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Monday, October 6, 2014

How I Flipped the BG Hattie Dress Pattern!

I'm so so excited to kick-off the October edition of Frances Suzanne's Flip This Pattern Series with how I flipped the Brownie Goose Hattie Dress Pattern!

Keep reading for all the details of my flip to create this gorgeous Hattie Coat and the rest of Ella's stylish outfit.

Flip This Pattern is one of my favorite series to follow, and I just love how Ashley and Emily (from Frances Suzanne) put the event together. For the month of October, blogger contestants will share their BG Hattie Dress Pattern-inspired garment that the viewers will later vote on for their favorite.

Photo via Brownie-Goose
But you can be a part of all the fun as well! Later this week, a linky party will open up for viewers to enter their BG Hattie Dress Pattern flips for a chance to win some amazing prizes. This series promotes fun, creativity, and definitely inspiration! I can't wait to see what all the competitors and viewers make!

As you may remember, I won the Flip This Pattern challenge back in February with my flip of the Violette Field Thread's Josephine Blouse. I had a terrific time participating in the competition then, but this time was so much more fun for me since I was not a contestant! I was a nervous wreck back then!  I've admired many Brownie Goose patterns, but admittedly, I've never sewn one until now. When I first received the Hattie Dress Pattern, immediately I knew I wanted to make Ella a new winter coat with it. The modifications and additions to the pattern that I would make quickly unfolded in my mind, and I couldn't wait to get started on it!

First of all, let's discuss fabrics. When my local shop, The Fabric Studio, received their stock of Cotton + Steel fabrics, I drooled over them as many other people did. The prints and colors are so fun and are so appropriate for both children and adults. I chose the outer fabric, Aqua Baby Tiger Canvas from the Hatbox Collection, because I adore tigers and it is a linen/cotton blend. I let Ella pick the lining fabric knowing she would go for the Butterflies, Moonlit by Rashida Coleman-Hale. It was the perfect choice! To add a pop of bright color and add accents to the coat, I grabbed a half yard of the XOXO in Magenta with Silver.

Now onto the design changes I made to the Hattie Dress Pattern to create my one-of-a-kind Hattie Coat!

Since I was making a lined coat with a thinsulate interlining (only on the front and back pieces), I chose to go up a size from what Ella normally wears so she would have plenty of room for movement while wearing a blouse or t-shirt underneath. I used the size 7 tunic length pieces but opted to keep the size 6 sleeve length. The coat fits Ella comfortably and the fit could not be better!

The most obvious change I made to the design of the original Hattie dress was to reverse the front and back pattern pieces. On the front of the coat, I extended the center cut to form a wider overlapping section for the button placket. I made three 7/8" covered buttons being sure to carefully center a different tiger face from the fabric on each one. I then borrowed my friend, Lindsay's, sewing machine to make the keyhole buttonholes. My machine is quite old and doesn't make those types of buttonholes!

Next, I measured the welt pocket placement and size on a similarly shaped swing coat of mine and then scaled those measurements to fit the proportions of Ella's coat. The inside of the pockets are made using the Butterfly fabric while I carefully cut the pocket welts at an angle to match the direction of the coat print. The ends of the welt pocket openings are tacked down leaving them essentially seamless with the rest of the coat. Without her hands in her pockets, the pockets are almost impossible to see!

On the back, I kept the signature pleat from the dress by inserting it just below a back yoke that I added to give the coat a more tailored look. On the back yoke, I pieced the tiger canvas fabric with a triangular piece of XOXO fabric and inserted flat piping where the yoke meets the back panel. The triangle section is topstitched with silver metallic thread to coordinate with the silver plus signs on the fabric.

I kept the other signature feature, the ruffled collar, but opted to add a seam since I made the outer layer using the tiger fabric and the inner layer using the XOXO fabric. I stopped and started the ruffle at the outer edge of the button placket. The thickness of the cotton/linen fabric and a piece of lightweight interfacing in the ruffle helps keep it upright.

The long sleeves were constructed according to the pattern; however, after first attempting to pin a cuff to one sleeve, I decided the lining layer made the ends too bulky. I lengthened the cuffs by an inch and a half, added interfacing to one side of the cuff, and then attached them to the sleeve ends. Worked out perfectly!

Now on to the lining. I only got a couple of quick photos of the lining while Ella was wearing the coat, but I think you can see the main details here. I wanted my Hattie Coat to be as professional and polished looking as possible, so I created a hem facing and a placket facing using the outer coat fabric. If the hem should roll at all, at least it will be difficult to tell since the facing uses the same fabric!

I should have taken a photo or two of the construction of the lining, but I didn't. You'll just have to take my word that I basted thinsulate to both the front and back pieces and then trimmed away the excess so as to not add bulk to the seam allowances. I've never used thinsulate before, but I almost ruined the lining when I tried to press open the seams with a press cloth and some of the thinsulate melted anyway! Ack! I caught it before it burned a hole through it completely, and since the texture of the interlining didn't feel compromised from the lining side of the fabric, I just left it. Big lesson learned here--do not put an iron anywhere near thinsulate!

I did not add thinsulate to the sleeves because I thought it would make the coat too hot and add too much bulk under the arms. I believe the coat will have enough added warmth from me just adding to the bodice pieces as I did.

The swing shape of the Hattie Coat is exactly what I envisioned, and I am absolutely in love with it! I told Ashley and Emily that I think this is the best piece of clothing that I have ever made Ella. I took my time, paid attention to details, and really went the extra mile to make sure all my pattern modifications were drafted correctly by taking into account seam allowances on all the facings, the yoke, and the triangular detail.

Thanks again to Frances Suzanne for inviting me to kick-off the October Flip This Pattern Series using the Brownie Goose Hattie Dress Pattern! The instructions were so easy and entertaining to follow (Amy is very witty in her writing), and the pictures were clear and helpful in showing details of the written instructions. I think I may have to try more of her designers soon! I've had my eye on the Henrietta Pants Pattern forever, and the Lake Dress and Seaside Shorts Patterns are calling my name as well.

Now please go visit Frances Suzanne for information on a Brownie Goose discount code, giveaways, and details on the linky party!

Be sure to come back tomorrow to read all about what Ella is wearing underneath her new Hattie Coat! Here's a hint: It's my favorite blouse pattern! UPDATE: Click HERE to view the post!

Oh, and I almost forgot, I made a matching purse for Ella to carry. Read about the Perfect Petal Purse HERE. I took several photos of Ella carrying it with her ensemble, but sadly, I ruined all those photos by accidentally changing a setting on my camera causing all the photos to be overexposed! We had to shoot the entire photo session for the coat over, and when we did, I completely forgot to give her the purse again! But trust me, it is so adorable with the outfit!

Have FUN sewing!


  1. This is FANTASTIC!!! We can completely see why you are in love with it.....Thanks for the inspiration, and getting the month of Hattie's started off with a bang!!

  2. This turned out so cute! I love the pockets!


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