I have been seeing 3-panel color-blocked shirts everywhere and I am loving them so much! I hacked both the Women’s Easy Tee and the top from the Susie Lounge set so you can see how to do it with both the set-in sleeves and dolman style tops. Let’s get going!
Before you start
You will need to print and assemble your pattern of choice. If you have any regular pattern adjustments, do those before starting the hack. I chose to size up on the Easy Tee for a more oversized look but used my regular size for the Susie Top. When choosing your fabrics, you will get the best results if they are all of similar weight and drape.
Hacking the pattern
The front bodice
Everything will be the same for both pattern options, just the angle of the top panel will be slightly different on the Susie.
- Hold the front bodice up to your body and mark approximately where you want your 3 panels to hit (Don’t worry about being exact)
- My top mark hit just above my upper bust for both of the tops. I didn’t want to have a thin strip of the top panel fabric going just under my armpit, so I made small adjustments
- For the set-in sleeve (Easy Tee) I moved the top panel line up about ½” to make it hit just at my armpit
- For the dolman (Susie Top) I kept the line where I had originally marked but curved the side down as it neared the armpit so it would hit a little below the armpit. You can definitely do a more obvious curve if you prefer
- After determining the top panel placement, I measured to find the lengths between the top line I just drew to the middle marked point, and then to the bottom hem to determine the placement of the middle panel
- Your panels do not need to be the same width, that is a personal preference. I adjusted the placement of the middle panel a little so that each panel was similar in size
- Make a note on each piece to add in a seam allowance and label them front top, front middle, and front bottom
- Cut the pieces apart
The back bodice
- Next, set out your back bodice piece and lay the cut-apart front bodice pieces on top of it lining up the shoulder seams, arms scyes, and bottom
- Trace along the edges of each of the pieces of the front bodice to transfer the panels to the back bodice
- Mark the seam allowance, back top, back middle, and back bottom on the pattern pieces
- Cut pieces apart
- Optional sleeve color blocking: For the Easy tee, cut the pattern piece at the ¾ sleeve line. For the Susie, cut the pattern piece about in the middle point
Cut that fabric!
Organize your pattern pieces and fabrics into their groups so that you can cut out all the pieces for each fabric at a time and keep everything organized. Remember to cut the fabric with the little bit of extra seam allowance that you marked on your pattern pieces.
Sewing it up
- Lay the lower panel right side up and line up the bottom of the of the middle panel with right sides together
- Sew with a stretch stitch or serger, and press the seam allowance away from the middle panel
- To attach the top panel, lay it on top of the middle panel and line up the edges with right sides together
- Sew with a stretch stitch or serger, and press seam allowance away from the middle panel
- Repeat all the same steps with the back bodice pieces
- For both sleeve options, line up the bottom of the upper panel and the top of the lower panel with right sides together
- Sew with a stretch stitch or serger, press seam allowance down
- The cuff of the sleeve will be the third panel color
- From here on out, you will assemble the pattern as instructed in the tutorial