pattern · Sewing

BHL Pattern Hack: The Holly Shirt!


The ladies at BHL organized a Pattern Hack competition to demonstrate how versatile and match-able their patterns are. I’ve mixed and swapped bodices and bottoms on more than one occasion (this Floralex here is an example) and also created my favorite skirt so far from their gorgeous Flora Dress pattern (you can see it here), but this time I had something else in my mind. Primarily because I quickly run out of time and the deadline is just next Friday, but also because I really wanted to try their latest pattern, the Holly Jumpsuit. I’m not a jumpsuit kind of gal – I love them on other people but don’t like the look on myself plus it’s not my idea of comfort to have to get naked every time I need to pee – so I thought I could easily transform that lovely button up bodice in as much as lovely shirt (and one day I might sew a pair of those wide leg trousers too!).


In my mind this shirt had to be very sweet and pretty so a gathered panel was a must-have and also a girly print needed to be used. My first try involved a pink fabric with light pink stars, but something went wrong with the sizing and the FBA I thought I needed so I had to basically throw away the lot. Very sad because I love that print. I ended up using the leftovers from my Floralex, a quilting cotton full of little pink flowers with tiny blue leaves.


Obviously to make a decent length shirt out of the Holly bodice, I had to slightly modify the pattern. What I’ve done is extended the button plackets by 13.5cm lengthwise and added to this part about 4cm of width. I then drew a rectangle of 30cm x 15cm and cut 1 pair out of it for the front sides and another piece on the fold for the back. (FYI the photos below show the first fabric I wanted to use but ended in the bin instead!).
I’ve sewn these three pieces together, gathered the longest side and attached this sort of skirt to the bodice, pivoting at the corners. If you’ve sewn the Grainline Studio Alder shirtdress version two, you’ll understand what I’m trying to say here. I’ve basically followed the same process.


As you can see, I’ve omitted the sleeves. Or rather, I cut them, but once I tried the shirt on I thought the sleeves would pull and be too tight so I set them aside – no, I didn’t make a muslin first! I really like this shirt as it is thou, plus this cotton is on the heavy side and here it is already stinking hot so I’d rather prefer it sleeveless


Also, I’ve omitted the facings and used bias binding for the neckline and armholes instead. I’ve used a navy bias binding and I love the contrast created against the pink of the fabric. As the pattern is drafted to accommodate the sleeves, I’ve cut off a wedge at the shoulders and another one from the underarm for a better fit.


To accentuate the pink/blue theme going on, I’ve used navy thread for the topstitching and buttonholes and also navy buttons which I’ve sewn with pink thread instead.
I’m very pleased with how this shirt came out and I’d love to make more, trying some lighter materials too. Maybe a red lace version for the Xmas holidays? :)



So, this is my entry for the Pattern Hackathon comp, what did you make instead?


4 thoughts on “BHL Pattern Hack: The Holly Shirt!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s