How to Tweak a Pattern for a Style Refresh


In order to make the most of the sewing patterns in your collection, it’s a good idea to review them from time to time and consider styling tweaks that can modernize or refresh them, especially if you have achieved a particularly good fit. All you need is a little creativity and some basic pattern making skills.

This week I am sharing a little styling tweak that I’m making to the Belle sewing pattern. My plan is to remove the pleats from the front and back of the pattern. I think this small styling change will make the top a little more versatile. You might think that this is just a matter of leaving the pleats unstitched but in fact there is a much more effective way that will also increase your pattern intelligence.

Watch the video to see how it's done.

There are definitely other styling changes you can make. You can raise the front neck drop to shorten the collar, change the collar width and shape or remove the collar entirely. These are all ways that you can tweak the style to modernize and refresh it.

Here's how my tweaked version turned out. ⬇️

The fabric is 100% silk charmeuse from Blackbird Fabrics (purchased long ago). It was a bit of a bear to work with I have to admit since it's been a while since I worked with such fine fabric. On this version of the Belle blouse I removed the front and back pleats, added gathers at the back and created a shirttail hem; all of which I show  you how to do in the video. I also raised the neckline by 1" (and altered the collar to match) on this version.

If you’ve been following along with this video series I hope you’ll join in on the conversation in the In-House Patterns Studio private Facebook group. You can ask questions and share your progress with others who are doing the same. I’d love to see your pattern tweaking ideas for the pattern that you’re working on. I’ll see you inside.

If you’d like to build your pattern making skills I’ve got loads of tutorials Just look for the category I’ve labeled Pattern Fundamentals.

If you’re on my email list, I’ll be sending you something special next week.

I’ll chat with you soon!