comfortable indoors. It also has a bit of drape which makes it nice for trousers. And who doesn't want some stretch?  I selected Vogue 9181 (Custom-Fit Bootcut Pants) because it is designed for stretch

Made By A Fabricista: Velvet for the Holidays

Are you getting ready for the holidays?  I am.  From past years, it gets so busy in my household around this time of year, so it is never too early to start my holiday sewing.  This year I decided to sew velvet, a fabric I had not sewn for many years but I think it is luxurious.   As luck would have it, FM’s poly rich black velvet flashed on my computer screen and I bought lots.  I thought it would be pretty for a one-shoulder gown, which I had never worn before but admired on others.  The following week FM’s multi-colored one showed up.  It was a poly embossed Bohemian print velvet with jade, yellowish, and crimson colors; it screamed fall and family get-togethers.   I just had to have it!  When the fabrics arrived, the deep colors did not disappoint. I chose Butterick B6557 for both dresses, View B for the knee-length printed dress and View C for the maxi dress. It was perfect for velvets; the front was one whole piece and so was the back.  I cut the fabrics with the nap going down