Pattern Hacking!

It happens to me all the time. You, too? I buy a shirt. And I absolutely love it. But…I wish it had pockets. Or, I wish it was longer. Or, I wish the neckline wasn’t so low. Maybe a different fabric? Or, a myriad of other options.

Enter the sewing your own clothes world. And, it gets worse. Because every pattern is perfectly fitting, and every pattern is infinitely hackable. You want pockets? No problem. Longer/shorter? So easy.

Sonia skirt by Rebecca Page patterns

I absolutely love this skirt. This is the Sonia skirt, from Rebecca Page patterns. I’m going to preface everything by telling you I’m a brand ambassador for Rebecca Page patterns. I love them! All of them. I’m not an affiliate. So, I get nothing by referring you. This is how much I love their patterns, because I don’t care that I don’t profit in any way, shape, or form. I will tell you about all of them.

But, I digress. The Sonia skirt. The pattern actually calls for patch pockets on the front. And I wasn’t a fan of the look. I also wasn’t loving how that would look with the two different fabrics. So, I decided to do in seam pockets instead. Fortunately, I tested another skirt pattern that had the in seam pockets, so I just used that pocket pattern, and the same instructions. Easy peasy.

Then, my brain started doing what it does, and I decided to make another one. I found this wonderful fabric in the clearance section (score!).

Bargain fabric!

I love a great deal on fabric. This is a lovely pattern, with a soft, fleecy backing. Perfect for cold weather. It’s much heavier than the original skirt fabric, though. So, I wanted to make it shorter, and a little narrower. And I didn’t want to do the in seam pockets, because they would be too bulky.

Enter…pants pockets? Like, on a pair of jeans?

I loved the idea. So, to figure out how to do it. I remembered watching a video of how she turned zip up pants into elastic waist pants, and figured I could use the same concept. Thanks, Crystal!

I went through all my patterns, looking for pants with the right style of pockets.

Sorry, it’s upside down

I decided that the pocket would go between the two side panels. So, I cut them out. Then I took the pocket bag piece, lined it up with my side and top edges…and cut!

One thing I highly recommend…when your fabric is only $4/meter, buy more than you think you’ll need. I was super conscious of which side of the pattern I was working on, and fortunately got it right the first time. But, I had lots of extra fabric, just in case!

I used a light cotton for the pocket bag, just to minimize bulk. I sewed the pocket bag to the side front panel, right sides together.

Pocket bag

Then, I flipped the pocket bag to the wrong side of the panel.

Flip it!

And top stitched…

Top stitching close to the edge

I stitched very close to the edge. I really love narrow seams.

Then, I sewed the pocket back to the pocket bag, along the curved edge. I did a quick tacking stitch to secure the top pocket bag to the top of the side panel. And then, sewed the front side panel to the back side panel, making sure that the pocket laid flat between the two.


I finished the rest of the skirt, as per instructions. I eliminated both front center panels, because I wanted a narrower profile. But I’m going to add one back in, with some modification. Just to make the pockets lay a little better.

Almost finished!

This is by far the biggest hack I’ve done. Normally, I just make adjustments to length, or necklines, or sleeves. I completely changed the line and drape of the Sonia, and I love the pockets!

What’s your biggest hack?

Spread the love

2 thoughts on “Pattern Hacking!

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply