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One thing I love about the Hickory & Spice Henley is the shoulder color blocking. It lets me play with color and pattern in a fun way, and makes the shirt stand out among all the basic tees out there. Sometimes, though, I’d like a simpler look. You, too?
Sure, you could simply use the same fabric for the front shoulder piece and the main body, but why not eliminate the extra seam? Good thing changing the color blocking is so easy! In this pattern hack, I’ll walk you through combining the Hickory & Spice’s front shoulder piece with the main shirt front. I’ll also demonstrate merging the front shoulder piece with the shirt back, as a way to bring a glimpse of a contrast back fabric around to the front.
Here we go!
Begin with your shirt front and front shoulder pattern pieces. Go ahead and blend the sizes if you need to. (As you can see, I need to blend—I’m making this shirt for my oldest daughter, who is size 4 for width and 7 for height. I love sewing her clothing that actually fits properly, instead of picking “good enough” ready-to-wear.)
I traced the front shoulder piece, which is the one we’ll alter, and will simply tape it onto the shirt front piece. No need to print a whole new copy of the pattern for a new look! Do make sure to mark which edge is the shoulder seam; wouldn’t want to get it turned around.
The seam allowance along the bottom of the front shoulder color blocking is marked with a pair of notches. Draw a line from notch to notch, and cut on your line.
The seam allowance along the top of the shirt front is also marked with a pair of notches. Align the front shoulder pattern piece with these notches and tape in place.
And that’s it! Sew the shirt just like normal (skipping past the part about sewing the front shoulder piece onto the shirt front, of course!).
Oh, and if you want to merge the front shoulder piece onto the back, the technique is the same.
Cut off the seam allowance from the shoulder seam side of the front shoulder piece, and line it up with the seam line of the shirt back. Tape in place. Be sure to still notch the original seam line, as you’ll need those marks for sewing the sleeve and neckband on correctly.
Did you notice the layered sleeves in the pictures? I have another Hickory & Spice pattern hack coming later this week! See you then!