Transition Spring/Summer Patterns for Fall
October 24, 2011
One of my favorite things to do when Fall comes around is figure out how to still wear my favorite warm weather pieces through the end of the year. The same goes for my daughter. I love seeing her summer dresses peeking out from under sweaters or jackets. But what about my favorite summer patterns, should I be forced to stop sewing the patterns I love because the temperature drops a little. Umm...Nope, I just figure out a way to transition my best patterns to fit the season. One of my all time patterns is the Oliver+S Class Picnic. I love the style but it is clearly a spring/summer pattern. I didn't have time to make it in the summer so I am modifying it for fall/winter. I am approaching this from 2 directions: pattern modification and fabric choice.
Fabric choice: obviously for a cooler weather garment I am not going to use plain cotton but instead am going with a flannel (Urban Flannel Dots). This will really amp up the warmth of the shirt plus give it some extra softness that is needed when it is cold outside. You can also use some wool flannel, double knit, corduroy or velvet (something stable).
Pattern Modification: Now with ¾ sleeves, flannel alone is not going to be enough for fall and winter so we need to bring the sleeve down. I did this not by lengthening the sleeves but by adding a contrasting sleeve cap. To do this, I placed the sleeve pattern piece on some freezer paper and drew the sleeve longer by 4 in. on the freezer paper following the shape of the sleeve pattern piece. Then I removed the sleeve pattern piece and added the seam allowance to the top of my sleeve cap piece. Cut out your sleeve cap piece and then cut 2 from contrasting fabric (I used Urban Flannel Floral Diamond). When it is time to join your sleeves to your shirt, stitch your sleeve cap piece to the sleeves and then press the seams towards the sleeves and topstitch. Be sure and measure your child or an existing shirt to make sure you make your sleeve cap long enough and add in a hem allowance.
I love the way this shirt is easy to put on my wiggly toddler and gives her plenty of wiggle room. She loves wearing it and the style is cute and modern. The pattern was really easy to assemble without too many pieces. I definitely recommend using the whole 5 in. elastic pieces Liesl recommends. If you try to cut your elastic to size first to save elastic, you will have a tough time. By using the longer 5 in. piece it is easy to thread the casing and then to pull the elastic to size and stitch in place. You might waste some elastic but you will save time and frustration. This pattern is great for modifying. You can make it longer for a dress, make the yoke with contrasting fabric, and make the sleeves super short for really hot days. This is a wardrobe builder that is fun and fast. I recommend it to parents and grandparents alike!
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