When sewing Colleen , you can use up your leftover fabrics/clothing, ideally mixed wildly and colorfully. For example, if, like me in the photo above, you have a dress that you no longer wear, you can do the following with it.

In order to be able to use the Colleen pattern, a few steps must be completed in advance.

At the beginning, see how you can place the pattern in the best possible way. In addition, it is always advantageous to get as much as possible out of your old things and maybe also take them with you, such as the already finished hem.

→ To the pattern “Colleen”

→ To the sewing instructions “Colleen”

In order to get a little insight and some understanding, we have prepared a video for you here.


Cut out the pattern pieces from your outer fabric. Lay the fabric right side up. Lay the selvedges parallel to the center so that you can lay the front and back pieces and facings in the fold at the back and front. The pattern pieces should all be face up. Always align the grain arrow on all pieces in the same direction and parallel to the selvedge of the fabric. Transfer all the notches from the pattern through a 3mm long incision with scissors or chalk and mark the ends of the darts. Pinch the seam allowance in the fold of the fabric because this is always a center. Markings define positions of dart ends, pocket positions, and much more. Transfer these either with chalk or pins.

First, the existing seams are unpicked in order to be able to cut them to size better.

Now you can lay the front piece and the back piece on your fabric in a fold. Here you can take over the existing dress hem right away.

In order to use the sleeves from the leftover dress fabric, you should first shorten the sleeves of the Colleen. Don't forget to factor in the seam allowance and trace it back onto your pattern.

This is what your tailored sleeves will look like.

Sewing instructions:

To sew this sweater you will need a sewing machine and an overlock sewing machine, alternatively you can use the zigzag stitch on your sewing machine to overcast the raw edges.

Be sure to use a jersey needle and use a stretch stitch, i.e. if you are sewing with a home sewing machine you should use either a zigzag stitch or the tripartite elastic stitch and then all seam allowances again with a zigzag stitch or another appropriate stitch neaten so they don't fray.

It continues with the sewing of the bust darts. A simple, straight dart is closed and sewn on the wrong side of the fabric, snap by snap, tapering from the widest point to the tip (so that the dart does not bag) on ​​the wrong side of the fabric, following the exact transfer of the pattern and carefully observing the marking. Draw a line with the tailor's chalk beforehand so that you don't sew too much or too little and finish the side seam nicely straight.
So that you don't have to bartack at the top, you can sew the last centimeter with a very small stitch.

Now close your side seams. After you have closed the side seams of the sleeves, you can also fold in the hem twice and topstitch.

The neckline is closed in the round (front, back and short sleeves), then the seam allowances are ironed apart and the panel is ironed in half.

Sew the band, right sides together, to the neckline and neaten the seam allowances together. Your upcycled COLLEEN is ready!

If you don't know what to do, or if you have any questions, please send us an email to We will answer you as soon as possible. 

Have a lot of fun with your new designer piece! 

Sincerely yours, Dagmar and Ellen.

The post SEWING PATTERN HACK “COLLEEN” first appeared on Blog Schnittmuster Berlin .

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