Everyone knows that sewing gives you superpowers. First on that long list is the ability to break the rules and make garments that represent you and your taste. We want to encourage you to think of our patterns as a blank canvas that you can customize to truly suit your style.
Our pattern hacks are designed to teach you hacking basics that help you customize patterns so that you can become a confident pattern hacker. Each month, we will show you how to draft and sew one new pattern hack, and we’ll share links to two additional pattern hacks from our pattern hacks library.
These hacks help you give your Seamwork patterns a custom spin—all you need is paper, a ruler, and a pencil!
This month, we teach you how to create a gathered skirt with side seam pockets. You can also check out two additional hacks. One will help you create a square neckline, and the other creates a 1940s-style bodice with gathered bust insets.
Note: For best results, be sure to make any necessary fit adjustments before hacking your pattern.
- The Sky jumpsuit
- Clear ruler
HACK ONE: GATHERED SKIRT
If jumpsuits just aren’t your thing, it is easy to turn the Sky jumpsuit into a dress. In this hack, I’ll walk you through creating a gathered skirt to complement Sky’s bodice.
01 | Measure the front waist of the Sky jumpsuit.
02 | On a fresh sheet of pattern paper, draw a rectangle that is double the width of the waist by your desired length. For reference, a midi skirt is about 33-36” long. Using paper scissors, cut out the rectangle.
03 | To add more sweep to your gathered skirt, draw parallel, vertical lines 4” apart across the width of the skirt—these are slash lines. Cut along the slash lines from the hem to the waist, leaving a small paper hinge.
04 | Place a piece of pattern paper beneath your slashed pattern and spread between each slash mark to create the desired volume. Secure with tape.
NOTE: Be conscious of the width of your fabric. Only add as much width as your fabric can accommodate.
05 | Redraw the hem and waistline using a curved ruler. Add 5/8” seam allowance to the waist and side seam, and 1 1/4” hem allowance to the hem.
06 | Using paper scissors, cut the front skirt piece. Label “front skirt, cut 1 on fold.”
07 | Using the Sky pocket as a guide, transfer the pocket markings to the skirt side seam.
08 | Repeat steps 1-7 to create the back skirt. Be sure to also add 5/8” seam allowance to the center back seam.
01 | After sewing the bodice darts according to the pattern instructions, sew three basting stitches along the skirt waistline. Using the basting stitches, gather the skirt pieces to the corresponding bodice pieces. Sew at 5/8”. Finish the seam allowances together and press towards the bodice.
02 | Attach the waist ties and pocket, then finish according to the pattern instructions.
HACK TWO: SQUARE NECKLINE
Try adding a square neckline to the Sky jumpsuit by using this hack from Seamwork issue 43.
HACK THREE: GATHERED BUST INSETS
Try adding gathered bust insets to the Sky jumpsuit by using this hack from Seamwork issue 9.