Three of My Favorite Pattern Hacks

Modifications or hacks are to me the epitome of creativity when it comes to sewing garments. I love that we can take any part of a pattern and add or remove elements that are not necessarily displayed on the cover of the pattern or in the line drawings on the back. This can result in endless possibilities of personalized touches that make the finished garment feel even more like our own creation. When I first started sewing I simply viewed patterns as concrete and unevolving blueprints that could only be completed one way and one way only. I no longer feel this way.

I thought I would highlight 3 examples of some of the different ways that I have modified or hacked garments from various patterns to make them my own. This is simply a starting point because there are SO MANY modifications and hacks that can be created from any pattern. I hope this will give you a bit of inspiration in creating your own personalizations from the patterns that you already have in your stash.

1. Sew DIY Lou Box Top Dress With Gathered Skirt.

That’s a long title for such a simple and comfortable dress! I took the pattern for the Lou Box Top by Sew DIY which is a great shirt pattern for woven and knit fabrics. I’ve used this pattern once before and I love the ease and comfort of this shirt. I wanted to make a dress out of it because it is not a secret that dresses are my favorite item of clothing to wear.

I wanted a curved back hem so I took the curved front hem add on piece from the pattern and placed it about 9/12 inches below the hem of the back piece. I cut out the front the same way but without the curved hem at the bottom and measured about 19 inches from the hem of the front piece to create the front of my skirt. The length of the skirt is completely up to you and your tastes as well as how much fabric you have available. This plaid fabric that I used was thrifted and it was only a little over 2 yards.

After I cut out my front and back I cut both pieces at the waist line so that I had a regular Lou Box top as well as the skirt front and back pieces. I then made my top according to the directions of the pattern. I pleated the skirt by using 1/4 inch elastic and attached the skirt to the “bodice” (Lou Box Top).

This dress is so comfortable and easy and I love the curved hem at the back!

2. Puffy Sleeves on the Moneta or Any Dress or Top! 

If you read my blog regularly you know that I love puffy sleeves and added them to my Colette Sorbetto for my contest entry. You can read about how I make puffy sleeve here; however, I wanted to highlight this in my hacks because it’s my favorite hack and I love the romantic feel that it gives to any dress or top.

This sleeve can be done with just a bit more time taken to increase the width of any regular sleeve pattern as well as the time it takes to gather and create the arm band. The extra time spent is so worth it!

3. Tilly and the Buttons Agnes and Colette Moneta Skirt Dress

This dress is so adorable and it took me just over two hours to complete! I made the Agnes top and cut it off at the waist indicator line on the pattern piece for the front and back bodice. I made the gathered sleeve version (is this any surprise to you?) I used a blue and pink flowered print jersey from

I decided to use the skirt pattern from the Colette Moneta to complete the dress because I’m very familiar with this pattern and I thought the gathered skirt would blend perfectly with the bodice of the Agnes. I used a double needle to finish the neckband and the hem.

Guys, this dress is so cute and lovely!

Do you have any favorite pattern hacks?

Let me know yours in the comments!

Have a beautiful day!

Sew DIY Lou Box Top Pattern

Tilly And The Buttons Agnes Pattern

Colette Patterns Moneta Pattern



8 thoughts on “Three of My Favorite Pattern Hacks

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