Women's Hackers: Climate Change

Winter has finally started to thaw out here in central Virginia. There have even been a few days where it's WARM. You may think the changing seasons means it's time to print out fresh copies of your summer pattern staples, or store those winter pieces away for safe keeping. But today's challengers prove there is hidden potential in ALL patterns. With some imagination, and a muslin or two, you can successfully hack a pattern designed for one season, to suit another! Check out Jeanine and Teronia's awesome pattern transformations:

Every year you box up your warm-weather apparel and place it high in the closet to collect dust, while you reach instead for the extra bulk and layers of your winter wardrobe. You may have even done the same with your seasonal sewing patterns. Time to break those babies out and give your favorite summer patterns a winter makeover! 
Find the hidden potential in your favorite warm weather pattern(s), and hack it to survive the winter chill. The more season-specific the original pattern, the higher your marks! 

The challenger's objective is to find the untapped potential in a pattern, and use it as a blank canvas to paint their masterpiece upon.

Teronia's Look: 

I'm so excited about this week's Top Stitcher Contest because it's my turn! My opponent and I were prompted to create a "Climate Change" piece, basically, taking a warm weather pattern and turning it into something winter-worthy. I could never quite figure out who was at more of a disadvantage me - who hasn't seen a real winter in a looong time or Jeanine who lives in Canada and can't possible ever need summer clothes, right?

First, let me redefine "winter" for you because I live in Florida! Winter in Florida or Fwinter as I so affectionately call it is basically a lot of days that feel like fall in the morning and then afternoon temperatures around 70 degrees. By evening you may want to put back on one of those layers you shed earlier. If it is snow-maggeden in the rest of the country then we just wear coats and a scarf. So winter wear around here is made up of layering and more coverage. Oh and boots!

Now that you know what winter is like I can show you what I created. I took the Winter Wear Designs (appropriately named) Riviera Romper pattern and added coverage. The pattern has options for shorts and capris so I lengthened and widened the bottom for a palazzo pant kind of vibe. For the top portion raised the neckline for more coverage and added sleeves by using the sleeve piece from the Winter Wear Phresh Blazer. I kept the scoop back because remember, when I go outside at noon I will not need that jacket I dug out on my way to work that morning. By the way, if you haven't checked out any of Suzanne's super fresh designs I highly recommend that you do. 

Now, I am not sure if you can tell, but the top is my favorite part of the whole thing! That is why I took this weird sequin selfie.  So, about my fabrics and finishing: I chose a pretty purple suiting fabric for the pants portion and and pretty sequin material with the tiniest bit of stretch for the top portion. Both came from my local Joann Fabrics. Let me tell you about sequins: they do not like to be gathered. Also, they are just as bad as glitter. I had sequin pieces in my bobbin case. It was THAT bad. I was so grateful that the pattern calls for most of the edges to be finished with bias tape. (Hooray!) When it came to the sleeves I just went with the theme and finished them in bias tape too. I did add the pockets from the original pattern because I liked it on my summer romper. And of course I had to finish off the entire look with boots! Nothing screams it's winter (even at 75 degrees) like boots. Well, that is it for this southern girl. Happy Voting!

Jeanine's Look:

Holla to the hackers out there! Put your hands in the air and make some noise!!!


If you have followed my sewing, you likely know I like to change patterns up a little bit. So for this challenge I felt the need to get my extreme hack on! My goal being to use 2 of my summeriest patterns with no winter options and make them unrecognizable!

I made 2 pieces for my look, the red wool coat with flannel lining and oversized hood and a long sleeve tunic with triangle cut out and pintucks. My patterns were (at the beginning) the Sisboom Angie and the Sisboom Tortola

I had JUST enough of this gorgeous corded red wool in my stash to make this coat. After a few muslins I felt my hood piece/circle skirt piece/sleeves/etc were just right. I wanted a hood that I could wear as a cowl neck most of the time, however, out here the winter wind is bitter and so a hood is essential.

I fully lined the coat and constructed it with no exposed seams anywhere! I am super proud of my welt pockets. I had to do a little reading and a few youtube videos to get those done perfectly! I finished off the coat with some giant brown buttons to match the feather necklace and casual vibe.

For the shirt I not only, of course, had to add sleeves to it to winterize it. BUT I wanted it to add a little fun too. So I chopped the pattern up and  made a yoke, and I attached it so the seams are hidden where the shirt attaches to the yoke. The triangle cut out is just a little sass but no show. In the back I did pintuck after pintuck with the longest ones in the center and shorter on the outer sides. I also made myself a fabric feather necklace to go with the shirt.

wool is from fabric.com
tunic fabric and flannel is from Fabricland.

WELL DONE LADIES! This was NOT an easy assignment, and you both look so glamorous in your modified summer patterns!

Before we give them their marks, let's have a refresher of the rules, shall we??:

  • Please rate each challenger, and every category. Max of 5 stars, 5 is highest.
  • Challengers will receive an average score for each category, and an average score overall. (You can see an example here)
  • Your feedback helps each challenger recognize areas that they can improve their craft, and celebrate those areas that they already excel. 
  • As such, please submit your feedback for each contestant only once. Admittedly, I cannot enforce this, but the objective is for each contestant to receive a thoughtful rating, not skewed scores. 
  • It is SUPER DUPER NERVE-WRACKING to put work on display for others to judge, so let's remember to leave some love and encouragement for our challengers in the comments!