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Monday, September 25, 2006

Sewing Tips - Can You Mix And Match Sewing Pattern Pieces

Sewing Tips

Sewing Friends:

Many of you ask this question: "Can I mix and match sewing pattern pieces like collars and sleeves?"

I hope this gives you the info you need to design your own tops with confidence.

It just makes sense!

To Your Sewing Success,



Sewing Tips - Can You Mix And Match Sewing Pattern Pieces

- by Marian Lewis

©2006 Marian Lewis - All Rights Reserved

1st Step To Sewing Success


When you sew, many times you want to change the design and have a different collar or sleeve on your garment. Most often, you will look for another sewing pattern that has all the features you are looking for and start the fitting, trial and error process all over again.

When you know how to sew, you can have whatever you want on any garment. You are the designer. You can create "original designs" just like other designer does.

You just have to know a few rules and use a little common sense with your sewing projects. For instance, you can't use a set-in sleeve in a dropped shoulder design.

Fit the bodice once!

Fit your bodice or blouse once and use it over and over again. After you have your basic bodice or blouse fit your figure the way you want it, try changing the styles of the sleeves, collars, etc. to give you more variety instead of getting another pattern and altering it to fit you again. This will save you a lot of time and frustration.

Make several copies of this "master" fitted bodice and change the design features on each one to have a whole wardrobe of tops that fit you perfectly. Make sure you label them so you know what each one is when you go to use it.

There are only so many collar and sleeve designs. You can interchange them on your garment sewing pattern. Go through your sewing pattern box and select the ones you like that are most flattering for your figure.

The rule is that if you choose a sleeve or a collar from another pattern, you should also copy the armhole or the neckline curves from the bodice of that pattern onto your personal basic bodice master pattern that already fits you. Then, you can sew the new collar or sleeve onto your personal basic bodice/blouse without any problems because they are going into the same curves as they were originally intended.

You have changed the design, but not affected the fit because you used the body of the master sewing pattern that you know already fits you.

Remember to copy the facing that matches the collar you use so that it fits the garment also.

Place the new sleeve or collar with one of your "master" bodices with the appropriate matching armhole or neckline curves. Mark it so you know what it is and you are all set to sew it anytime you want.

Change necklines and other details from another sewing pattern

To change to a totally different neckline like changing a jewel neckline to a V-neckline, lay the pattern with the desired detail or neckline on the top of the pattern that you know fits you.

Match up the shoulder lines , center front and center back. Now draw your new neckline. The collar and facings of the new neckline with fit because it is the same neckline they were originally designed for.

Handle sleeve changes similarly.

Add a seam anywhere

You can add a seam anywhere you like on a pattern. For instance, if you want a yoke, draw a line on one of your "master" bodices where you would like the yoke to be. Cut the pattern apart on that line. Add a 5/8" seam allowance to both cut edges. When you sew this back together, you have a yoke and you haven't changed the fit of the garment.

Create your own original designs. Have fun being a designer.

It just makes sense!


End Of Article


PS: If you enjoyed this article or have a comment, please do so here on my Sewing Success Blog.

Actually, you can check out most of my articles here. You might find something that interests you in the archives. Check it out. I welcome your feedback :-)

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If you have sewing related questions that you would like to have answered, ask them here or at Burning Question.

I'll do my best to answer them for you.


Marian Lewis is a sewing instructor, author and creator of an amazing new fitting method for hard-to-fit sewing folks who want great fitting skirts and pants. In her mini-course ebook, she teaches step-by-step common sense techniques how to find out WHAT you really need, WHERE you really need it and HOW to apply that to a commercial sewing pattern.

Marian is also the author of many articles and other mini-course ebooks related to sewing highlighting, "It Doesn't LOOK Homemade"Sewing Techniques.

Check out her website at 1st Step To Sewing Success.

Discover Fitting And Sewing Secrets To Achieve Sewing Success

Check out the mini-course ebooks:

"Common Sense Fitting Method For Hard-To-Fit Sewing Folks Who Want Great Fitting Skirts And Pants"

"Sew A Tee Pee And Accessories For Your Tribe Of Kids"

"Classy Designer Straight Skirt"


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