Hi Gang! This is Sequoia and I am here to kick off May with an Ellie and Mac pattern hack! I love getting the most from my patterns and hacking them is one of the ways I do that. Today, I am sharing a fun little twist for a summer tunic/dress. I love using patterns from EAM and this time it happens to be a FREE PATTERN! Yup! Free pattern + Free Hack = LOVE x 2.
So here we go with how I hacked the Curved Hem Pocket Tank! I had this amazing Fireworks print on double brushed poly from Stitchin' Pretties and I knew I wanted to wear it in summer. I also knew that the summer sun in a black shirt, wasn't my idea of a great time, so I wanted to create something loose fitting and comfy. I decided pretty quickly that I wanted something sleeveless and at least tunic length. I also knew I wanted to make great use of the print and not do a ton of cutting. So I scrolled through the Ellie and Mac site and looked over ALL THE PATTERNS. I decided to go with the Curved Hem Pocket Tank and here is how I made it happen.
Start with printing and grading your pattern as usual. Next, I added 6 inches in length to the front and back bodices. Since this is a large height adjustment, I split my pattern in two spots, under the bust and mid belly-ish. Note that I didn't just add length to the bottom hem because that would have greatly increased the flare effect of the tunic. This would work, but is not the look I am going for. So you can just slash and spread then your pattern should look like this.
Next tape it together and smooth the side seam edge by redrawing any parts that need it. Now let's address the fact that the original BACK BODICE pattern is drafted to be cut as a mirror pair and has some contouring to the center back. This was intended to add some shape, but we are doing away with that so we can cut on the fold. So tape in a few strips of paper to smooth out the curve. You could also smooth out the curve before cutting your pattern out in the beginning.
Now lets use our adjusted BACK BODICE and draw in what we plan to cut away. I planned on cutting an inverted triangle, but an oval would look nice too. I knew I wanted to leave a small fabric strip connecting the fabric pieces between my shoulders. This will help maintain the shape/circumference of the neckline in order to make banding easier. I left about an inch of fabric height here.
Cut your fabric, remembering to cut out the inverted triangle at the back, but also still cut on the fold. You can adjust how low your opening is by how tall or short you make your triangle. Mine is a dramatic opening, you may choose a smaller ( or larger) one. In addition to the 2 arm bindings and neck bindings, you will also need one long strip to bind the edges of your inverted triangle. I just cut one strip the width of fabric by 1.5 inches. This will vary depending on the size of your cut out. I also want to note here, I cut my bindings to the size of the pattern piece, but sewed them as bands. I love the thin narrow bands on this top! You can do bindings if you prefer.
Now assemble your top according to the directions. Sew the shoulders and the side seams. Bind or band the neck and arm openings to your preference. At the neck, I trimmed away any fabric from the center back that wasn't taken up in sewing on the neckband. This will help reduce extra bulk when binding that seam.
Now use your long narrow strip to bind the serged and raw edges of the opening. Follow the directions for binding in the pattern. You may now hem the bottom edge of your dress and add top stitching around the neck and arms if you prefer.
If you have enjoyed following this blog post, be sure to stop by sequoialynnsews.wordpress.com to see what else I am up too.
If you love this hack, be sure to pick up the original pattern here. This is a free pattern, but feel free to use my afflink for selecting an extra pattern as a thank you to the designer.
You can order this fabric from Stitchin' Pretties. They currently have a sale happening. Buy 2 continuous yards, receive one bonus yard for free. (Laura's choice)