I love pattern hacking.
Take the basics of something you love, and shape it up into a new love.
I found this yellow striped button down about three years ago (the shirt is indeed sunshine yellow despite looking orange. The lighting was terrible for these photos, my apologies). It is not one of my main go-to shirts, but for some reason it has made it through dozens of my Goodwill purges and I finally figured out why. I love its boxy shape and the way it perfectly falls at my waistline.
So I finally decided to trace it out and recreate it with a fresh new take.
Introducing the Marisol:
This top is simple to put together and simply elegant. It can be casual and summery if paired with jeans, and dressy with a cardigan.
Here was my process.
I first laid the shirt nice and flat (and straight) onto my material, making sure to evenly smooth it out. I chose a fun little print of a semi-sheer rayon blend that I had in my stash. My New Year's resolution is to use as much as my stash as possible.
Then I carefully and slowly cut around one half of the shirt from the button-line (at bottom of shirt) around the sleeve and to the mid-neckline.
I then removed the yellow shirt and folded my arrow pattern over along the midline of the shirt to cut my other side symmetrically. This way ensured that my shirt would be evenly cut and the arrows were exactly vertical in the event that my yellow shirt was not laid out perfectly.
I then traced my new 'top' onto Tyvek so I could later reproduce it.
Here is the Tyvek pattern that I can now use over and over again.
*Note the dress-line. The dress version will be coming soon.
It may seem backward to cut my material before tracing my pattern, and you can absolutely do it visa-versa. I chose to cut my fabric first because I didn't want to risk marking up my yellow shirt while attempting to accurately trace it (chalk doesn't work well or invisible pens on Tyvek. Sharpies are the best). Once I cut the rayon, I could very easily trace around the material (much flatter than an already sewn, folded shirt) with a Sharpie to make my pattern.
I chose to add a pocket for a little extra detail.
**If doing this, be mindful to line up the patterns so it does not look out of place.
Notice the pocket? Hopefully you barely do because the chevrons line up well. Sometimes, I want a contrasting pocket however, this time I wanted it to blend in as much as possible.
To make the pocket, I cut a rectangle to the size I wanted. I folded the top down twice (to conceal raw edge) with a 0.5" fold and double stitched the top for a more professional finish. You could use a double needle or a coverstitch machine (this is the one that I have), however all you really need to do is double back carefully with a single needle to make it appear that it is a double stitch. I then serged the remaining three sides to finish the edges. I pinned it in place and folded the serged seam under and topstitched along the three sides (leaving the opening at top).
To assemble the top:
- Attach pocket to front panel
- Sew up side seams
- Cut (2) 2" strips x complete length of arm hole to make thin cuff.
- I used this method to make and attach cuffs.
- Cut (1) 1" strip length of entire neck and attach like a cuff with seam centered on back.
- Make a faux cuff for finishing the bottom. (Eliminates the need to hem, hooray!) See this great tutorial. I especially love this technique for patterned fabric because the prints always stayed lined up.
What do you think? I know I will be making more of these easy tops for the future. I also have a dress version in the works as well.
And here's what it really looks like attempting to do a photo shoot with two small humans around (thankfully one was sleeping).
I'd love to hear your thoughts. I hope you are inspired.