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Frequently Asked Questions

Are the patterns multi-sized?
Yes, in that the sizing is a function of the starting materials, so sizing is all-in-one. Anyone who can find a garment that fits the way they like in the bust and shoulders can successfully make Paganoonoo designs.  Height is easily adjustable shorter or taller.

All other elements of the pattern are self-scaling and will be customized to your body through the process of deconstruction and reconstruction.  This is one of the beauties of upcycling with Paganoonoo.  Learn about Sizing here!

Pattern Pieces?
There are no actual pattern pieces to cut out and pin; instead there are instructions for deconstruction and reconstruction of the starting garments.  Illustrations show you exactly were to make cuts on each garment and how to sew them back together.

Skill Level Required?
Intermediate sewing skills are recommended for most.  If you have successfully followed at pattern and sewn a garment before you are good to go.

If I haven’t upcycled before, which pattern would you recommend?
The Patti pattern.  It is the easiest to make and most versatile. It looks great on every figure type.  It can be made very dramatic (more back length) or more sedate (less back length).  If you have particularly beautiful cloth to use, the back panel is a great place to do so.

Do I need prior experience in upcycling?
No, prior upcycling experience is not needed.

Where will I find starting materials?
Friends, your own closet, thrift / charity stores, rummage sales.
  Caution: Avoid raiding your spouse’s closet without explicit permission.

What do I need to know when choosing starting materials?
Everything you need to know is covered in the  pattern supplement, e.g. sizing, color, pattern, etc.  It is available free at the bottom of the patterns page.

Do I need any special sewing tools?
No special tools are required.  Having a dress form is an advantage, but not required.  I highly recommend pinking shears for finishing seams and one is required for the Judy Flower pattern.  If your sewing scissors are dull, get them sharpened or treat yourself to a new pair – you deserve excellent tools!  It is well worth the invesstment.

What are the differences between the blouse patterns?

The Patti Blouse is very loose fitting at the waist and hips. It floats over the figure.  It is made of 3 shirts.  The front is accented with contrasting cuffs and stipe/pocket detail,  and the lower back panel uses a third shirt. The design features a high front hem and lower back hem (high/low hem). Recommended as the simplest to sew and the most versatile pattern.

The Peggy Blouse features a fitted empire waist (front) with a center arch and dramatically cascading lower side panels. The lower front panels are from two different shirts so the blouse shows 3 different shirts in front creating color blocking, 3 shirts are needed overall. It floats over the hips and features a high/low hem. The Peggy is our most popular pattern.

The Ashlee Blouse features a horizontal empire waist. The lower half of the blouse is pleated all the way around.  The front of the blouse is all from one shirt and 1 -2 two other shirts are needed.  The back panel features one or two other shirts.  This design floats over the hips and features a moderate  high/low hem.  It is the lowest key design, suitable for work wear & also works for special occasion when paired with a Judy Flower at the center front waist.

The Sandy Blouse is one shirt on the front, with circle accents from other shirts (3 or more shirts total).  The back has a dramatic large circle on the upper section and then a loosely pleated panel coming from under the circle down to the hem.  This panel is narrower at the hem so cups the rear a bit.  Sounds odd but it is very flattering and creates a elegant silhouette similar to a 1920’s cocoon coat. It has the least width at the hips and there is still play, it is not tight. The design also features a moderate high/low hem. Perfect for showing off machine embroidery! Especially good for “apple” shaped figures.

The Cindy Blouse features a decorative appliqué on the front of the shirt that mimics an hourglass figure. Underarm panels add a bit of extra width at the hem. 3 shirts are need when the decorative panel is added, without the decorative panel a short sleeved version can be made from one shirt, a long sleeved from 2 shirts.  This pattern is a good choice if you are slim hipped.

The Michelle Dress features a semifitted empire bodice and oversized and a loose skirt with extra deep pockets at the hips.  Sounds like it would add unwanted pounds to your profile, I know, but it is utterly charming and supremely comfortable. I’m quite curvy and when I wear one of these in public women stop me constantly with compliments. The pockets are so deep that you can carry quite a bit without showing because the bottoms are below hip level. This dress uses 5 – 7 dress shirts or perhaps 4 dress shirts and fabric from your stash. Perfect for winter in flannel with boots.  

What should I know before I start my first Paganoonoo garment?

  • You’ve been set up for success!
  • Have it be a learning experience.
  • Be willing to make mistakes and experiment.  This is the key to getting better (not berating yourself for mistakes)
  • Save your favorite ever shirts for the second project : >.
  • Visible repairs are a feature, embrace the unexpected!
  • Try the garment on frequently to see how things are working out.
  • Have your seam ripper handy and make tweaks till you have it the way you want it.