Total pattern transformation….is it still Ogden Cami?

Hi sewing friends! Is the summer in UK already over??? That cannot be!!! I haven’t had a chance to wear my new dress that I made especially for a hot summer days!!! Couple of weeks ago I posted on my Instagram Stories 3 different yet very similar summer dresses that I was considering making, but suddenly changed my mind when I realized the total cost of the patterns and all fabrics I would need! (Are you rolling your eyes too??) Anyway, money problems aside I wanted to improve my pattern drafting/hacking skills so I grabbed my beloved Ogden Cami pattern, traced it on a clean paper and begin my hacking process. The result makes me smile every time I look at it!


Seren dress by Tilly and the Buttons was the very first dress that I really wanted to make. I was not that keen about these ruffles but the button placket was major envy driven force that made me want to do this project.

My eyes nearly popped out when I came across the Fiona sundress by Closet Case Patterns. This dress is slightly more fitted but looking at it I knew I wanted a bodice with princess seams.

Jessica dress by Mimi G is the closest reflection of what I wanted to achieve. Gathered skirt and big patch pockets were a must feature that I wanted to recreate.

Hacking the pattern

If you are also on a buying fabric/pattern ban feel free to use this tutorial.

First trace front and back Ogden Cami pattern pieces up to your waistline. For me this is about an inch below the shorten and lengthen line but remember I’m pretty short. Before you do anything else measure your waistline and the waistline on the pattern. The difference between those measurement will be need later.

Draw a vertical line starting in the middle of strap placement ensuring it runs parallel to centre front and back. From now on this will be our grain line.

On the back pattern piece extend the line (slightly curved) that starts at your armpit ending at a centre. It need to finish at 90 degree angle here.

Cut along the lines .

You can mark those pieces B1 and B2 so you won’t get confused. The top piece will be needed later so put it aside for now.

Your B1 pattern is cut on fold so make sure to mark it. This is a centre back piece that will be elasticated so add about 3.5 cm at the side ( that includes seam allowance). You will need to cut two on fold ( one main bodice and one lining).

On B2 piece add seam allowance to the side you cut out before.

At this point you will need the difference in waistline measurements. For me it was about 16 cm. As the bodice needs to be more fitted around the waist draw a straight line at the side seam, parallel to grain line and cut it off. This takes away about 6 cm from a total waist circumference.

Now we will work on the from bodice piece. Draw a straight line and the side seam in the same way as before (this again reduces waist circumference by another 6 cm). Next cut along the first line dividing the front pattern piece in two F1 and F2.

So far we managed to reduce the waist by 12 cm in total. The remaining 4 cm will be taken away at the next stage. Mark 2 cm from a cut grain line on both pieces.

Now we will do some shaping to the princess seam so add some extra paper.

In the process of reducing the excess fabric at the waist we also amended bust circumstance, which we will need to reverse. I drew some horizontal lines to make this step a little easier to navigate.

Measure in few places the amount you had taken away at the side seam, divide it in half and mark it as a dots on both F1 and F2 pattern pieces at the cut grain line. Now draw a curved line starting at the top where the strap placement is and ending at the waist at marked 2 cm. Do not worry if you do not go through all your dots.

I will be using buttons 2cm in diameter, so decided that my button placket will be 3.5cm wide.

Not to bore you with calculation, cut off 0.75cm at the centre front on piece F2.

Extend the strap pattern by 13,5 cm or whatever your measurement is.

At this stage I wanted to test the fit of the bodice so a used some old fabric and cut out my new front and back bodice pieces, straps and two rectangles 9cm by 30 cm ( short button placket) and a long roughly gathered piece and made a muslin.

What I learnt is that because Ogden Cami pattern has no bust shaping the front waistine is raising substantially in comparison to my back.

Going back to the front bodice pattern pieces I cut along the horizontal lines leaving a hinges at the side seam on F1 and opened it by a total of about 5/6 cm. On F2 I spread the distance equally. The amount needed will depend on your bust cap size, so I would advise you to make a test bodice.

Other then that I adjusted the princess lines slightly taking it in above and below the bust making it more fitted.

To draft a skirt part of your dress measure the lenght from your waistline to a desired skirt hem line, draw a vertical line and square it off on both ends…

Again it is up to you how much and where you want the gathering on the skirt but I opted to only partiality gather my skirt at seams F1 and F2, B1 and B2. I was considering to do pleats instead, hence the P1,P2,P3 markings….so ignore it.

I added 12 cm between F1 and F2 , and 8cm between B1 and B2.

Square of the skirt side seam on both back and front. Back piece will be cut on fold once. Front piece will be cut twice.

I wanted more of an A-line skirt so added extra 5 cm at the hem to both front and back.

Place the side seam together and smooth the hem and waist lines.

Now you can draft a button placket pattern, which is 9cm wide by total lenght of F2 and front skirt (1cm seam allowance included).

For patch pockets I drew a square 20cm by 20cm adding extra 2 cm to the top.

If you are still reading this congratulations!!! You completed the entire hacking/drafting process. Hope I didn’t bore you too much. Hihihihi

In the next post I will talk more about sewing process, my fabric choice and anything else worth of knowing.

~see you next sunday~

Monika xxx

Bomber jacket – Burda 11/2004

Hi sewing friends, today I am sharing with you my latest make from Burda magazine. This one is very old…year 2004 to be exact, from my time I went to Dressmaker Collage back in Poland. I had few copies of Burda magazine, so brought them to London with me because there are many projects that I would love to try out. One of them was a Bomber jacket.

I never owned one but I like the casual look and style of this loose jacket and I really wanted to make one to put on when I go for a run or a walk on a cooler mornings.

The pattern

For anyone that is interested the pattern comes from a copy of Burda 11/2004 and it is a model 115. It has a boxy and straight style with a front zipper opening and cut out shoulders and sleeves for a color blocking option as you can see on the photo below. It is recommended for a knit fabrics so I decided to use the leftover of my navy blue stretch velvet material that I made my Dressmaker Ball dress of. I had 150 cm left so it was a perfect amount for this project.

Pattern adjustments

I copied a size 44 and added extra 1 cm to side seams and sleeve seams because my measurements fall outside of the chart for this size then added the usual seam allowance. I like to have 15mm allowance everywhere apart from neckline and armcycle, where I only add 10mm. I always find it more manageable to sew this way.

I have not done any fit adjustments to this pattern, however I changed it a little bit to suit my taste. From the start I knew I wanted a Bomber jacket with contrasting cuffs and hem band. Also I needed to add some big pockets….It is a jacket after all….

First of all I skipped adding seam allowance to sleeve hem because I was adding a cuff so I thought there is no point. Next I cut out 7 cm off from jacket hem..It is a straight seam on sides so did not bother doing it in the middle as there is no defined waistline anyway. I was not sure exactly about the placement of my pockets but I envisioned them slightly slanted with matching zips. I placed the front pattern piece in front of the mirror on my torso and roughly draw a line where I wanted the pocket to be.

Sewing Bomber jacket

I had started to assemble the jacket by sewing the pocket on both front pieces. It was a bit tricky applying interfacing to strengthen the pocket opening seam because the qualities of a velvet material, but with lots of hand basting and patience I managed to do a pretty decent job.

It does not look as neat from the inside as I was not sure how this is exactly done in RTW jackets, so I went with my intuition here but for the first time it is good enough for me. I had learnt a lot and next time will see more improvement I am sure of it 😉

In the process of making a zipper pocket I had learnt how easy it is to shorten a metal zipper. Had to watch couple of videos on that, but it is as simple as ripping unwanted zipper teeth away from a tape.

Once the insertion of pockets was completed I proceeded sewing the jacket in the usual way…but first had an idea of giving a little more of pop of colour and sewn some strips of pink knit folded in half to a shoulder cut out seam at the front. I didn’t have enough of that pink fabric to do the exact color blocking as per sample in the magazine, but too be honest I like it even more like that.

After sewing the main jacket pieces together it came a part of making some cuffs and hem band. I cut two rectangles of pink fabric measuring 12 cm by 20 cm for cuffs, sewn the shorter edges together on each cuff and holding in half attached them to an individual sleeve. Next, I measured a circumference of the jacket hem and took about 80 percent of that number. I wanted my hem band to have some color blocking so had cut two pieces of velvet fabric measuring 12 cm by 12 cm and one piece of pink fabric 12 cm by 75 cm that would become my band. Had sewn two small velvet pieces into both ends of the long pink rectangle first and attached it to my bomber jacket hem in the same way as cuffs.

The final step was sewing the long front zip and attaching a neck binding. This was yet another difficult task, because the velvet fabric kept stretching out. I had to baste it a lot to keep it in place, but still ended up with uneven zip. It is barely visible, but I run out of a zipper on one side hence my neckline is a little bit wonky.

Final thoughts

Overall I really like the final product. I had spent over 5 hours making it and had learnt few things along the way. Next time I would make it a tiny bit shorter and would raise pockets by 5-6 cm. My sleeves could do with being about 3 cm longer too. I omitted sewing the back facing to the neckline because there ware too many layers of the fabric and my machine couldn’t handle it all. I am wondering now if this pattern would work for a woven type material??? Maybe I should test it hihihi

~Do you keep old sewing magazines like me?~

Monika xxx