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How To Morph Your Basic T Sewing Pattern

Changing your basic T pattern is truly LOTS of FUN!  As with this project, that may mean some ‘morphing’ and RE-DOING, but in the end, it’s really worth it.  I let my students see the process as I work on it to encourage them to PERSIST (talking to myself as well!).  Walk with me through the process to see how I got to this flippy Tunic.

Finished Flippy Tunic from a T Pattern


  1. What I call a ‘Monet’ Rayon/Lycra Print-found at JoAnn’s!

  2. Orchid rayon/lycra jersey 4 gore skirt that I’d ‘scrapped’ in favor of the silk dupioni dress I made to stand up with my Sis at her wedding. See this post. And I’d even underlined each of the gores with nylon tricot!  I kept that nylon tricot layer intact as I worked, feeling it added nice body to a pretty cheap-filling jersey I’d gotten off

  3. Grey knit jersey from my stash – also rayon/lycra.

If you read my 3 part series on Rayon, you’ll understand why I KNOW that I will hand wash and hang dry this garment, pressing from the reverse side if necessary!


To create one of the longer tunic tops that are SO popular right now, it is really quite easy to add width and length to any basic T pattern.  Of course, I utilized my favorite Terrific T Top Pattern.   However, I want to go on record to say that I’m actually quite tired of this

However, I want to go on record to say that I’m actually quite tired of this prevalant  tunic/legging look.  Anyone with me?  I’m sure it is popular as it is skimming over generous bodies.  Like elastic waist pants and skirts, I fear this ‘skimming’ the body look is not going to do any of us favors in the end.  Personally, I don’t wear leggings – and feel many others should not either! Instead, I opt for a  rather a slim pant.  In fact, I just decided to narrow down yet another favorite bell-shaped black pant.

Add width and length

Add width and length

IDEAS-Where to find them…

Clicking on the Diagrams of a pattern you like ANY part of, right from your computer, you can print enough to show you proportions and get clues as to how to change your basic pattern.  Check out the Diagram  – Line Drawings – from a Vogue Pattern below.  On my Mac, I right click, Save Image As, and put into my Design Idea File, then print.  EZ.

Line Drawings from a Vogue Pattern

Line Drawings from a Vogue Pattern

Can you see in the 2nd row how I played with changing the straight lines to curves?  Why curves?  Well – the ‘Monet’ print has curved lines in it and my ‘design line’ is a curve rather than a straight.  I ‘get that’ from the curve of my hair, my round face, etc.  Curves just ‘work’ better on me and I prefer them.  That doesn’t mean that straight lines are wrong…I just feel I look better in CURVES. As my friend, Nancy Nix-Rice explains it, round shapes ‘connect’ with me, my ‘look’.

Mark and maintain straight grain on all pieces

Mark and maintain straight grain on all pieces.


Designing is really just that simple!  THE important FIRST step is to create a full-size pattern – meaning if it is cut on the fold, you double it and cut out of tissue or pattern fabric.  SECOND, establish the GRAINLINE on each and every piece.  The grainlines on these pieces need to be parallel to the original (which, in this case, was the original center front fold line.)

Another good thing to do is to mark cross hatches across any design lines.  Those will become matching notches. I also have found that if I just mark each seamline on both adjacent pieces with several big red X marks, that I can remember to add a seam allowance as I cut, rather than taking time to add tissue.  Do what works for YOU.

Original Back Pattern

Original Back Pattern

Original Front

Original Front

Remember to check to see how things ‘connect’ at the shoulders as shown in this photo.  Then remember to place your pattern right side up on the right side of te fabric!