Welcome to the Curvy Sewing Collective’s Pattern Hacking Month!
We’ve got an exciting month planned, all centered around pattern hacking. We hope to provide you with lots of ideas, inspiration, and how-tos this month. Based on the posts our amazing contributors have turned in so far, it’s going to be awesome!
We also hope you’ll join in the fun and share your own pattern hacks and tips in the comments and on social media using the hashtag #Curvysewinghacks!
What is pattern hacking?
I think this is open to interpretation, but here are my thoughts! I think hacking a sewing pattern goes beyond making fit changes or grading between sizes. Pattern hacking entails changing design details of a sewing pattern. It allows you to customize your handmade project to suit your needs, without having to start from scratch to draft an entirely new pattern!
Those changes can be simple or complex, ranging from lengthening from a shirt to a dress (or vice versa), to changing the hem or neckline shape, to combining patterns/frankenpatterning, to adding seams for colorblocking, to adding or removing features/details like collars, buttonbands, ruffles, etc. It can also be quite extreme changes, such as pattern hacking for cosplay, in which the original pattern is barely recognizable, but serves as the basic structure for the costume.
Why pattern hack?
What are the benefits of pattern hacking, you might ask… well, they’re myriad:
- Pattern hacking extends the usefulness of well-fitting pattern. Hacking allows you to get many looks from one pattern, which is particularly useful if you’re on a budget, creating a capsule wardrobe, or just want to add some flair to a pattern you already know fits you well.
- Pattern hacking is a great way to recreate RTW looks. I know I often see and take note of cool cuts, details or construction methods when perusing ready-to-wear clothes. But when it’s difficult to fit into RTW or you don’t want to pony up the cash for designer duds, you can incorporate these ideas into your handmade garments by hacking a tried-and-true sewing pattern!
- Pattern hacking allows you to alter pattern to suit your lifestyle. Are you changing jobs or careers? Relocating to a different climate? Having a baby? Hacking a well fitting pattern can help you efficiently adapt your handmade wardrobe to these changes.
- Pattern hacking allows you to experiment. Playing with sewing patterns and trying new techniques is a great chance to flex your creative muscles and have fun!
What does pattern hacking mean to you? Do you hack your sewing patterns, or are you more of a pattern follower?