What I love about pattern creation is the ability to hack each and create something new–something you may have wanted that your closet was lacking.
Meet the Babe Hoodie from Do It Better Yourself…hacked into a comfortable tee with side color-blocking.
I’ve been on a monochrome and solid kick lately, and I wanted to continue the trend with a tee that I could wear regularly, so I chose 10 oz cotton spandex paired with stretch lace sides (lace from Knitpop).
To get the look, I made a few changes: 1. used a neckband rather than a hood, 2. modified front and back to include side panels, 3. modified the length, 4. made my waistband slightly tighter.
Let’s get started on how to achieve this look. It’s easy, and you can use the same general guidelines to create the changes you’d like! Just note–I’m sure there are other ways to get the same look; I’m just sharing what I did 🙂
- First, you’ll want to cut out your pattern to the desired length. For tee-shirt length, I cut mine in between the lengthen line and the jacket line.
- Then, you’ll want to cut your front and pack pattern piece to achieve the side panel look you’d like. I wanted a small, modest stripe since I was using semi-sheer lace, but you could cut much farther in to create a more dramatic look (especially if using a darker color at the side panel).
3. You’ll then cut out your side panels. You’ll need 2 mirror images. Take your front bodice cut-out, and then flip your back bodice cut-out over so that we’re seeing the wrong side of the pattern. Put these together, and it will create your panel. Fold your fabric in half to cut the 2 mirror images simultaneously. *I did not add extra seam allowance because I wanted a fitted style. If you add seam allowance, just add 1/8-1/4” to each side (not top/bottom) since some seam allowance was already accounted for.
4. So that we won’t have a seam down the center of the side panel, we assemble the side cut-outs as panels. Make sure that you have the front side of the panel (mine had a longer edge), and sew the panel right sides together (RST) with the front bodice (starting at the armpit down to the waistband line).
5. Then, (missing from picture), you’ll attach the back bodice the same way. Lay it on top of the front bodice (RST), and sew the the back bodice to the back side of the side panels. I like to start from the bottom of the garment and sew up to the armpit. Also sew the shoulder seams together at this time.
6. Take your arm pieces, and sew down the sleeve RST because we will be inserting the sleeve into the sewn bodice. Since I failed to photograph this process (shame on me!), here’s a tutorial to show the basics of sewing the sleeve and adding a sleeve to a bodice from Tilly and the Buttons. Don’t worry about the gathering technique they include; just use it for a visual on steps 6 and 7 if you haven’t added a sleeve to a bodice that was already sewn together.
7. You’ll use the same link in Step 6 (if you need it) to see how to insert the sleeve into your garment. With your garment Inside/Wrong Side Out, you’ll take the sleeve which is Right Side Out and insert it into the arm opening, matching the bottom of the armpit and the top shoulder seam with the top center of the sleeve piece. Pin around, and sew the full circle. Your sleeve should be INSIDE of the bodice at this point (see the link in Step 6 if you need a visual).
8. To add the neckband, measure the raw neck opening and take 80% of that (your number multiplied by 0.80). This will be the length of your band. The width will be 1.5”-1.75”. Sew/serge your neckband RST on the short ends to create a full circular band. Then, fold your neckband Wrong Sides Together (WST) and iron. To stitch my neckband in place, I always turn my garment inside out and place my neckband inside of the garment, aligning the seam of the neckband at the center back of the garment, and lining up the front of the neckband with the front center of the garment. Pin in place, and stitch/serge. *Sorry again for no pics; I’m not used to taking pics while sewing 😩
9. Lastly, I used 1” less (than the included cut chart) for my waistband to create a snugger bottom style that suited the look I was going for. And voilà, you now have a tee!
…and some nice cooling vents for summer 😂