Sylvia is our newest addition to the pattern fam! I think we say this every test, but HOLY COW, wait until you see all of our testers! Whew, the world is not even ready for the heat they’re about the bring. We hope you get some time to sew for yourself soon, AND that Sylvia makes you feel just as gorgeous and confident as it did our testers.
The Women’s Sylvia offers a deep v plunge neckline with a hidden binding finish. It comes with fitted or flared skirt options, a back seam, multiple hem lengths, and FIVE different sleeve options (cap, short, 3/4, long, or cuffed bishop). Youth Sylvia is similar, with a faux crossover bodice, two hem length options, a back seam, and the same five sleeve options. The flare skirt option is close to an a-line style, falling roughly between 1/4 and 1/2 circle skirt.
We wanted to share just a few easy hacks with you, too, to make sure you get those most out of this gorgeous pattern 🙂
Tai + Sylvia Mash
I was won over quickly by the Tai bodysuit when it released a few years ago. Knowing that I love the fit, it’s a great base for mashing with other bodices for a unique look. Let’s walk through how to make this stunning mashup.
From the Tai pattern, you will need the front and back pieces as well as the optional crotch if you will be using that. Check your trunk length on the Tai size chart and decide if you need to make any adjustments first. Grade your pattern pieces according to your measurements on the Tai size chart. I’m using my well used pattern pieces which already have adjustments made to them. For the Sylvia pattern, you will need all the pieces. If you are printing though, you will only need the top of the back bodice and top of the skirt. Grade and make any height adjustments to these too.
Mashing these patterns will take a bit of thinking and working so we’ll take it one step at a time. Let’s start with the front bodice first. Take your ruler or measuring guide and mark the 1/2″ seam allowance at the bottom on the side seam of the Sylvia front bodice pattern piece. Now lay this piece on top of the Tai front, lining up the points of the shoulder seams. You want to make sure both of your pattern pieces are placed with the stretch line being horizontal and not tilted. Your armsyce won’t line up as these patterns have different fits. Transfer the marking we just made onto the Tai front along the side seam (see right photo below).
Set aside your Sylvia front bodice piece. Now we will mark the 1/2″ seam allowance on the Sylvia front bottom skirt. Lay the front bottom skirt on top of the Tai front piece, along the fold line. Match the mark you just made with the mark we made in the first step, lining them up horizontally. Draw the diagonal line of the Sylvia on to the Tai as your new cut line. I found for the size Blue, the Tai is larger than the Sylvia at this point. You will want to follow the width of the Sylvia at the side and grade it to meet the Tai going towards the waist.
Trace, cut or fold your pattern to get your new Bottom bodysuit front. It should look similar to this.
Next we need to adjust the back to match the Sylvia. Take the Sylvia back bodice and draw a line 1/2″ in on the center back to remove the seam allowance. Now lay the Sylvia back on top of the Tai back matching up the fold line. You will want the top points of the shoulders to be horizontally even but they will not match up perfectly on top of each other. At this point you can fold down the Tai back top down so only the Sylvia is visible or trace to a new pattern piece. Phew, you made it! Your pattern pieces are made, you are ready to cut and construct!
So what do you need to cut? You will need mirrored Sylvia front bodice pieces, Sylvia neck binding, Sylvia sleeves of your choice, the hacked Front Skirt/bodysuit piece cut on the fold, the hacked Back Bodysuit piece cut on the fold, two Tai leg bands and optional Tai crotch liner. Below I’ve decided to use the bishop sleeves so cut the cuffs that correspond to that sleeve option.
Construct according to the Sylvia tutorial. Once you’ve completed the side seams and finished the sleeves, you will finish the bodysuit. Clip the crotch right sides together then sew/serge. If you are adding the crotch liner, flip the bodysuit with the wrong side of the back facing up. Lay the right side of the crotch liner against the wrong side of the back matching up the notches, clip then sew/serge. Flip the crotch liner towards the front bodysuit and clip it without stretching to the leg opening. Add the bands by quartering the leg opening and the bands then sew/serge making sure to catch the crotch liner.
You now have yourself a Sylvia Tai bodysuit to enjoy. Happy Sewing! -Katie
I know it’s supposed to be Fall, but it’s still hot where I am so when I saw Sylvia I knew I wanted to hack a sleeveless version and it’s so easy!
*NOTE: depending on your height and personal fit preference, you may need to lower the armscye and/or mash with another tank pattern to ensure the armscye hits low enough in your underarm.*
Let’s talk cutting. You’ll need all of the same pieces as normal except the sleeves. You will need 2 extra armbands for the arm binding, but we’ll calculate that in a moment.
Once you have your main pieces cut, sew the shoulder seams together. After this is done, you can measure the armscye so you can calculate the length you need for the binding, but remember! You have to remove 1″ to account for the seam allowance.
My armscye measured 16.75″. After removing the inch for seam allowance, I’m left with 15.75. Now to calculate the length of the binding you multiply it by 90% because you don’t want the armscye too snug. So as an example, my math looked like this:
15.75 x 0.9 = 14.175.
I went ahead and rounded mine down to the nearest quarter inch. The binding needs to be 1″ so I cut 2 binding pieces at 1″ tall and 14″ wide.
Back to sewing, continue following the instructions, but instead of adding sleeves, sew up the side seams. Quarter the armscyes and the binding. You’ll follow the same binding method as the neckband for both armscyes.
Woohoo! You’ve just made a sleeveless Sylvia! Can’t wait to see your versions of this easy hack!
Flutter Sleeve Hack
You can make most any flutter sleeve work, including our Ella flutter sleeve add on, but I opted to use the Blythe sleeve for this hack. Starting at the sleeve step in the Sylvia pattern:
Love the look of Sylvia but not interested in a dress length? Modifying to be crop or top length is SO easy; just cut or fold the paper pattern piece to your desired length, cut your fabric pieces out, attach as per the tutorial, and then hem. For the crop, you will want to make sure it’s a snug fit around the bottom hem, so I would suggest trying on prior to hemming. That’s it!
Don’t forget to share your makes with us over in our FB group, and on Insta. We love to see what you’ve been up to!