Pattern Mash-up Isla/Havana romper!
Hi all! I’m Hayley from Oinky Beaver Originals…nice to e-meet you! I don’t know about you, but I am always envious when I see fellow sewers post cool combinations of different patterns (often referred to as a “mashup”) – you take the things you love from each pattern and make something amazing! So for today’s blog post, I thought I would share some tips for combining patterns using a mashup that I have been wanting to make for months. I love the look of the Isla Top/Dress by Little Lizard King and really wanted to see that as a romper. So I decided to mash it with the romper bottoms in the Havana pattern (also by Little Lizard King). While I am using specific patterns to illustrate, the concepts are similar no matter which patterns you choose to combine.
Let’s get started!
Once you’ve decided which patterns to mash, you will need to compare the pattern pieces to figure out any modifications that may be required. I printed and assembled the top piece of both the Isla and the Havana along with the romper bottom piece of the Havana.
I started by determining the length of the Havana top by measuring the length from the bottom of the armcye to the bottom seam of the pattern piece. I know that I want my modified Isla top piece to be approximately the same length to ensure that the romper has a similar fit.
Before I move on, I have a tip for you (let’s call it quick tip #1): I would suggest drawing your new waist seam line on your modified pattern piece right now. Lay your top pieces one on top of the other and line up the bottom of the armcyes. Make sure that the fold line of the Isla piece is perpendicular to the waist seam line of the Havana piece. It may look a bit odd at this point, but it’s okay! Go ahead and draw a line across your Isla piece right where the Havana piece ends (making sure that the line is perpendicular to the fold line of the Isla piece).
Clear as mud? Wouldn’t this be easier if I had a picture for you? Yes, yes it would. But alas, I haven’t got a picture of this step because I didn’t follow my own instructions and skipped ahead. So let’s jump ahead a little and I will show you my comparison picture after I made the modifications. You can see in this picture that I have drawn a waist seam line that is perpendicular to the fold line. When I line up the bottom of the armcyes, my newly drawn waist seam line should match up with the waist seam line of the Havana piece.
(On a totally unrelated note – please ignore the hideous state of my cutting mat!)
You should now have an unmodified Isla piece with a line drawn through it that will soon become your new waist seam line. Let’s move on…
Next, I took a look at the Havana top and bottom pieces where they would be connected. You can see here that they are the same width…so we know that we need to make sure that the Isla top will be the same width as the Havana bottom piece (otherwise one of the pieces would require gathering and the pieces may not end up looking like they work together as one outfit).
Now let’s take a look at how the Isla top piece lines up…uh oh! This is a completely different width and shape. Time to make some modifications…
…But before we start – it’s time for quick tip #2 (read: do as I say, not as I do!): compare the top pieces. Is one supposed to be cut on the fold? If so, you will need to take that into consideration before making your modifications…if you don’t, you will make a big mess (read: when I made my first modification, I made a big ole mess…I won’t share those pics…but thankfully I realized my mistake before I cut into any of my precious Threads and Stitches fabric!).
The Isla top piece is to be cut on the fold whereas the Havana top piece is not. In order to ensure that my pieces line up, I need the waist seam line of my modified top piece to measure ½ the width of the Havana bottom piece.
And that brings me to quick tip #3 (read: yes I definitely made this mistake, but because I was working with knit, it didn’t cause any issues in the final product…again…do as I say, not as I do!): make sure to take into account any seam allowance AND any other things that might impact the shape of the piece. In this case, the Havana top piece has straight sides whereas my modified Isla top piece does not. You will see in the picture above that I accounted for the ½” seam allowance, but what I failed to do was account for the waistline facing piece that needs to be added to make the elastic casing for the romper. Since that is cut as a rectangle, I should have either (a) changed the shape of that piece to mimic the shape of my modified Isla piece, or (b) account for the waistline facing when making my modified Isla piece. My advice (if you decide to make this specific mashup) is to follow (b) so your modified Isla shape would look more like the picture below. Remember to take into account any seam allowances in your modification – you will see in the picture below that I should have had a 1.5” straight line to accommodate the seam allowance and waistline casing before starting to angle my line towards the armcye.
You will see in this picture that I have drawn a straight line to account for seam allowance (and waistline casing) and have then drawn a line connecting the top of that line to the bottom of the armcye. This is my new side seam. You can now cut along your drawn side and waist seams to create your modified Isla top piece.
Are you feeling brave? If not, go back and compare the pieces again…make sure that you are comfortable that everything lines up. Remember that the tops of the pieces will not line up and will look really weird compared to each other…this is okay. We will be sewing the pieces separately before joining them together…so we’re just looking to make sure that where the two patterns join together, they will line up.
I’m feeling brave, so I’ve cut my pieces. Look how nicely the modified Isla top piece lines up with the Havana romper bottom piece!
Now cut out the rest of your pieces so you can get sewing!
Follow the Isla tutorial to make the top using your modified pieces. Look how cute it is so far!
Follow the Havana tutorial to sew the romper bottoms together. You will follow the instructions for joining the bottoms to the top, but will just be using your Isla top piece instead! Because you have made the modifications above, your pieces will line up nicely and should go together easy-peasy!
Are you ready for some cuteness? Here is my knit version of the Isla-Havana Romper using gorgeous fabric that I got right here at Threads and Stitches! This is Art Gallery Soulful Floral Universe Plum, in knit.
I hope this was helpful and that you can use it to make your own mashups (whether it’s the Isla-Havana Romper or something totally new!). Please share your creations in the Threads and Stitches Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/threadsandstitches/!