This simple pattern mashing method for knit tops and dresses, takes the upper bodice (including sleeves, if the style has sleeves) of one sewing pattern, and combines it with the lower portion (below the arm pits) of another. This allow you to change the neckline or sleeve style on your top or dress, or change up the bottom (turning a top into a dress, a dress into a top, or simply changing the style of skirt on a dress).
Here’s how to do it!
NOTE: Your two patterns should be the same approximate size, and both drafted for knit fabric. This method could work for some woven patterns, but they tend to involve darts which may not work well.
1. Take the pattern you wish to use for the top portion, and draw a line straight across it, just below the armscye (you need to be able to see the corner, but you won’t be using anything below it, so you don’t need much. Cut it and retain the top portion only, OR if you wish to keep your original pattern intact, trace around the top portion and then cut the tracing out.
2. Take the pattern you wish to use for the bottom portion, and draw a line straight across it right at the armscye. Fold the top portion undermeath, so you can use the bottom portion only for your new creation.
3. Lay out your fabric. Place the top pattern on the fold as normal. Then take the bottom portion and overlap it slightly, so that it lines up at the corner at the bottom of the armscye. The fold line of your bottom portion may not line up properly with the fold of the fabric – this is totally ok, it just means your two pattern had slightly different amounts of ease. You should still keep your fold line perfectly parallel with the fabric fold though.
WHAT ABOUT SEAM ALLOWANCE? If your two patterns have different seam allowance, generally you can just use the seam allowance of the top pattern. However, if both patterns are quite fitted and have different allowance, you may need to adjust the seam allowance on one of them before mashing them together.
I used this method recently to create the dress below, a mash up of the VersatiliTee (boatneck front, v-back) by Buttons and Bibs, with the December Dress by George and Ginger Patterns (mini length – I am petite so it falls closer to the knee than it would on an average height person).