Isobel Misses Pattern Hack {How to create a Top}

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Isobel Tween and Misses are finally here!!! Isobel (in Baby and Girls) is one of our best selling and most loved patterns of all time and we are so pleased that it is now available in our entire range of pattern sizes. Isobel is a dress pattern with loads of options that can be mixed and matched to make the perfect summer dress. 

When sewing up my 3rd or 4th Isobel, I realized that I really needed to alter this into a top for myself. As much as I love a cute summer dress, I tend to gravitate towards tops for day to day wear. Therefore, the Isobel Top pattern hack was born..hahaha!! (Scroll to the End to find the hack for the Doll version as well!)

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In case you were wondering, yes, I absolutely had "Watermelon Sugar High" stuck in my head for days after sewing this top. Seriously though, how cute is this fabric?!? I picked it up from Alyssa May Design. She has a wide variety of apparel fabrics and super fun prints.

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The Isobel top features a button up front and peplum bottom ruffle. You can still use either the bodice ruffle or flutter sleeve options on the top. This top is so simple to make, the hardest part will be deciding how many you realistically need in your closet!

Let's get started:

1. Print and cut the Bodice Front, Bodice Side Insets and Bodice Back pattern pieces out according to your size.

Note on sizing: Isobel has 1 1/4" ease at the bust and 1 3/4" ease at the waist. When sewing the dress option, sizing down (to have less ease and a more fitted look) is optional. Reducing the ease is a straight forward alteration, as the back closes with a zipper. For this top hack option, I recommend either sticking with the eases given in the pattern, or ONLY reducing the waist ease. Without sufficient ease at the bust, the button up front will most likely gape open. 

2. We are going to make a few small adjustments to these three pattern pieces:

  • Bodice Back - The back is closed, and will not have a zipper. Measure in from the back center seam 1/2" and draw a line. Then measure up 3/4" from the bottom edge, to shorten the pattern piece and draw a straight line. The bodice back pattern will now be Cut 2 on the fold {one main, one lining}.
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  • Bodice Front - Add some width to the front center line to accommodate for the button front opening. Tape some paper to the front center and measure over 1 1/4" and draw a line. This will allow for 1/2" seam allowance as well as the front overlap. It also gives a touch more ease to prevent any potential gaping at the bust once buttoned. Then measure up 3/4" from the bottom edge, to shorten the pattern piece and draw a straight line.  The bodice front pattern piece will now be Cut 4 {two main mirrored, two lining mirrored}.

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  • Bodice Side Insets - Measure up 3/4 from the bottom edge, shortening the pattern piece and draw a new straight line.

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3. Cut the pattern pieces out around all your new lines and then use them to cut out the main and lining fabric.

4. Begin following the Isobel tutorial to create the Bodice, sewing Bodice Ruffles or Flutter Sleeves if desired. *When you are sewing, remember that the tutorial shows the Bodice Front as solid, and the Bodice Back split in two pieces. This is so a zipper can be installed in the back. For this hack, the Bodice Front is split in two pieces and the Bodice Back is solid. The instructions remain the same, but the tutorial pictures will look a little different. 

5. Once you reach step #21 of the tutorial, remember that you are now pinning around the back neckline, around the shoulders, across the front neckline and down both of the front middle seams.

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6. Once sewn, but before turning right side out, we recommend applying a 1" wide strip of fusible stablizer to the wrong side of the bodice lining right next to the center seam.  This will assist in ease of buttonholes and buttons later.

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7. Trim off 1/2 of the seam allowance and clip into the corners, being careful not to cut the stitch line. Turn the bodice right side out and if desired, top stitch up the front middle seam and around the front and back necklines.

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Creating the Peplum Ruffle:

8. Follow steps #23-25 of the Isobel tutorial to finish the bodice. Lay the bodice out in front of you with the front edges lining up.  Measure along the bottom edge of the bodice. You will use this measurement to determine the width of the ruffle.

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a. Write down the measurement across the bottom of the bodice. The example in the photo measures 16".

b. Multiply that measurement x 2.  So my ruffle will be 16 x 2 = 31" wide.  You will be cutting 2 ruffles. 

Use the below chart to determine the height of the ruffle: 

Tween Sizes

10

12

14

16

5 1/8”

5 ¼”

5 3/8”

5 ½”

 

Misses Sizes

00

0

2

4

6

8

10

12

14

16

18

20

5 ½”

5 5/8”

5 ¾”

5 7/8”

6”

6 1/8”

6 ¼”

6 3/8”

6 ½”

6 5/8”

6 ¾”

7”

 

Example: If you are sewing a size 6 Isobel Top, you will cut two ruffles that are 31" wide x 6" tall.

9. Cut one of the ruffles in 1/2 widthwise to create two front ruffles. You will now have two front ruffles and one back ruffle.

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10. Place the two front ruffles on top of the back ruffle with the right sides touching and the raw edges lining up. Pin together along the short side edges. Sew along the pinned seams.  For a professional look, finish the seams with a serger or trim off 1/2 of the seam allowance and finish with a zig zag stitch.

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11. Hem the bottom raw edge of the ruffle. Turn the edge up 1/4" and iron flat, then turn up another 1/4" and iron flat. Sew right along the folded edge.

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12. Finish the raw short ends. Turn the ends in 1/4" and iron flat, then turn under another 1/4" and iron flat. Sew right along the folded edges.

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13. Sew two rows of gathering stitches along the top raw edge of the ruffle. Mark the center of the ruffle with a pin.

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14. Lay the bodice out in front of you and mark the center of the bottom edge of both side panels. These marks will serve as the side seams.

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15. Gather the ruffle up until it is the same width as the bodice. Place it on top of the bodice with the right sides touching and the raw edges lining up.  Match up the center of the back ruffle with the center of the bodice back and pin. Then match up the side seam and pin. Finally, match up the finished edges of the ruffle with the finished edges of the bodice front center seams.

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16. Sew along the pinned seams. For a professional look, finish the seam with a serger or trim off 1/2 of the seam allowance and finish with a zig zag stitch. Iron the seam allowance up towards the bodice and topstitch if desired.

17. Mark for button holes on the wearers right side of the bodice front. The front will overlap 1". We recommend using 4-5 buttons and placing them on the bodice only (not the ruffle). Place the first button 1/4"-3/8" down from the finished top edge and space the remaining buttons evenly.

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17. Sew the button holes using your sewing machine. Open the button holes. If you are using a seam ripper, be sure to place a pin at the top of each button hole, so you do not accidentally rip the garment.

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18. Overlap the front center bodice by 1" and mark for buttons. Sew the buttons either by hand or with your machine.

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That's it!! You have now created an Isobel Top!!

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This top is going to quickly become your summer staple. Please be sure to post them in the FB group and Instagram and tag us in your post!

xoxo,

Ericka/VFT

 

Edited to Add:

The Amazing Caroline Gehman has created this hack for the doll version of Isobel as well!

To create this doll version you will follow Ericka's instructions above, with only these changes to the pattern pieces:
Bodice front: add 0.5” to the center and subtract 0.25” from the bottom. Cut 4 (2 mirror image sets)
Bodice back: subtract 1.5” from the center and subtract 0.25” from the bottom. Cut 2 on the fold. 
Side panel: subtract 0.25” from the bottom. Cut 4.
Peplum skirt: piece is 7.5” x 2.5”. Cut one on fold for the back and cut 2 (one mirror image set) for the front. 
The front overlap is 0.75”  and you can fit three 3/8” buttons very comfortably. For hemming it, you will turn under the bottom raw edge 0.25", iron it and then turn it under  0.25" again and sew!
March 19, 2021 by Ericka Wright

Ainsley Pattern Hack {How to create a Ruffled Pant Leg}

Ainsley pattern hack

Even without a hack, Ainsley is such a great pattern with options for a jumpsuit, knee-length or maxi dress! I feel like knit garments are so rewarding to sew because they are easier to fit, require less tailoring and, lets be honest, you feel like you are wearing your pajamas while looking fabulous..hahaha!  But this ruffle pant trend kept popping up everywhere I looked; it was on my Pinterest, Instagram and even in some of my favorite boutiques. Here are a few of the jumpsuits that were inspiring my hack:

Inspiration Jumpsuits

 I finally realized that this would be such an easy pattern hack for Ainsley, giving my go to pattern even more options! So I gave it a try and I LOVE IT!!!!!!!  I feel like it is so on trend and gives it a an extra feminine detail that I can't get enough of. I actually loved it so much that I wanted to share what I did with you guys too! 

 

So let's get started!!

First, go ahead and print out all the Ainsley pieces and assemble them as normal. But I have one important tip before you start hacking your pattern pieces: 

TIP: Measure the inseam of the pant pattern pieces to ensure accurate length prior to cutting and sewing the hem ruffle. If necessary, cut off or add additional length.

Measure your own inseam to the desired length. This ruffle mod would look cute with a full length pant leg that brushed the foot or a cropped ankle length. 

Okay, now that we know the length is correct, lets get started:

1. Begin by placing the back pant leg pattern piece in front of you. Use the charts below to determine how far to measure up from the bottom edge and mark.

step 1

INSEAM EDGE: Measure up from the bottom edge of the back leg pattern piece according to the chart below and draw a ½” line.

Girls Sizes

2T

3T

4T

5

6

7

8

9,10

3 ¼”

3 ½”

3 ¾”

4”

4 ¼”

4 ½”

4 ¾”

5”


Tween Sizes

10

12

14

16

5 ¼”

5 ½”

5 ¾”

6”


Misses Sizes

XXS

XS

S

M

L

XL

XXL

6 ½”

6 ¾”

7”

7 ¼”

7 ½”

7 ¾”

8”


SIDE EDGE: Measure up from the bottom edge of the back leg pattern piece according to the chart below and draw a ½” line.

Girls Sizes

2T

3T

4T

5

6

7

8

9,10

6 ¾”

7”

7 ¼”

7 ½”

7 ¾”

8”

8 ¼”

8 ½”

 

Tween Sizes

10

12

14

16

9 ¼”

9 ½”

9 ¾”

10”

 

Misses Sizes

XXS

XS

S

M

L

XL

XXL

11”

11 ¼”

11 ½”

11 ¾”

12”

12 ¼”

12 ½”

 

2. Draw a curved line from the outside edge line across to the inseam edge line that you drew in the previous step. You can either use a curved ruler or simply freehand draw the line as accurately as possible.

step 2

 

 3. Cut right along the drawn line, creating two pieces, the back pants top and back pants bottom ruffle.

step 3

 4. You now need to add a 1/2" seam allowance to the bottom edge of the new back pants top pattern piece and the top edge of the back pants ruffle.  Tape a piece of paper to the edge and trace a new line that extends ½” past the cut.

 5. We now need to add width to the bottom ruffle piece, this will allow us to gather it up. To determine how much width to add, lay the ruffle out in front of you and measure it along the bottom edge.

step4

6. Write down the full measurement. Now take that number and divide it by 2.  Cut a piece of paper that is the same height as the tallest side edge of the pattern piece and as wide as your new number. Tape it to the pattern piece as shown below to create a new, longer pattern piece. 

 i.e., If the bottom edge of your pattern piece measures 13.5”, divide that in two and you get 6.75”

step 5

You now have a new pattern piece that is Cut 2 mirrored.  This will create a gathered bottom ruffle.

Note: I ran the pattern piece straight along the top edge of the new piece that extends out. Once the ruffle is gathered and attached back onto the pant leg, it is not obvious that area runs straight. 

7. Cut out the Bottom ruffles and sew 1-2 rows of gathering stitches along the top raw edge.

step 6

8. Place the gathered ruffle on top of the cut bottom edge of one pant leg with the right sides touching and the raw edges lining up.  Ensure that the shorter ruffle edge is lining up with the inseam edge of the pant leg and the longer edge is lining up with the outside edge of the pant leg.  Pin to secure.

step7

9. Sew along the pinned seam with either a stretch stich or zig zag stitch. For a professional look, finish the seam with a serger or trim off ½ of the seam allowance and finish with a zig zag stitch.

step 8

10.Repeat for the remaining ruffle and opposite back pant leg. Ensure you are created two mirrored pant legs, this can be an easy mistake since not all knit as an easily distinguishable right and wrong side.

11.Repeats steps 1-10 to create the front pant legs with bottom ruffle.

Now you will just follow the Ainsley tutorial as stated to complete your jumpsuit!  I hope you enjoy this hack :) 

 

xoxo,

Ericka {VFT}

March 12, 2021 by Ericka Wright