Category Archives: Brightside Pattern

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Fulwood Dresses, Brightside Shrugs & Shared Nostalgia for Sheffield

Kate Brookes is a sewing blogger based in Sydney Australia, but she’s originally from…..yes, you guessed it, Sheffield!! All good things come from Sheffield!

So, inevitably Kate and I occasionally reminisce about all things Sheffield online and I was chuffed when she recently chose to buy my Fulwood Dress and Brightside Shrug patterns.

She’s now written a lovely review of them which includes some Sheffield nostalgia, sewing, squeezing a pint out of a half pint pot (in fabric terms) and inspiring one of her 11 year old sewing students to also make a Brightside Shrug!

It’s a great read, have a look.

Brightside Shrug to Longline Cardi Hack

When Portia who hosts the fabulous Makery blog asked if I’d be up for her having a go at a hack idea she had in mind for the Brightside Shrug I jumped at the chance. Portia and I seem to have very similar tastes (always a pleasure to find an kindred aesthetic spirit) and I was really intrigued to see what she would come up with. I’m not precious about people altering my patterns, in fact I love to see the clever and creative ways my patterns are interpreted by different makers. So, over to Portia….


I have an irresistible urge when I see a pattern, to mess with it. For some reason when I look at a sewing pattern I start imagining variations of it. A tweak here. A tweak there. And you can change the look and feel of a pattern. Basically pattern hackery is fun and what’s more, using an existing pattern as a jumping off point means the hard work of drafting is basically done for you. Playing with a pattern to create different variations can give you more bang for your buck when you buy a pattern too; and who doesn’t love that?!

Image 1 - MIY BRIGHTSIDE SHRUG HACK (2)

What I’ve often wondered though is whether designers mind when you mess with their patterns? After all, they’ve spent all that time and skill creating a pattern and along you come and start changing it! I mean, isn’t it a bit like having someone cook you a gourmet meal, then covering it in salt or pepper before you’ve even tasted it? (For the record….I absolutely do not do that!) Well I needn’t have worried. Methinks Wendy is a passionate explorer of ideas because when I tentatively mentioned to her that I’d been pondering a “longline” hack on her MIY Brightside Shrug, I could almost hear her clapping her hands together with delight. And when she asked if I could turn it into a guest post for her blog, well, honoured, right?

image 2 - MIY BRIGHTSIDE SHRUG HACK image 3 - MIY BRIGHTSIDE SHRUG HACK

So here is the starting point. Beautifully modelled by Wendy. It really is a great little pattern. Especially for beginners. I especially think it’s a great project to cut your teeth on a serger with. I really do love the style of this. So neat and compact and perfect to throw over a tee. But the beauty of being able to sew your own clothes is adapting them to suit you. Now I’m a bit self-conscious when it comes to my waistline. So it’s a matter of feeling comfy to me to have my midriff covered; and I generally prefer my cardigans to be at the hip or lower.

image 4 - MIY BRIGHTSIDE SHRUG HACK

Much lower in this case, because I hacked it so it was knee length!

image 5 - MIT BRIGHTSIDE SHRUG HACK

It’s a very simple hack. I tested the idea out in miniature first. When you buy the pattern in pdf there’s a layplan for the pdf tiles and I simply cut the whole pattern piece from that and messed around with it on paper first. I even cut a miniature in fabric and sewed it up but forgot to take a pic of that! You can see the basic idea here. I’ve extended the bottom section of the pattern to make it longer following and extending the angle of the side seam…

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Here it is drawn directly onto fabric…

image 7 - MIY BRIGHTSIDE SHRUG HACK

Construction is exactly the same as the pattern. Except of course, when you’ve finished sewing the underarm/side seam sections, you’ll have the extended bottom section, well, extending. Which actually looks a bit weird as you sew because essentially it’s at right angles to the top section. But thanks to the nature of knit fabric (this is French Terry from Girl Charlee) as soon as you put it on it will automatically stretch out a little and drop down and hang vertically

image 8 - MIY BRIGHTSIDE SHRUG HACK

Now of course changing the length of the back section means the existing pattern piece for the band that goes around the entire shrug, is basically redundant. It’ll be too short. Simply measure the new circumference of the shrug opening and cut a longer band to fit. (Same length as the circumference plus a little SA)

image 9 - MIY BRIGHTSIDE SHRUG HACK

Apply the band as per the pattern instructions. Pressing the seam allowance to the inside and top stitching down. When you reach the section at the side seam where the back is longer than the front, simply ease/gently stretch the seam so it’s straight. Much in the way you would treat a curved seam on a serger.

image 10 - MIY BRIGHTSIDE SHRUG HACK

Ok, ignore the fact that I had to piece my neck/hem band together because I accidentally cut through my only continuous strip of fabric. Don’t judge. We’ve all been there 😉 In any case, when you look at the underarm/side seam you can see that the bottom section (the one that I extended and was essentially at a right angle) now hangs more or less vertically with a light curve. That my friends is the magic of sewing with knits. They will forgive you pretty much anything. Including turning a 90 degree angle into a 180 degree angle!

image 11 - MIY BRIGHTSIDE SHRUG HACK

And hey presto! A longline Brightside Shrug. Simple!


Massive thank you to Portia for a brilliant post. I love this version of the Brightside shrug and would never have imagined that this was what she would come up with. And that little tip of trying out pattern adaptations on the miniature pattern pieces – stroke of genius Portia!! I obviously will have to be trying one of these versions for myself now too. What do you think? Inspired to have a go?

You can get your copy of the pattern in printed paper form here or as a pdf download here and to encourage you to get hacking your own version, enter the code “makerybrightsidehack” when you checkout to get 15% off your order until Tuesday 29th March.

Happy hacking!!

The Brightside Shrug Reviewed by Kylie of InleDesigns

Don’t you think Kylie of Inledesigns looks cute in her version of the Brightside shrug? She’s made it look so ladylike by teaming it with her Kim dress.

inledesigns-brightside2Photo © Inledesigns

It’s one of the things that this pattern is great for: a non-bulky, grown-up, chic alternative to a cardi when you just need that little extra layer over the top of your frock!

inledesigns-brightsidePhoto © Inledesigns

But even better, although Kylie made it for a special occasion it’s becoming a wardrobe staple.  I just love that!

Read Kylie’s full write-up of what she thought of the pattern here.

If you’re inspired to make your own, you can get the Brightside as a printed paper pattern, pdf download pattern or as a complete making kit.

The Brightside Shrug Reviewed by SoZo

You may know Zoe Edwards as author of the popular SoZo What do You Know blog and creator of the annual MeMadeMay sewing extravaganza. MIY Workshop students will also know her as the teacher of my Saturday classes.

When Zoe started teaching at MIY Workshop she asked if she could make the Brightside shrug and write a review of it. Obviously I was more than happy to let her loose on my patterns! Here’s her oh-so-wearable end result:

Brightside shrug by sozowhatdoyouknowPhoto © Zoe Edwards

Read her full review of the pattern here and like me, be super impressed at Zoe’s thriftiness…..

If you’re inspired by Zoe to have a go yourself, the Brightside Shrug is available in print, as a PDF pattern and a complete making kit in the MIY Collection shop.

Brightside Shrug – Now Available as a Complete Making Kit!

Shrug Sewing Kit

Just in time for last posting for Christmas I’ve got the Brightside Shrug Kit online and available to buy at MIY Collection.

The complete making kit comes with a paper copy of the Brightside pattern, enough beautiful quality lightweight sweatshirt fabric in a choice of colours to make one shrug and matching thread all for £45. It comes gift boxed and delivered to your door for free (in the UK)!!

Perfect for impatient stitchers who don’t want to worry about fabric shopping for the right fabric or a great gift for new dressmakers. I’ve had students at MIY Workshop make these in a 2 hour class!!

Last posting date for Christmas delivery is Monday 21st.

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