Creating Lovely For Less

Pattern hacks - find a sewing pattern and own it!

 

Above: The handbag above is an elongated version of View A on the McCalls pattern envelope.

 

sewing patterns - handy tools

If you sew regularly, patterns are probably part of your tool lineup. In recent past, a home sewing revival has emerged and patterns are more visible than they have ever been. Part of the reason is a stream of smaller companies and independent designers have added their goods to the supply chain. Now, sewing enthusiasts have more options whether they are buying online or at brick and mortar stores.

 
Above:  At every angle, the altered version of the handbag shines. Pattern hacking like walking a new trail in your neighbourhood; you can always turn around and head homeward/ your original design.

Above: At every angle, the altered version of the handbag shines. Pattern hacking like walking a new trail in your neighbourhood; you can always turn around and head homeward/ your original design.

 

About sewing patterns

For those unaware of commercial sewing patterns and/or their role in home sewing: They are preprinted, full-scale tissue paper templates widely available online and in most fabric stores. Each envelope is individually priced and come in different sizes and styles containing sewing instructions, fabric layouts and designs geared to separate levels of sewing skills.

 
Above:  This handbag was made using View A of McCalls #M6046 with a couple variations - braided rope handle and decorative metal ring.

Above: This handbag was made using View A of McCalls #M6046 with a couple variations - braided rope handle and decorative metal ring.

 

Pattern use convenient and optional

If you are not skilled in pattern drafting, sewing patterns are convenient substitutes. They reduce the chances of garment construction mistakes and they take the guess work out of fabric and notions selection. Still, they are not a necessary requirement. I come from a long line of people who sewed and they all practiced what’s commonly called freehand cutting. Body measurements are taken and transferred directly onto the fabric. Both methods offer opportunities to learn and gain new skills. Like all mastery and competences the technique you practice most frequently will likely be the area in which you’ll obtain greater expertise.

 
Above:  McCalls FASHION ACCESSORIES pattern comes 4 handbag variations and includes instructions, fabric suggestions and notions needed.

Above: McCalls FASHION ACCESSORIES pattern comes 4 handbag variations and includes instructions, fabric suggestions and notions needed.

 

find a pattern and own it

The featured handbags on this page were made using the McCalls pattern pictured above. It offers style 4 variations and that’s a generous amount of options. The suggested fabrics lists: Synthetic Leather - Short Pile Synthetic Fur - Synthetic Suede - and for lining, Lining Fabrics - Cotton - Cotton blends. Since the manufacturers developed the patterns, they know which fabrics work.

But the word Suggested is printed in bold on the back of the pattern envelope. That leaves room for exploration; which I did with both version of the bags I chose to make. That’s where the owning part comes in; when your pattern is a guide/reference point - you own it.

 

Line Drawings

Line drawings represents what a garment or accessory would look like if they were laying flat. Because of their clean lines, they are helpful in understanding how patterns are constructed.

 

Turning out on your own designs

The white handbag with the black and gold inset at the top of the page, is and elongated version of view A on the pattern envelope. The first thing I did was switch the fabric choices for the body of the bag and the inset. Then, I used the slash and spread method to extend the pattern pieces.

Slashing and spreading is a simple principle used in pattern making. It allows for adding fullness and increasing the length or width of pattern pieces. If the concept is new to you, learning more about it is a good idea. You’ll be amazed at the design possibilities it provides and the confidence you’ll gain from doing it.

For more about the slash and spread technique click the link below.

Threads Magazine - Cut and Spread Pattern Grading

For the white handbag with the brown inset, I also used view A. Again, I opted for a patterned fabric inset but I kept proportions true to the pattern. To make it my own though, I braided two rope handles and added a decorative ring at the front of the bag. The thickness of the handles meant having to attach some parts of the handles by hand. Its well, I had to make wider cover tabs to conceal the areas where they were sewn to the bag. It took a little more time but I was happy with the results. The body of both bags were made with white decorator fabric. The black and gold inset is recycled fabric from a thrifted dress and the brown/gold inset is also made of decorator fabric. The pattern hacks/changes you make don’t have to be colossal; do what comes to mind and enjoy your creativeness.

Now, it’s your turn to revisit your patterns and get them working.

I hope you’ve found an idea to help you make that pattern your own.

Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read.

If the Lord will, see you next time.