Hello, Hart’s Fabric friends! I’m Alina from Alina Sewing + Design Co. I’m excited to share a pattern hack I’ve been envisioning and loving lately. Color blocking can be very trendy, but it can also look very classic. It’s also an easy way to give some personality to basic shapes. I’m using my Panama Tee Dress pattern in this tutorial, but you can apply these instructions to any pattern!
Ever since Coco Chanel incorporated nautical stripes into her 1917 collection, Breton-striped tees and dresses have been iconic. Often made up in navy, white, or black stripes, this look stays fresh and classic.
For a more fun and modern take on color blocking, you can also pair colorful stripes and polka dots or colorful solids. I’m going to show you how to color block the shoulders, but you could also do a section along the hems.
Let’s jump in!
You’ll need the front bodice, back bodice, and sleeve pattern pieces. I recommend tracing off a copy of each because we’ll be cutting the pattern apart.
First, decide where you want to color block. For this look, I drew my line just above the bottom of the armscye. Match the length of the seam line of the bodice and the sleeve to make sure that they will line up when sewn together. Cut along your line.
Second, add seam allowances to your new pieces (I recommend 3/8″ to match the rest of the Panama Tee Dress pattern) by taping a new piece of paper under it and drawing the seam allowances on. We are going to be pressing the seam allowances down, so the shape of the seam allowances should match the next 3/8″ section below it. This is called a trued seam allowance.
Third, cut out your fabrics. Placing the pieces right sides together, sew the seams.
Finally, press your seam allowances down. You are ready to proceed with constructing the pattern per the instruction manual!
Easy peasy! Color blocking is a great way to practice some basic flat patterning.
Want to draft a new neckline for this pattern or others? Follow my tutorial here.