Hampton is definitely one of my all time favorite patterns. There is something just so sweet about it! I love the open back, sweet bow tie sides, and flutters…swoon! But sometimes it’s not all that practical to have an open back or sides, so I’m here to show you how to hack your Hampton pattern! Instead of securing the back with buttons and loops, I’m going to show you how to easily modify your back by adding buttons/buttonholes. For those that would like a little more coverage on the sides, I’m going to show you how to add an elastic side panel. This option is a little trickier, but the end result is super cute!
Before we start, read through the Hampton Pattern (If you don’t have the pattern yet, purchase it Here). We will be changing the construction from the original pattern during a few of the steps, but the basic construction will stay the same. Make sure to thoroughly read through these instructions as well!
Here’s what you will need, in addition to the supply list found in the pattern:
~2 to 4 Buttons.
~Optional lightweight interfacing or tear away stabilizer
~Scraps from your main fabric/lining fabric
HAMPTON BUTTON UP BACK HACK
Let’s start by prepping our back bodice pattern piece. If you would like to modify your back bodice by adding buttonholes instead of button loops, we are going to need to adjust our back bodice pattern piece. Start by tracing your back bodice piece onto a piece of freezer paper. We are going to be moving over the back center line (dotted line) to the left by a 1/2″. Cut out your new back bodice pattern piece. You are now ready to start construction!
If you are NOT adding a side panel, follow steps 1-6 of the tutorial, omitting the button loop construction, and overlapping the back bodice by 1″ when basting together in step 6. If you want, you can add a 1″ strip of interfacing along the wrong side of the center back bodices now to help stabilize buttonholes later! Construct the rest of the pattern as per the tutorial. Skip down to the ‘Adding Buttonholes’ section of this blog post to finish your button up Hampton Romper hack!
HAMPTON SIDE PANEL HACK
Follow steps 1-4 of the tutorial. Since we are adding a side panel, you can decide to add the side ties as per the tutorial, or leave them off. For this version, I am leaving them off. I also am leaving off the front faux sash piece. If you want to do that too, cut your both your bodice front and lining front on the ‘LINING’ cut line.
Once you get to step 5, you will stitch the bodice front and back together at the shoulder seams. Repeat with the lining pieces, as per the tutorial.
If adding the Flutters, attach per tutorial. If you are adding the sash ties, go ahead and baste them in place now, as per tutorial. Adding the sash ties makes attaching the side panel a little more tricky, I suggest trying this hack without sash ties first 😉.
CONSTRUCTING THE SIDE PANELS
We are now ready to construct our 2 side panels…woohoo! Grab your main fabric/lining fabric scraps and let’s get to cutting! You will need to cut a total of 4 rectangles, 2 from your main fabric and 2 from your lining. Each side panel will be 5″ wide, but the length can vary depending on how much coverage you want. I want my final panels to be 3″ in length, so that they will butt up to my flutters. I want to add .5″ to my panel length to account for the seam allowance, so each rectangle will end up measuring 3.5″ (length) x 5″ (width). If you want a 2″ panel, you would cut your rectangles to 2.5″ x 5″, etc.
With right sides together, stitch one panel front to one panel lining along one long raw edge.
Press seam towards lining, and under stitch the seam to the lining. Not sure what under stitching is? Check out this blog post, all about under stitching!
Press right side out. We are now ready to create a casing for our elastic! Since we are using 1″ elastic, we want to measure 1.25″ from the top of our sewn edge, marking with a marking pen. Sew along the marked line, creating the casing.
Cut 2 pieces of 1″ elastic to 3.75″. We will now thread our elastic. You want the edge of your elastic flush with the raw edge of the panel. Baste along that edge, but don’t pull the elastic all the way through yet. Repeat these steps with the second side panel, threading the elastic through the opposite side of the casing (meaning if you threaded from right to left for the first panel, thread your elastic from left to right for the second panel).
Now grab your bodice and place it right side up (Your bodice should have BOTH flutters attached at this point unlike my photo below!!). Place the basted side of the side panel flush with the bodice front. The long raw edge will match up with the bodice bottom, and the short raw edge will match up with the bodice side. Baste in place along the right edge of the bodice.
Place the lining on top of the bodice, right sides together. If you are still using button loops, don’t forget to add them first, as per tutorial! If you are modifying the back and adding buttonholes, you will not need to add the button loops. You may want to add a 1″ wide strip of lightweight interfacing along the center back bodices, to help stabilize your buttonholes later!
Stitch along the the back bodice center, around neck, to the other back bodice center. Stitch along each outer each, starting on the bodice front and ending about 4″ away from the back edge of the bodice back. Make sure to backstitch at this point! If you added flutters, do NOT remove your basting stitches yet!!
The outside edge of each bodice back should not be stitched together.
Clip corners/curves as per tutorial, and flip bodice right side out. Press well. As you can see below, our side panels are attached to both sides of our bodice front. It is now time to attach our side panels to each back bodice!
Pull the elastic through the opposite edge of the side panel, and baste in place. Repeat with other side panel.
Here comes the tricky part…don’t worry, take your time….you can DO THIS! You want to sew the left side panel to the left bodice back, and the right bodice side panel to the right bodice back. Start by opening up the unsewn section of the back bodice (I’m going to start with the RIGHT side).
Take the side panel (RIGHT side), and place it on top of the unsewn section of the back bodice (RIGHT side). Make sure the raw edges match. My panel will butt up right under my flutters, since it is 3″ long. Pin it in place to the BACK BODICE ONLY (do NOT pin to the lining). Baste in place.
Now for the tricky part-you want to fold your back bodice lining back over the side panel, sandwiching the panel in between the back bodice and the back bodice lining. This is tricky because you don’t have a ton of room to work with. Pin in place, and stitch together until you reach the stitching line you already made. Remember to backstitch to secure.
Flip your bodice over, and admire. You did it! Repeat with other side panel.
Press your bodice, and topstitch if desired.
ADDING THE BUTTONHOLES/BUTTONS
We are now going to stitch out those buttonholes if you are modifying that back! You can add 2-4 buttons, depending on your bodice length. I am going to add 4 buttons, starting 1/2″ from the bodice top. I’m going to place my last buttonhole 1.25″ from the bodice bottom, to leave room for the seam allowance and topstitching. Space out the rest of your buttonholes evenly in between your first and last buttonholes. For more help on adding buttonholes, check out our Katelyn SAL, DAY 2
Yay, you did it! If you are only doing the button up back hack, you are DONE!! Great job! If you are doing the side panel hack, you are ALMOST DONE!!
ATTACHING THE SKIRT/ROMPER
Make sure to baste the back bodices together (see step 6 of tutorial if you did not do the back hack), overlapping 1″. Sew your romper or skirt together, as per tutorial. Do NOT gather as per the tutorial. Instead, we are going to gather (using your favorite gathering method) along the entire top edge of the skirt/romper. Find the mid point of each side panel-this will become your ‘side seam’.
Flip your skirt inside out, and place bodice inside, right sides together, matching ‘side seams’. Make sure your back bodice is buttoned up if you added the button up hack! Stitch together with a 5/8″ seam allowance and finish seam.
Press seam toward bodice. Topstitch if desired. Check out that adorable Hampton!!
We would love to see all of your Hampton Hacks! Make sure to tag #hamptonhack #m4mhampton #hamptonpattern #madeformermaids #rompermonth #sewalltherompers when sharing on social media, and don’t forget to share in our facebook group!