Do you follow pattern layout instructions?

Hi sewing friends! I am wondering today if you always follow the instruction on pattern placement? I for once never even bother to look at it and would play a Tetris on my fabric with all pattern pieces. It takes time but I like to be as economical as possible and doing my own pattern layout allows me to save extra fabric that can be used in next project.

Typically the pattern instruction would tell you to fold a fabric together along the salvage edges and layout the pattern as required following the grain line and fabric print direction if necessary. This is a good system if you have many pieces and not all of them are on hold, otherwise you are ending up with a lot of wasted fabric that may be to narrow for anything else. As example here I used pieces from Agnes top pattern (by Tilly and the Buttons) which would use about 120 cm of my fabric lenght as most of the pieces need to be placed on fold and if you look at fabric requirement for Agnes top with cropped sleeves this is exactly how much it is recommended.

What I like to do in this situation is to fold over one salvage edge to the middle of the fabric.

This way I use about 146 cm of my fabric lenght but also my left over piece is much wider, which would be easier to find usefulness in the next make. The best option however is to have an idea what other pattern might be used it for and cut it at the same time.

In this scenario I decided to make a Molly top ( by Sew Over It) with short sleeves, however the pattern pieces do not fit on the other half of the fabric.

That is when my Tetris game starts. I take the widest piece out of both pattern tops, measure its width so I know exactly how much fabric I need to fold on one edge. Next I fold over the other edge meeting both salvage ends. I lay out all pattern pieces to check if they fit and cut it out once I’m happy. This way I can make two tops out of 150 cm lenght of fabric, which is pretty good.

By follow this rule at all times and I managed to squeeze out those two tops from scraps of materials I used for Hibiscus, Frankie and Freya tops.

I had to be a little creative but I like the color combinations.

~what rules and instructions do you break?~

Monika xxx

Pattern testing the Hibiscus top by Glasshouse Patterns

Today I will share with you yet another pattern that I had a pleasure to test. It is a Hibiscus ruffle top/dress by Glasshouse Patterns.

The pattern

It is a begginer friendly sewing pattern with a racer style cut out back that you can make more feminine by adding ruffles to the top part of an armhole. It comes in 8 sizes and it is recommended to be made out of knit fabric with some drape ( especially if you making a dress version with ruffles). The pattern is skimming over the bust into more looser fit in the waist and hip areas.

The PDF pattern is quick to assemble and what I forgot to mention in Dahlia dress post is that pages are easy to align without the need to cut out the excess border line…something that I do not particularly like doing. Thanks for that Tanja! This makes the process of sticking all those pages together less of a chore.

Pattern adjustments

For a pattern testing faze this version was nearly spot on. Tanja did a great job drafting the Hibiscus pattern and I only found one grading error, but do not worry about it because it is all fixed now. Also the final version is more fitted at the bust, something I had to adjust.

I had tested size 8 based on my measurements and learning from my mistakes I decided to make my usual fitting alternation by raising a waistline by 3 cm. I used a shorten/lengthen lines on both front and back bodice pieces and it worked like a charm. I made no other major adjustments apart from taking in the side seam under the armhole by 5 mm, because it was a little bit too big for me.

Construction

The sewing process is super quick and fairly straightforward. It took me 2 hours to cut out the fabric and sew it all together! Amazing!!! I am starting to notice that Tanja likes to use very unusual (at least to me) order of precedence when it comes to sewing her patterns, which is great as I get to learn something different each time.

What I find unusual you may wonder???? In her instruction Tanja advise to sew only one shoulder seam and next attach the neckline binding. This blew my mind, because in this way I do not have to work out the lenght of my binding each time I’m using a fabric with different stretch percentage but I can start attaching it on one end slightly stretching the binding around the neckline curve all the way to the other side cutting of any excess. In all honesty you could do it in any way you are used to, but this method is pretty great.

She uses the same tactic when it comes to finishing off of the armhole seam. First attached the ruffle and armhole binding and then sew both side seams together. Even tho it was my first time sewing jersey top in that order I found it much easier and quicker. It eliminated the time I had to divide the band and necline/ armhole curve into quarters and pin things in place. What a dream!!! Do not wake me up hahaha

Fabric

For my first Hibiscus top I used a green rib poly jersey from Minerva Craft. I got 2 meters for a different project but it was not the right weight for it so it waited to be used for something else. It was £5.99 a meter and it is lovely and soft. It drapes nicely and sew without any problems. I used about 140 cm for my ruffle top and had enough to also make a short sleeves Molly top.

For my second version I used exactly the same fabric that I made my Frankie t-shirt couple of months ago. It’s two color combination works really well with this pattern and I found a new way to use all my small fabric pieces. This pink cotton rib fabric is not as drapey as my first version and you can see that ruffles do not fall as nicely, but I love it anyway.

Final thoughts

The Hibiscus top is a super fun project to make that you can do in one sitting. It is a great pattern if you are looking a comfort with a twist. It is currently on sale so grab yourself a copy. I am planning to make more versions without ruffle next so I can layer it under the cardigan when the weather gets much cooler.

~ How should I hack it? Any ideas?~

Monika xxx