The Lena playsuit hack

It’s September! How did every do with their August sewing plans? I managed most of the my list bar one of the Simplicity dresses I wanted to make (but it’s OK because they extended the deadline for it)! Look out for the rest of those projects to be blogged on here soon!

But first…

Remember this dress?


It’s the Lena shirt dress from Wear Lemonade.

It wasn’t my favourite thing I’ve ever made… The style just wasn’t for me! However I figured since I had it, I’d use the top half and hack it into a playsuit!

I love shirt style playsuits so this was a great opportunity for me to make one! The difficulty here was deciding how to actually achieve what I wanted!

This required lots of thinking, drafting and um-ing and ah-ing over what I changes I needed.

First thing I did was chop off 12 cm from the front and back bodice pieces. I measured the waist width there and planned the shorts around that. As I wanted a very loose fit short I wasn’t too worried about the shorts bit. I’ve made enough shorts in the past to have a reasonable idea of what shape I needed and the amount of ease I would like. I added a dart to the back short piece for some extra shape and I also planned for pockets in the side seams.

I wanted to make a separate button placket for the centre front as I figured this would create the simplest closure for me. I had to adjust the CF seam to make sure the placket would sit in line with the crotch seam of the shorts. I also ended up adjusted the collar to accommodate this (which was a big mistake by the way and more on that later..).

So with my pattern drafted and  cut out and a reasonable idea of construction, I started with the fabric cutting and sewing! I used the remainder of the chambray I used for a t-shirt I made a while back. There was just enough luckily!

The whole thing went together pretty well actually. Much easier than I thought it would, though there’s a bit with the button placket that I wouldn’t be able to describe what I did… Still not quite sure how it all worked out in that particular area… The shirt itself was easy enough especially as I’d done that bit before!

At the last minute, I added on some belt loops and a belt to keep in cinched in as it’s quite a loose fit (in a comfy drapey way, not just ridiculously oversized). I used metal poppers in the front to close the garment. I haven’t added them to the sleeves yet since I think I’ll only wear it with the sleeves rolled up!

I think it was quite a successful hack in general!

Bar one thing. One tiny annoying thing. Remember what I said earlier?

I also ended up adjusted the collar to accommodate this (which was a big mistake by the way and more on that later..)

I added 8mm to the collar to accommodate for the extra width that came with adding the button placket but trying to keep the CF the same. 

I didn’t actually think about the consequences of that teeny tiny adjustment and as a result the collar is waaaaaay too wide. Horrifically so in my opinion. I don’t think most people would notice that much and I’m not going to wear it done up to the neck but it’s definitely an issue that would need correcting for any future playsuits!

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  1. I’m not one for a play suit. I think it brings back weird childhood flashbacks. Having said that, this one is super cute. With all the extra fabric in the legs, it makes it look like a dress but the safety of shorts. Great job with the hack! It’s always fun to re-imagine patterns.

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