Pattern Hacking the Iris Top

Iris top

This experiment was inspired by one of my Instagram followers who went ahead and totally disregarded my instructions to sew the Iris top in a woven fabric only.  She sewed up her top in a knit, and it worked!

So, she got me thinking; what else can I do to this top to make it look more versatile? The only way to find out was to play with fabric, of course!

Iris top

The Iris was designed for medium weight woven fabrics.  If you chose a light weight fabric, the whole curved hemline would look a bit messy (think stretched out ruffled hem).  This is the very reason why I didn't want to suggest knits. 

But, as my Instagram follower suggested, rules are made to be broken, so I decided to play with some remnants and see what happens. The front of the Iris was cut in a heavy rayon crepe.  The crepe was a piece of left over fabric I had from making a dress.  The piece was no bigger than  24" wide and 27" long.  Usually remnants of that size are reluctantly throw out because you can't make much of anything out of them. The back and sleeves were cut out of a black pointe, also leftover fabric from a different project.

To stabilize the curve of the hems I cut a very narrow strip, 1/4", of fusing and fussed the entire curve preventing it from loosing its' shape.  

Because my fabric was of a thicker and meatier hand, I decided to skip the bias binding all around the curved hem (fearing a very bulky hem) as the instructions suggested, and instead I did a double rolled hem.  Of course I cheated and used a machine attachment (pic below)  to help with the rolling of the hem.  (If you're wondering why my machine attachment looks unusual, it's because I use an industrial sewing machine) 

sewing machine attachment


double rolled hem

Because I skipped on the bias to finish the hem, I also though I needed to skip the bias binding at the neckline.  Since the fabrics were heavier I didn't think a slim bias binding at the neck would work.  So, I decided to do a t-shirt style wide band at the neck.  The finished neckline band is 1/2" in width.  

Iris neckband

 Then it was time to lengthen the sleeves and drop the cuff.  The finished sleeve length is 17" and the sleeve width is 10".  If I were to do it all over again I should shorten the sleeve to just above the elbow.  I keep pushing then up anyway.

And there you have it!  Iris 2.0.  If anything, I hope I inspired you to take a look at your patterns to see how you can tweak them to get a very different look.  Whether it be through using up remnants and combining fabrics together to changing the finishes ever so slightly.  I hope this inspires you to play!


Happy Sewing!!


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