La Bella Donna Hack: The Woven Dolman Cardigan
Last month, I shared a pajama set I made for the Henry and Clementine Blog Tour on my personal blog, Handmade Boy, in the Love Notions Facebook Group. I used the Luna Loungewear shorts and turned the La Bella Donna into a kimono with a simple pattern hack. I received so many lovely compliments! So, of course, I had to offer up a tutorial for the La Bella Donna Woven Dolman Cardigan Hack so everybody could create their own.
If you are new to pattern hacking, this is a great introduction!
The loose, oversized fit of a this cardigan gives you a LOT of wiggle room. For reference points for how much ease I’m adding, I’m a pretty solid medium in Love Notions Patterns.
First, we will be cutting the back piece. Just like usual, cut the back on the fold. I used the long sleeve cutting marks and added 3″ to the length. Then, I dropped the bottom of the sleeve 3″. You can add some width to the side seam if you want to ensure you have plenty of room. I did add an inch to the hip because my hips are at the very top of the medium size and I wanted to make sure I had plenty of room.
Now, we are going to cut the front pieces. We will be cutting two separate pieces, NOT on the fold. You will want to play around with your pattern placement a bit on this. I found that I could not cut my medium with the fabric folded and had to cut each piece individually.
Where the center fold is marked on the pattern piece, we are going to be adding to the front. This is the cross over piece on our kimono. I added 6″ to mine. (I like a lot of fabric to wrap around me!) Create your own V-neck curve to the pattern piece. If you have the Boyfriend Cardigan, or the Canyon, you can trace the neckline from either of those patterns. I just free handed it. Again, extend the sleeve and drop the bottom of the sleeve in the same amounts you adjusted the back piece.
Now, sew the shoulder and side seams together and hem the sleeves.
For finishing off the hem and neckline, you have a couple of options.
I used the curved hem of the shirt. I don’t like to hem curved woven hems. So, I did a bias binding hem. It’s super easy!
With right sides together, place single fold bias tape along the raw edge of your kimono. Sew in place along the crease closest to the raw edge of the fabric.
Fold the bias tape over to the wrong side of the kimono and press. Topstitch in place. There you go, a nice clean finish!
For your neckline, you can do the same thing, or you can enclose the raw edge in bias tape the same way the Rhapsody neckline is finished off, or simply fold under twice and hem. I chose to hem because I didn’t want to add any weight to the neckline.
Now, let’s add some belt loops! This is really easy! Cut a strip of fabric 1.5″ wide. (6″ length should be plenty.) Fold the raw edges in so that they meet in the middle. Then fold the strip in half, encasing the raw edges. We are basically making bias tape. Sew together along the open side. Cut in half so you have two pieces.
Fold the ends under and sew in place at the waist, the place on the side seam where the pattern curves in the most.
Time for a belt! Cut a length of fabric however long you like (I pieced mine together to get about 60″.) by 4.5″ wide. With the right sides together, align the raw edges of the long sides. Sew together, along the long side and both short ends, leaving a gap in the middle for turning. Turn right side out and topstitch all the way around, closing up the hole used for turning. You can get all fancy and sew across the ends at an angle like I did below.
You’re finished! You have just sewn a La Bella Donna Woven Cardigan Hack!
The robe pictured above is made from cotton woven (quilter’s cotton) fabric from the Hank and Clementine line. Perfect for a spring/summer cover up! However, it’s winter and COLD and I wanted something warm and cozy to wear now.
Sooooo, I sewed up another in flannel. And I’m in love!
I wasn’t sure this worked for day wear, but I polled the Facebook group and they said YES totally works for day wear. And so I went with it! I changed to the shirt below and wore it open out to lunch with my husband. I was super comfy and nice and warm sitting next to the drafty door at the restaurant. Win Win!!
This hack will work best with some fabric with some drape to it.
Don’t pick a stiff flannel, use a fashion flannel. Cotton woven is fine with a robe around the house, but really something with good drape would give a beautiful result, rayon would be so lovely! What fabric will you be using? Share with me in the Facebook Group and Instagram (tag me @lovenotions)! I can’t wait to see what you create!