Altering a Pattern to Meet Your Needs

This girl makes her own clothes and shows you how and what you need.Last week I posted the picture below asking people via social media for their opinion on what dress I should make using this pattern.

Altering a pattern to meet your needs

The end tally was a tie between dress A and dress E.  I decided to go with dress E since I had already made a dress using the same pattern with the gathered waist in dress A.

I used to think that patterns had to be done exactly as instructed in order to work.  Overtime, I have learned that you can use them more like guidelines once you have a basic understanding of clothing construction. Altering a pattern to meet your needs is actually very simply. I liked the general look of the dresses in this pattern, but needed to alter the pattern to meet a few different needs in order to make the dress I envisioned:

  • Knit fabric
    • I wanted to use a stretchy knit.  Instead of cutting two back pieces, I cut one on the fold.  This eliminated the need for the zipper and a slit that would be useless in a stretchy dress.
  • Lining
    • Because my fabric had laser-cut designs, I needed to create a lining for it.  I essentially made two dresses and retrofitted them together since that wasn’t part of the original pattern.
  • Length
    • Although it looks knee length on the pattern cover, I know from making it previously that it wasn’t.  When I cut my pieces, I added about  2-3 inches in length.  If you look at the other dress I made, you’ll see that I had to add lace to lengthen it (though it looks great on my beautiful, and significantly shorter model.)
  • Sleeves
    • I opted not to add the cuffs because I wanted a more streamlined look.

Here’s what the original pattern looks like.

Simplicity 6000, altering a pattern to meet your needs.


Here’s how my dress turned out.

Altering a pattern to meet your needs


Once I had the epiphany that patterns can be flexible, a whole new world of creativity was opened for me.  Though I mainly love to refashion, I still recommend trying a pattern every now and again because it teaches you so much about clothing construction.

Mint dress made with laser cut fabric.  Great for spring!

Altering a dress pattern to meet your needs

For your information, this is what my pieces looked like before I put them together.  You can see that I essentially made two dresses. Don’t mind the difference in coloring, I changed the white balance between pics.

diy clothing blog diy clothing blog

Don’t want to sew? Here are some similar laser cut dresses you can buy ASAP.

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