Over the past year, I've been writing a lot of tutorials for pattern hacking.

Pattern hacking? Whether you call it by this term or another, if you sew, you've likely made changes to a pattern to express your own unique style. You've hacked a pattern!

I personally love these assignments because they really help to stretch my imagination and creativity.

Do I fail? You betcha! Do I succeed? Heck yeah. 

Am I a better maker because of it all? Ab-so-freakin'-lutely.

I have all of this content that I've been creating for independent designers and I realized I should be sharing it here, too. So, I'm on a mission to catch things up a bit.

Starting with the new Patterns for Pirates Vintage Jumper.

Believe me when I say I have NEEDED a reason to make a cute pair of overalls. It's been on my "to make" list for at least the past 3 years. So, I jumped at the chance to work these up.

Holy moly, they are so cute!!

For the Vintage Jumper, you’ll need 1 ¼” buckles. I ordered mine from WAWAK and they came within 2 days, but you can also order from Amazon or pick them up in your local fabric store.

For this pattern hack, I added buckles, rather than the buttons that the pattern calls for. Here's the how-to:

Prefer written instructions? Happy to help!

Mark your button placement on the bib with tailor’s chalk, 1” from the top and side edge of the bib.

Take your button post and push it through the backside of your bib, at your chalk mark, going through all layers of your fabric.

Protecting the front side of your button (as I’ve done here with a simple cloth bag), hammer the button post into the button.

Thread your straps through the buckles, starting with the top…

Running through the bottom…

Back through the middle…

And behind the front of the strap, back through the top loop.

Give yourself plenty of play in your straps to make fit adjustments.

Adjust the straps to your preference and you’re done!

I have always loved overalls! I am so glad to have this updated pair in my wardrobe. As with all Patterns for Pirates makes, you can’t stop with one. I already have the fabric ready to make another pair soon.

I sure have miss you, friends! It feels good to be writing again.

Sending you much love and good sewing juju!

Every now and then, I indulge in a brain dump here on the blog. This is one such moment...

I was recently interviewed for a publication. The magazine wanted to know more about my original sewing inspiration. Without hesitation, I responded, "Betty & Veronica!"

I remember the moment as clearly as though it happened yesterday... it was the mid-80's... I was reading an Archie's Girls comic and Veronica was showing off her latest {expensive} designer outfit. Fast-forward two frames, Betty is showing off her designer copycat outfit that she made herself.

That one frame stopped me in my tracks... as a child!

It was the first time it had ever occurred to me that someone could make their own clothes and possibly have them mistaken for designer or ready-to-wear clothing. I had to learn how to sew! And sew, I did.

And I haven't stopped since... as you can well read in the pages of this blog!

Imagine my surprise to have these beauties pop up in my social feeds shortly after that interview!

You can't tell me that our devices aren't listening!

I mean, really... what are the odds?! Keds totally gets me!!

So, of course, I had to snatch them up!! They were made for me.

I have been seeking that particular issue of Archie's Girls for years and have found similar issues, but not the exact one that sparked my desire to sew. I'm sure I'll find it eventually. I'll have those pages framed and hang them in my studio.

In the meantime, I'll be rocking these Keds every chance I can get. All I have to do is look down for a little creative inspiration!

This post contains affiliate links which mean I received a product and/or financial remuneration for adding the links.

Confession time…

My guilty pleasure is 90’s alt/grunge music. I know it’s mostly angst-filled, immature, and largely out-of-tune, but it is totally my jam!!

So, when my sweet guy texted me to ask if I’d like to go to a Bush + Live concert, those giddy, teenage girly butterflies filled my stomach and I turned the music up a little bit louder!!

Naturally, I’ve been thinking about what to wear. What does a middle-aged-woman-who-wants-to-relive-her-glory-days-without-being-inapproropriate wear to a high-octane concert??

Thank goodness that Made For Mermaids totally had me in mind when they released the Clueless Collection last fall. I’m sure it’s because they knew I would need a retro-tastic bodysuit, right?

As always, the Women's Tai is a bodysuit pattern loaded with sleeve and neckline options. You can even make a top if the bodysuit doesn’t appeal to you.

I’ve made a couple of bodysuits in the past year and I still can’t seem to get the snaps quite right. However, the Women’s Tai is the perfect bodysuit pattern! You just step in, pull it up, and go. No snaps required!

This pattern comes together very quickly and would be a great primer for anyone who might be scared to make lingerie or swimwear. All-in-all, it took me about 1 ½ hours to make... but I’m slow and easily distracted.

I used a perfect camo tri-blend from Surge Fabrics and finished the leg openings with a picot elastic trim, also from Surge. You could just as easily use regular knit elastic or even use a band to finish the legs. I’m sure I’ll make another and will likely experiment with leg bands next time. I’m interested to see how different it feels during wear.

This pretty will get a lot of use this summer! The best thing about modern fashion is that anything goes, really. While this bodysuit is 90’s-inspired, it is completely on-trend today.

And now… I’m ready to rock... at an outdoor concert... in the July heat!
I didn't expect to totally fall in love with Patterns for Pirates latest release, the Women's Loggers, but P4P knocked it out of the park again with a design loaded with options.

{ICYMI, Loggers are the love child of leggings and joggers...}

After making a pair of loungewear shorties and a pair of full-length pants from the pattern, I couldn't shake the vision of swim shorts for paddle-boarding.

I had a load of swim fabric on hand already. My pattern was already assembled from my previous makes. An opportune hour of free time smiled my way. Before I knew it, I had these adorable new shorties in my life.

{No cats were harmed in the making of these Loggers.}

I wasn't prepared for the overwhelming reception by the amazing P4P community of sewists. Many asked for the pattern hack.

So, here we go! Let's make swim shorties!
  1. Cut the pattern pieces per the pattern instructions.

  1. Cut two additional strips of fabric, 1.5" x 36". These will be your side ties.
  2. Sew together each of your center seams, leaving the outside leg seams open.

  1. Fold and press your leg bindings in half and attach to bottom of leg openings. Be sure to match your center points on the binding and legs. The center point of each will not line up at the center seam.

  1. With right sides together, sew a 5/8" seam along the outside leg seams and press open. Do not use a serger for this step. You are creating casings for your side ties.

I chose to finish my raw edges with a serger, but this is not required.
  1. Create a casing on each side of each outside leg seam by sewing a 1/2" seam. This will secure the edges and provide a new home for your side ties.

  1. Create your ties by sewing the right sides of your fabric strips together. Turn to the right side with your favorite turning tool. Cut each strip in half so that you have four ties.

  1. Insert one tie into each casing and secure the top edges in place with a basting stitch.

  1. Attach your choice of Logger's waistband options per pattern instructions.
  2. Once you try on and ruche or gather the edges to your preferences, tie a pretty side bow and cut the tie length to your liking!

And you're ready to have the cutest booty on the lake!

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me. I'll be happy to help.

One last note... if you post your makes to social media using the hashtag, #loggers, be prepared for a rash of unusual new followers who cut down trees for a living.

True story.

One of my favorite things to do when creating a garment is experimenting with fabrics. Getting to know a fabric is much like understanding technology... you figure out what works for a design and what doesn't.

I especially love to take on the challenge of making a garment out of a fabric that isn't recommended. And again, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't! I have lost a lot of fabric to the cause...

I'm happy to report about a case in which it did work in my favor!

Meet the Evelyn Romper by Oh Lu Lu and the Summer Kimono from Patterns for Pirates. I don't typically wear cute pajamas to bed... I'm more of a t-shirt-and-flannel-pants kind of gal, but some sweet fellow sewists talked me into it.

This patten is drafted for woven fabrics, which are cut on the bias. However, I used my favorite rayon spandex and cut with the grain. When patterns call for fabric to be cut on the bias, they are capitalizing on the amount of stretch that is inherently part of the weaving process.

Because my fabric already had 4-way stretch, I didn't want to add additional stretch and risk the garment bagging out on me. I assumed that cutting with the grain would prevent excessive stretch and allow for the right amount of feminine flutter that makes this romper so pretty.

Instead of making trim, as the pattern outlines, I chose to use some gorgeous 2 1/2" stretch lace trim. It coordinated with the navy rayon spandex perfectly! I folded it over the raw edge and attached with a zig-zag stitch along the scalloped border and the folded edge.

My plan was to add a couple of extra inches to the length with some additional lace around the legs, but, sadly, I didn't have enough on hand!

So, it's very short. Very short.

But I have to say... rayon spandex is a perfect fabric for this garment! It's incredibly soft and very easy to work with. Sleepwear made from this amazing fabric will always be great choice.

All in all, the Evelyn Romper came together without an issue! I would highly recommend this pattern to anyone interested in sewing sleepwear or lingerie.

So, so dreamy...

I also worked up a Summer Kimono, using a heathered rayon spandex and stretch lace, during the recent Phee Fabrics Sew-a-Long. Whitney did an amazing job of walking us through the construction process!

I didn't realize how badly I needed a simple, pretty robe in my life until I put this one on. I've hardly taken it off since.

The Summer Kimono can also be layered over daily wear, too! It's definitely not meant to be hidden at home! Be sure to check out the Sew-a-Long resources and work up one of your own.

I challenge you to experiment with your fabrics, too! You might be surprised to find what works in an unexpected way.