Today I am sharing a quick and easy pattern mashing project using 2 of my favourite Love Notions Patterns, the La Bella Donna Top and Sybil Illusion Skirt. This post is definitely a follow up from my last post in relation to hacking patterns to suit your needs. Pattern mashing is something I seem to be good at, but avoided a bit because in my head I thought it was too difficult. Let’s face it, I am a scaredy cat! I would typically look for patterns that specify that they are mashable with other patterns, instead of experimenting on my own.
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My first pattern mashup that I did completely on my own with my own ideas was for an Instagram challenge. I mashed the By Hand London Flora with the McCalls M7905 to create a flouncy boho chic dress with a hand embroidered mandala. That dress received so much love, I knew I wanted to experiment with pattern mashing again! I felt like I didn’t have the time in 2020 to experiment though. As you know, I am approaching this year with a new mindset. Like I said in my last post, I want what I want! So we’re still in the first month of 2021 and I already tackled a mashup! So proud of myself!
One of the things I love about pattern mashing is the ability to get exactly what you want for your body type. It’s a great way to sew around your insecurities. My body has changed a lot over the last year and I’ve really been learning about the silhouettes I prefer to wear. I really like my hips and booty but my problem areas are my back and tummy. With that said, I knew I wanted a more fitted bottom but loose enough to skim over the tummy, and a blousey top.
I chose the La Bella Donna because I’ve been seeing batwing dresses a lot. So I thought a dolman sleeve top would go great with a more fitted skirt. My all time favourite skirt pattern is the Sybil Illusion; I’ve made 3 already and love them to death. It has 7 different options! I went for the pencil skirt and the length is somewhere between knee and midi. In both patterns, I sized up because the stretch % of my fabric is pretty low and also because like I said, I wanted a skimming dress. This is what I love about sewing! You get to make all the decisions and tailor your garments to your liking!
I chose the ¾ sleeves with cuffs for my top; there are also long and short sleeve options. My fabric is a coraly red poly cotton blend rib knit from Freckle Fabrics. I styled my dress with a turquoise and gold statement necklace just to jazz up the simple dress. The best feature of this dress I would say is its versatility. I can wear this dress to so many places! Unfortunately we still can’t go many places but once we open back fully, I think the first place I’d wear it is church. Where would you wear this dress? Let me know in the comments!
So according to the hubster, I made a Sybiladonna! How funny!
Here are the simple steps to make your own:
Look for the waist notch on your La Bella Donna top pattern. Decide how much extra length you want to get that blousey effect. I drew my cut line 2″ below the notch.
You then want to straighten the side seam.
For the Sybil Skirt, you can decide if you want to account for the waistband or not. The waistband is a 3″ish waistband so you can just add 3 inches as shown in the photo below. I found that the hip curve wasn’t very steep at all so I felt comfortable omitting the waistband addition and I just used my skirt piece as is. I didn’t feel like I needed to worry about the hip curve hitting the right part of my hip as there wasn’t much curve anyway.
Once you have your top and skirt made up according to their individual instructions, it is time to join them. Place the skirt inside the top pinning the waists right sides together all around. I used size XL in both patterns and the waists went together so well with minimal easing!
Once you stitch and/or serge that waist seam, it is time to add elastic. I zig zagged elastic to the seam allowance stretching the elastic as I stitched. You can also serge on the elastic while sewing the seam instead. I prefer to do it in 2 separate steps. Another option is to machine stitch the waist seam and then edgestitch down the seam allowance creating a casing for the elastic. You’ll leave a gap to pass the elastic through and then stitch the gap closed after joining the elastic ends.
I made a waist tie to cinch the waist even more. I cut two 30″ × 3.5″ strips. Joined them on one short side rst. Then folded along the long sides right sides together and stitched all around leaving a gap to turn. After turning, I used a ladder stitch to close the gap. This is pretty much the standard way of making a waist tie.
I told you this process was super easy! Nothing intimidating at all about this mash up and you end up with a pretty dolman dress with elastic waist and tie sash. I think the cuffed ¾ sleeves are perfect for this dress style too! I love how tropical it looks with the turquoise necklace! I should also mention that this dress is suuuper comfy!
Have you tried mashing patterns? Maybe your body type is the opposite to mine and you prefer a slimmer top with a looser skirt? Try mashing the flared Sybil with the Tessa Sheath dress or the Margot Peplum top. The Sybil really is the perfect mashing pattern with those 7 styles! I think this Sybiladonna would be amazing with the asymmetrical version of the Sybil! I hope I’ve inspired you to dive into pattern mashing a bit! It’s really easy especially if you start with knits!
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