Pattern Mashing 101

Hi guys! Jody here again with some info on Pattern Mashing!  I LOVE getting the most bang for my buck and being able to use my patterns to create other unique looks by combining individual parts of several of my favorites. I will share with you at the end some pictures of my favorite New Horizon mashes and alterations I’ve done!

So many New Horizon’s patterns already come with a variety of options, and then if you add to that the ability to mash different parts of various patterns makes the possibilities of what you can create almost endless!  I know the idea of pattern mashing can be intimidating for some people, but if you start simple, maybe just by putting a different hemline on a pattern, it really is a straightforward concept!  I will walk you through the most basic of pattern mashes and provide some tips for expanding to more challenging mashes!

For this particular mash, I am going to walk you though creating a more swingy bodice on the Riviera by mashing it with the Key West Tank.  The Riviera is normally more fitted, but by mashing it with the bottom of the Key West, you get a more fit and flare type pattern.  I like to trace and create completely new pattern pieces on Freezer paper for my mashes so that I can use them over and over again!  To mash these two patterns together, I will first trace them both onto the freezer paper, using different colors for each pattern so I can differentiate them.  When mashing patterns, it helps to have a common point to start with.  Normally I use the shoulder seam or under arm point to align my two different patterns.  Since one of these particular patterns is a tank and the other a raglan, the shoulder seam clearly won’t work to align them, so I aligned them at the under arm point.  You can see where I traced the Key West pattern in blue marker then matched up the Riviera at the under arm and traced it out in red marker.

I then used a third color to trace over my “final” pattern, shown by the black dashed lines here.

Since I am keeping the raglan sleeves, I trace over the raglan armscye and down to just past the under arm point.  It is here that I will need to start blending over to the other pattern.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when combining pieces is to make the finished pattern piece look as natural as possible. You’ll want to carefully blend and smooth your curves, etc. The Riviera and Key West have slightly different side seam shapes ending in very different hem lines, so I’ll blend those together as I move down to the desired hemline. Since I want to flare back out to the swingy Key West Hem, I will gently curve from where I stopped tracing the red Riviera line before meeting the Blue Key west line and then continue on down the blue line for the remainder of the pattern. I will repeat these same steps for the front bodice pieces, making the same gentle curve from the Riviera armscye down to the Key West Hem.  After I’ve traced both, I’ll simply cut out my new pattern pieces making sure to label them and I’m ready to cut my fabric.  I can just use the Riviera sleeves and neckband since I didn’t make any adjustments to that part of the pattern! I will sew it up following the instructions for the Riviera, I just have slightly differently shaped bodice pieces than usual!

Another fun way to stretch the use of your patterns and change up the look with minimal effort is with color-blocking!  You can either add color blocked accents to a pattern, like a different color yoke or a diagonal line, or in the case of the patterns that already have color blocking included, you can remove the color-blocked sections for a solid look!  Removing color blocking is the most simple of adjustments you can make.  All you have to do is overlap the pieces to take out the seam allowance.  Since there is 3/8” seam allowance included on all pieces, I would overlap the pieces I want to combine by a total of 3/4”.  You can see that in the picture below of a portion of the elevation hoodie I taped together to create a solid color sweatshirt. On the bodice and the sleeves, I taped sections A, B and C altogether, overlapping them by ¾” to create a solid sleeve and solid bodice piece. Then I just sewed it together according to the instructions, skipping the portions on assembling the color-blocking.

To add some color-blocking, you will need to make sure to add seam allowance to your pieces.  If it is a simple color-blocked section, I often just mark on the piece and fold above and below the desired seam.  You may also trace new pieces, making sure to add that 3/8” seam allowance above and below your color-blocked seam when tracing. In the pictures below you can see where I’ve added a color-blocked yoke to the girl’s Dublin Dolman. I started with marking a straight line where I want the color-blocking to be.

Then I mark two more straight lines 3/8” above and below my first line.

I can then fold the sleeve in and fold down at that top marking (pink line) and that is my new bodice bottom pattern piece.

I will do the same thing and fold at the blue line below my color blocked line making sure the bottom is all tucked in, and that is my new top bodice piece.

I will sew the new top and bottom bodice pieces together using a 3/8” seam allowance, and the resulting piece will be a new color-blocked front bodice piece!  You could then either repeat the color-blocking on the back (ensuring the lines match up on your pattern pieces), or continue with a solid color bodice back and finish the top per the instructions!

 

The Key West and Riviera Raglan I made above is just one example of patterns you can mash together.  Below I’ve listed a couple other suggestions of other patterns to mash together or color-blocking changes to make to get your wheels turning for your next project!

-Add one of the awesome Telluride Sleeve options to the Key West Tank. More on the Blog on this already here: Key West Tank and Telluride Mashup

-Mash the Bayside Romper top with the Portlanders for a wide leg Romper. This would work for both Women’s and Girl’s patterns.

-Combine the Sunset Cami with the Bayside Romper pants, shorts or skirt for a spaghetti strap version of the pattern. Example of this on my own blog here: Argyle and Pearls

-Use the Handkerchief Hem from the Riviera Raglan on the Telluride. Shown on the blog here: Telluride Top & Riviera Raglan Pattern Mashup

-Mash the bottom portion of the front bodice on the 11th Hour Gear shirt with the Streamline for a Raglan style top with a unique pocket.

-Add a color-blocked accent to the Dublin Dolman, Streamline, Riviera, Telluride, Key West, or many other patterns!

-Remove the Princess Seams from the Summit Peak hoodie for a solid pullover or zip up hoodie. (You would not be able to add pockets per the pattern then, but you could mash with the Elevation hoodie for welt pockets instead!)

-Remove the color-blocking entirely from the Elevation hoodie patterns for a solid color inset sleeve hoodie. Or combine two of the color-blocked sections to change the look by only having 2 sections instead of 3.

 

Finished Examples:

Solid Elevation Hoodie:

Sunset Cami/Bayside Shorts:

Color-blocked Telluride:

Key West/Riviera Raglan: