Sewing is creative. It can also be a challenge. It is something that causes me a myriad of emotions from stress to euphoria, and I can’t seem to get enough of it. One of my greatest sewing joys is hacking patterns. I love taking something and making it into something else. Letting my creative process run wild and seeing what happens.
I will find myself purchasing a fabric, not knowing how it will be used, just that I love it and someday I will figure out what it needs to be. That was what happened when I got this Walter plaid woven, back in 2017. This fabric sat in my cabinets for a “little while” and then along came the pattern and an idea formed.
I used the Callie Cardi from Sonia Estep Designs, vest option. It is drafted for knits but only needs a minimum of 20% stretch. It also has quite a bit of ease so it was a good candidate for a woven hack. I made a size 10, and sized up the upper portion of the bodice, to a 14. The only places it pulled, was across the shoulder blades on the back, and that two size addition was enough to stop that. I probably could have gotten away with just sizing up one, but I didn’t want to chance it being too snug, so I went two. I love it as is. I started at a 14, at the underarm point and graded it down to a 10. You can see part of my grading path in the picture below.
Once I had that graded, I knew I wanted to add some length, both to the cardigan itself and to the front waterfall. To determine the overall length, I measured the length of the dress I made and added the needed amount to the cardi, to have it hit around the same part on my back. I know, super scientific 😉. It ended up being about 5 inches.
To lengthen the front waterfall pieces, I just extended it as far as my fabric would allow. Since I had it folded in half to make my mirror front pieces, this ended up being about 7 inches. Again, super scientific. Then I redrew my front line to keep the shape of the pattern piece.
I sewed up the cardigan, folded the armscyse back 1/2″ and hemmed them, per the pattern. Then came the fun part. I frayed all the remaining edges to create a fun fringe look. If you like watching things, I have a short video tutorial on my youtube, showing how I did this.
If you like to read about it, I added a straight stitch all the way around, 1″ from the edge, to keep it from fraying more.
Then I grabbed my seam ripper and a pin and started pulling out the threads.
It took a while at first, but then I figured out how the threads were woven and it went much faster. I am obsessed with the finished product! Look at all that gorgeous fringe !!
To finish off my idea, I needed a slim fit dress to wear with it. The Magnolia Tee released with the Callie Cardi and was the perfect base to turn into a coordinating dress. I loved the cupro I used for my first Magnolia tee (blogged here) so I looked at the color options that might work with this woven. The solid grey from So Sew English Fabrics, was just the right one! It almost has a blue tone to it, which I really love.
To make the dress, I just measured where I wanted the hem to hit on my body, and added the needed amount to the pattern. I had already added 1″ in the upper bodice, to account for my 9″ side waist, so I added an additional 5″ to the bottom curved hemline.
I connected my dashes and redrew the side line, creating my new pattern piece. I repeated the same steps on the back bodice so they would match, and that was it.
I will definitely wear this dress on it’s own, but I do think I need a different pair of shoes for that. I tried on my fluffy grey boots with it and my daughter said it looked like pjs. Maybe a pair of white tennis shoes? What do you think? Have any shoe suggestions for me?
I can’t get enough of this combo. The waterfall look really showcases the fringe and I couldn’t be happier with this two pattern hack.
The Callie Cardi is on sale for $5 through Sunday, September 22. If you want to get the Magnolia Tee for free, check out the Sonia Estep Designs facebook group. There is a code in the comments of the first announcement post.
I hope this inspired you to let your creativity run wild and maybe hack your own patterns. Happy creating 💕
This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through that link, I may get a % back, at no additional cost to you. Let’s be honest, we all know it goes right back to adding to my fabric stash. All opinions on this blog are my own.