Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pattern Manipulation and Thinking Outside of the Box


You know what I love, love, love about patterns?  They are marvelously versatile.  You just have to look at them with a keen eye.

Take, for example, this Simplicity pattern:



Would you believe it could be used to create the child-sized alb picture above?*  I kid not.  That's versatility, my friends.  I was able to take a girl's pattern for a coat and turn it into a boy's priest costume in a snap!  All it took was a wee bit of pattern manipulation.

I am not a master pattern manipulator.  In fact, I think I forgot everything I learned about it in fashion design school.  However, I am usually successful at simple pattern changes and that was all it took to repurpose this pattern.  The key was to look at the structure instead of the style.


I used Coat pattern A pictured above.  It had (almost) everything I needed - front closure, raglan sleeves, high neck, boxy-structure, back pleat, and proper sizing for a child (plus a bit of extra room because it was originally sized as a coat).  Most of the manipulation that took place was achieved by subtraction.  I ditched the fru-fru's (trims, pockets, buttons, and elastic), inserted a zipper, lengthened the coat, added a couple of loops for a belt, and attached a simple mandarin collar.  It was, I confess, a much simpler process than it sounds.

I do so encourage you to attempt it, should you need a priest costume for a little boy in your life.  (Tip:  Use a 14" zipper and something that doesn't wrinkle as much as the 100% cotton sheet I used.)






2 comments:

  1. You are just downright awesome :) I'm so happy I have brilliant friends... you all can make ME smart now too!

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    1. Well gosh, Ames, you're making me blush. Now, if only you could make some of your social ease rub off on me!

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