Summer Concert Tee to Cardigan (Guest Post by Lizz of A Good Wardrobe)

***We’re continuing onward with the guest posts while I’m on vacay! Today I’m excited to have the lovely Lizz from A Good Wardrobe here sharing an awesome modification for my own pattern! I’m so flattered! 

 Lizz is currently living my own personal dream – going to school for pattern design in one of the coolest cities in the world and calling her wardrobe “good” is a total understatement. When I first came across her blog I fell in love! Er, let me explain. I fell in love with her clothes! She makes sophisticated and classy designs with a touch of femininity and, if I do say so myself, 100% badassitude! I seriously want to sneak in her house at night and steal all of the clothes she’s made! Wow, that sounds creepy… But really, it’s as if someone else made all of the clothes I’d imagine I’d want to make. Well, while I’m experiencing some serious sewing swoon over here let’s get on with the post, shall we? ***

Hello, Dixie DIY fans! I’m Lizz from A Good Wardrobe! I can’t tell you how excited I was when Dixie approached me about a guest post. I knew that I wanted to share with you one of my favorite things about sewing: pattern modification. It’s amazing how tiny changes to an existing pattern can create an entirely different project. With just a few key patterns, you can create an endless amount of garments.
I live in the San Francisco Bay Area which means that on any given day I could go through two or three major weather changes. Layering is a must – especially in the summer. I’ve been in desperate need of a lightweight cover up recently and my spring/fall cardigans are just too heavy for the job. I thought it would be fun to play around with Dixie’s Summer Concert Tee to create a cardigan and show you all how to do the same.
Fabric:  2 yards of jersey fabric or other single knit that does not fray. It’s important that the jersey’s right side curls onto itself as this design utilizes the natural curling tendency for the collar.
Please refer to the pattern for additional supplies and instructions on working with knit fabrics.
1. Print and assemble the pattern but don’t cut it out just yet.
2.Select your size according to the pattern’s size chart. I’m in between sizes and chose to size up since this a loose fitting garment.
3. Draw a grain line parallel to the center front. We’ll be modifying this piece and will need a grain line when cutting out later.
4. Using a curved ruler or freehand, draw a line extending from the high neckline point (where the neck and shoulder meet) to the center front. You can see mine in the photo – it’s the blue line.
This is your new center front. When it’s time, cut 2.
5. Draft a new collar piece.
– Measure the new center front from hemline to high neckline = a
– Measure back neckline from center back to high neckline = b
– (a + b – hem allowance of 1″) x 2 = c
– Draft a new collar pattern 2″ x measurement c
– Mark grain line running the length of the cross grain (selvedge to selvedge)
6. Cut pattern pieces out: front (cut 2), back (cut 1 on fold), sleeves (cut 2 on fold), and new collar piece (cut 1).
7. Follow the pattern directions steps 1 -4. At this point you will have the garment constructed and hemmed leaving only the collar to finish.
8. With right sides together attach the collar to the garment being careful not to stretch.
 The collar hem and side will be left unfinished.
That’s it! You can have this cardigan finished and ready to wear in an afternoon. I hope you enjoy making it as much as I did. Happy sewing!

Going old school: The Portia Top Pattern

Hey folks, I’ve been busy this last week cranking out swimsuits I hope to use on my upcoming vacation but I wanted to post about a pattern I made last September (wow, it feels like a lot longer than that).

I made the shirt and pattern in conjunction with “The Refashioners” – a cool idea from the lovely Portia. She sent a bunch of bloggers a surprise package filled with a thrift store garment and we were challenged to re-make it into something new. My surprise outfit was big enough for me to incorporate into two shirts, the second of which I self drafted and made into a pattern.

I never did post the pattern here for whatever reason but perhaps now is as good a time as any.

Quick rundown on the shirt – it’s a pieced together design with cut-on cuffed sleeves, pleated shoulders, a round neckline and interesting seaming. You could play around with some fun color blocking if you want.

This pattern is more old school Dixie style – basic instructions (no pics), not quite as detailed of a layout but an advanced beginner or intermediate level sew-er should be able to put it together, no problem.

It comes in 5 sizes ranging from bust size 32″-40″

Instructions and pattern are all in one PDF. Like any other of my patterns be sure to print without scaling and tape all the pieces together by matching the letter and number notches.

It’s pretty amazing for me to see how far my pattern making skills have come in only a few months but I hope you enjoy this older free pattern! As always, let me know if you have questions or comments. I love feedback!

Summer Concert Tee Pattern Now Available!


Today’s the day! I’m very pleased to announce the release of my newest pattern. I first showed you my finished version last week and now it is ready for download.

You now can buy the pattern for $8 at my store and get an instant download.

As usual – remember to print the pattern at 100% without scaling. Don’t make the pages “fit in the printable area” or anything fancy like that. The file is already optimized to print on standard letter or A4 sheets. Once printed, line up all the pages matching letter and number notches so that it looks like the Printing Layout guide. The instructions are included with the pattern in one PDF for easy printing and reference.

The “Summer Concert Tee” Downloadable Pattern

The "Summer Concert Tee"

Yep, that’s right, I’m launching another pattern download It’s launched! You’ve seen the variations of the shirt to get to this point and now I’m almost ready to release the pattern.

I’m calling it The Summer Concert Tee because it is something I’d totally wear to a music festival in the hot summer sun while jamming out to my favorite bands (in between complaining about $5 water bottles and telling the jerk in front of me to close his umbrella, uh, yeah…).

The "Summer Concert Tee"

The shirt is fitted at the shoulders but loose at waist and hip, cropped in front and longer in back (great with high waist shorts!), scoop neck (my fave style), dolman sleeves with longer sleeve cuffs that make for a fun look in a stripe.

The "Summer Concert Tee"

I’ll be releasing it for purchase next week for $8. It willl be in five sizes as usual and be available as a PDF download with instructions and pattern in one document.

Ok, readers, here’s the thing. This shirt, in essence, is a lot like another pattern I made previously. I know you all love free patterns but I’ve decided to take the old one down. It’s not just because I want to make money. I have other reasons:

  • I made that pattern over a year ago and since then I’ve learned much more about pattern making as well as the program I use to turn my patterns into PDFs.
  • This new pattern has better fit and construction with details like wider arm openings and a different way to attach the collar. The front piece is slightly wider than the back (because ladies are more curved in the front than the back).
  • The new pattern also has more accurate sizing(!!) because of tips and tricks I’ve learned on my software.
  • Better instructions, illustrations, and pre-sewing info. Having made more patterns I know what’s important to include – like properly labeling each pattern piece with all the info (duh, Dixie!). This one will have helpful graphics for some of the steps.
  • Better printable format and visual design.
  • While the design is similar I redrafted this entire pattern from scratch.
The "Summer Concert Tee"

This new shirt pattern is just a better product all around and I’m almost embarrassed by my old patterns. That doesn’t mean I won’t ever release any new free patterns in the future. They’ll most likely be simple, easy to sew designs for clothes and accessories. I have a clutch design that I’m working on and I intend to make a free pattern for it.

I’m leaving up my old shirt pattern up for one week so go download it now while you still can if you haven’t already! Once I launch the Summer Concert Tee I’ll discontinue that old pattern for good (even on BurdaStyle).

The "Summer Concert Tee"

Alright – back to the current t-shirt!

The Goal: This top is part of my Shorts and Shirts Summer Wardrobe (my orange short were my first pair of shorts). The mix of orange and mint will be pretty daring but I’m not afraid of crazy color combos this season.

The Fabric: A gray and mint stripe from The Common Thread.

The Pattern: Version 4.0 and my final version of the upcoming Summer Concert Tee. You can see the second most recent version here.

The Changes: Version 3.0 was almost identical to this version only the back of that one was shorter because I ran out of fabric, oops. This new version doesn’t have the crochet back piece but you can easily add one to the design.

The "Summer Concert Tee"

The Results: Thumbs up! I love the colors. The collar sits nicely. And I’m proud of myself for not being lazy and changing the thread color on my serger so the inside stitches are gray instead of bright white. I’m giving myself a pat on the back for that one.

***And stay tuned, ladies and gents, I just finished my shorts that I’m working on for my next pattern. Yep, you heard right! I’m veering away from knits (which I love) and making a pattern for a pair of woven shorts! Will the excitement never end!?!?!