Pattern Hack - What is it? It is taking a pattern and making even more useful by modifying it. Call it pattern alteration or tweaking, same thing. Pattern Hack just sounds cooler doesnt it? We've seen a lot of fun hacks over the years in our One Pattern Many Looks contest and now we're making it a monthly Blog series. The idea began when I posted a review of a shrug I made for my toddler, using an excellent tutorial by PR member jmspencer1984 (Jennifer).
In one of the comments, ClioBkLyn called it a great "Pattern Hack" and it just stuckSo without further ado - we present our first Pattern Hack by PR member jmspencer1984 (Jennifer)
An Easy Knit Shrug
This shrug was made with a few alterations of my TNT T-shirt pattern, Jalie 2805.
Read on to see the details and how to take any t-shirt pattern and turn it into a shrug of your own!
Beginning with a basic t-shirt pattern, I first cropped the bodice front and back to a more "shrug-like" length, about 4" or so below the arm. On the bodice front, I added 1/2" to the center front and did not cut it on the fold. I also rounded the bottom corners. The sleeves were not changed at all, and the only adjustment to the neckband was to add the 1/2" to each end, or 1" total to mimic the extra 1/2" on each side of the center front.
The first step was to hem the sleeves. I always do this first, just so it's out of the way. I prefer to hem any knit sleeves flat (I also set them in flat). It's easier to get a flat and even hem when hemming flat vs. in the round. I gave it the 'faux coverstitch' treatment by serging, pressing up and then topstitching with a double needle. (and then pressing again.)
Next, stitch the bodice fronts to bodice back at shoulder seams.
Use a strip of clear elastic to stabilize the shoulder seam. I just lay it over the seam as I'm serging and then trim any excess down. This help the shoulder seams to not stretch way out of shape with wear, but I also find that it gives the shoulders a really crisp finish when pressed.
Then sew the sleeves on in the flat.
And stitch the length of the sleeve down to the hemline of the bodice.
Then serge around from the center front, down and around the hemline and back up to the other center front.
Then, the key to getting a nice, even hem on that curve is to gather the curved portion slightly to help it turn under evenly. I was able to do this by pulling the left and right needle threads from the serger, but you could also go and add a row of gathering stitches on a regular machine.
Press up the hem (mine was 1/2", the amount that I added to the center front when I cut the pieces out) and stitch all the way around. Depending on the type of knit you're using, it may come out a bit wavy, but nothing a good steam pressing can fix!
Now, attach the neckband, leaving the extra 1/2" on either end extending past the hemmed center front of the bodice.
Turn that 1/2" under and blind stitch in place. On the left side of the shrug, add one button.
And on the right side, add a hand worked button loop.
And there you have it! A really simple shrug to accessories any dress!
Deepika adds... Thanks Jennifer for sharing this wonderful pattern hack with us. By the way, this method is not limited to only kids. You can make an adult shrug too! Think gorgeous sweater knits and novelty sparkle or ruffle knits for a quick accessory for holiday outfits. And I couldn't end without sharing with you this cute little shrug I made for my daughter.
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