Pattern hacks

Making patterns simple & easy. Vivace Dolman & Lyric Dress (Love Notions).

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Have you taken the time to get your favorite patterns to fit you well and you are happy with the result?

How about if these patterns have a feature that stops you from revisiting them and making them again? This might just be a technique that requires extra care and time. Lets be real, we need faster and simple sews too ๐Ÿ™‚

I have revisited two patterns from Love Notions that I have made and loved and simplified them. They will have a very similar look, but will be so much easier to sew.

*Love Notions patterns is running a 48 hr FLASH SALE for two days only, today Friday 31st July and Saturday 1st of August 2020. No code needed, SITE WIDE and I hope you are sitting down…. 50% OFF! Get your favorite patterns HERE* (The only pattern excluded is the La Bella Donna: it was released last week). Use my code Pins10 for an extra 10% off.

Love Notions has a physical office now and workshop and there are amazing plans for the space in a future date. The Sale celebrates moving into a brick and mortar space. To find out about the Workshop, click HERE.

I am hosting a Love Notions PATTERN GIVEAWAY on my Instagram page. Visit this post, follow me there and comment what pattern you would like to win. The giveaway will close the 1st of August at 18:00 Brasilia Standard Time.

Now back to sewing… I will be featuring the Vivace Dolman and the Lyric dress.

Vivace Dolman

The Vivace Dolman is a pattern that I love and have already made two versions of; one in chiffon (woven) and another with rayon spandex (knit). The Vivace Dolman has a woven version and a knit version, with different pattern pieces that make the drafted ease appropriate for the different properties of woven and knit fabric. The result is a similar look and style and you can choose a vast variety of knit and woven fabrics. It is important that the fabric choice be of the drapy variety.

I already have a blog post about these versions, you can see it HERE. More photos, a full pattern review are all in the previous post.

I have made dress length versions. There is a shirt length and a tunic option too.

My favorite feature of this design is the overlapped V neckline. The sewing is fun and requires precision on the corners. The off set pleat also needs to be sewn correctly for it to match the neckline. There is a video on my channel showing a step by step sewing tutorial on how to sew this cool neckline. Have a look below ๐Ÿ™‚

Knowing that I love the style and wear both of my dresses frequently, I felt like revisiting the pattern, but this time in the shirt length. I had received questions on my channel along the lines of: “can the Vivace Dolman be sewn without the center front pleat?”

This question gave me the idea to sew this shorter version without the pleat. One thing to consider is that the pleat contributes to the ease at the hips. Removing it will cause a too fitted look. I have sewn a size Large in the past. At present I would need to blend to a XL at the hips. I can’t get away with removing the pleat and not adjusting the side seams to have the ease I need to be comfortable.

Simplifying the Vivace Dolman

Removing the pleat

The front pattern piece has a dashed line that marks where the pleat needs to be sewn and folded to the side. I continued that line to the hem and folded the pleat away. Voila… placing the pattern piece on the fold of the fabric will cause the same original shape of the neckline, but sans pleat. Having a simple neckline will make sewing the collar pieces easier and less bulky.

Adjusting ease at the hips

I added 3/8” to the side seams at the hips, tapering up to nothing at the waist notch. This results in 1.5″ ease added to the hips. I had done flat pattern measurement and considered this all I needed to compensate for the removal of the pleat.

Not sewing the cuffs on the sleeves

The woven version had a cuff folded up on the hem of the dolman sleeves. Doing a simple narrow hem, fold in and top stitch will reduce the techniques required and still give an acceptable result. The hem needs to be narrow to conform to the shape of the dolman sleeves.

Cutting neckline collar pieces with cotton fabric

I chose a very very lightweight crepe fabric in the brightest tropical print. It’s soft and drapes well. I opted to cut the neckline pieces in nice black 100% cotton. This fabric adds structure and is easy to manipulate, sew and press. Choosing a contrast fabric will highlight the beautiful neckline, whilst making sewing easier, Win!

Let’s see it

To see the practicalities of the pattern adjustments and the details of my Simplified Vivace Dolman, see the video below, from my channel. You can also see the garment on in movement.

I LOVE this version of the Vivace Dolman. It seemed to take no time at all to make! And it keeps a very similar look to the original design. Below is the changed line art of my version. Simple and still very cool!

Lyric Dress

The Lyric dress is a beautiful design with classic features like a V neckline, button down, darts on the bodice, an A line skirt or a gathers skirt and multiple sleeves options. With sizes 0-24 and cup sizes A-D.

I have used this pattern multiple times!! I was a pattern tester and in that opportunity, made two versions: a sleeveless dress with the A line skirt and a peplum top. Both in straight size 14 and C cup.

I really enjoyed these Lyric dresses. I made the fitting adjustments for it to fit me and was extremely happy! This dress is one of my favorites ever. To see how to sew the neckline binding, the button band, hem and button holes, visit my video below. You can also see how they look on in movement.

Time went by and mum came to visit me. This is when I sew for her to her specific requests and she liked the Lyric dress. She wanted to have a shaped waistband on the dress and I modified to bodice to incorporate what she wanted. The dress is fully lined, made with linen and I pulled out all the stops to make the best dress ever.

To see the details of this very special Lyric dress, see the video below:

After this version, she wanted the Lyric bodice again, but with a pencil skirt, instead of the original skirt. I drafted a pencil skirt to her measurements. This time I eliminated the button down feature and cut the front on the fold. The same as with the skirt. There is a long centered zipper on the back. This dress is made with cotton sateen and is also fully lined. I made a matching dress in the same fabric so we could twin!

See the details of this somewhat complex Lyric dress, see the video below:

As you can see, I have made the original version of the Lyric dress, along with more complex versions and I love that is pattern is versatile to be able to do this. I have wanted to revisit this pattern for a long time. Time has passed and I would need to reprint the pattern in size 16, one more size.

Instead…. why not make the Lyric dress in a knit? To make a woven style in a knit, one needs to size down, at least one size. The situation is perfect. The size 14 I have ready to go will no longer fit me well in a woven, but in a knit…YES.

Simplifying the Lyric Dress

Removing the button down feature

By folding the pattern piece along the buttonhole reference, it will be on the center and can be placed on the fold. I did this with the bodice and the front skirt. No facings, buttonholes and buttons needed. Easier!

The new neckline is a V neckline

This calls for a V neckband and I used the pattern piece from the classic tee (Also from Love Notions). By measuring the new circumference, we can adapt the neckband piece in its length. I like my bands to be 85% of the neckline, or 15% shorter. This technique might be daunting, but with practice, it can be done well and faster than the button feature and bias binding that the woven version would take. See how to sew a V neckband HERE on this video on my channel.

To see the pattern pieces being adapted, the darts, the armhole binding, see the video from my channel HERE.

The sewing construction is similar. I sewed the darts normally. The main seams with a shallow zigzag, the hem with a twin needle, and I cut binding pieces for the armholes. Time flew and before I knew it, I have a simplified Lyric that is very comfortable and with a fabric I adore.

Let’s see it!

I modified the line art to represent how my simple version turned out.

I might need to sew several! I love the fit with the darts. I need to shorten the bodice a tad to account for the vertical stretch of the knit fabric. You can sew darts on knit fabric.


Here are all the stops on the Love Notions Blog Tour and we hope that you click through these fabulous and inspiring posts and use the ambassador’s affiliate links if you decide to make a purchase. It costs you nothing more and helps to support these talented people.


Koe is on the Love Notions Blog with a way to help your kids embrace mask-wearing, using a little creativity and the Cartwheel Collection. read more

Josie gives a detailed review of her favorites! I love Josie’s style and her simple but elegant take on the patterns. read more

Anjori has such a sweet style and her mommy and me twinning with her daughter is my favorite! read more

Ilse always has a lovely, wearable version of Love Notions patterns and has timeless style that is approachable for anyone! read more

Katie is a hacking genius and active mom who sews for herself and her two boys. She has a pattern round up AND a fabric gift giveaway! read more

Tami Peterson’s photography makes me drool but her style is what I love to copy! She has a round up of pattern perfect for summer into fall! read more

Chris from SewJourns has a full review of the Rhapsody Blouse, info on the new studio, and a full round up of the patterns you’ll love. watch now

Katie G. is showing off a lovely Allegro Skirt hack that you will want to make ASAP — plus she’s rounding up her absolute favorite patterns. read more

Crystal from Crystal Sews and Stuff is showing off the Cartwheel Collection for her kiddo and discussing “Back to School — at home!” read more

Koe is also on her blog showing off her top 4 most used Love Notions patterns — if you don’t have these yet, you are missing out! read more

Keira from Island Sewcialist is ready for twirling! See why she’s ready for anything in her Sybil Skirt. read more

Sequoia from SequoiaLynn Sews is showing off her favorite Love Notions makes PLUS giving away a free Love Notions pattern. You do not want to miss out! read more

And remember if you are in the area, stay in touch on the Love Notions Workshop email list! sign up here

DISCLAIMER: I was provided the pattern without cost, as a pattern tester, in exchange for sewing a muslin, providing feedback on instructions and fit. I Purchased my own fabric for both versions.

I have affiliate links in this post to the pattern company and the pattern. If you click on these links, at no cost to you, I receive a small commission that helps finance my sewing, blog and Youtube channel.


I spend a lot of my time sewing, filming/editing videos, writing and taking photos for both my Youtube channel and blog and if you love what I do and consider my work valuable for your own sewing, you can support me financially in a non-committal manner by purchasing me a โ€coffeeโ€ through Ko-Fi here.  $3 gets me one cup of โ€œcoffeeโ€.

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8 replies »

  1. Hi Karina, love the lyric dress. Yesterday I bought the LBD via your link and today bought 4 others via your link including the Octave coat as I watch how you made your red coat and I will get there one day. I should have delayed my order as watching you make the lyric was awesome and would love to have it for wovens.
    Your videos inspire me and help seeing the actual work done is easier to understand. Thanks. I would love to win the lyric pattern.

  2. Your posts always inspire me. Your creations are beautiful, and I love your pattern hacks and that you share how you do them. Thank you!

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