Making More of Your Patterns: Peaseblossom Colour Block

img_0109The Peaseblossom T is a wardrobe staple and I have quite a few of them in different fabrics and various adaptations.

The simple boxy shape lends itself to colour blocking and this is an easy to follow tutorial to show you how to adapt the pattern.


The front and back of the Top are basically the same shape so to make life easier you can transfer the lines from the front on to the back.

I have used a coloured pen to make it easier to see but when adapting patterns yourself you should always use a really sharp pencil to ensure you’re as accurate as possible.

Decide where you want the seam line to separate the two colours. This is really up to you and the proportions of colour you want to use. I have decided to have a horizontal seam 8cm down from the front neckline. But you could also use vertical seams as well.


Draw a line across the front at right angles to the centre front. It is very important to make sure that the new seam line hits the centre front at right angles.



The centre front or back is a line of symmetry, so imagine a mirror reflecting whatever is on one side on to the other. If the new seam line is slightly off 90° you could end up with a ‘peak’ or ‘valley’ in the middle of the new seam line.

Peak or valley lines with dotted lines as the true horizontal.


To make sure this doesn’t happen use a set square, quilter’s grid or specialist Patternmaster that has 90° lines on it to use as a guide.


Transfer the seam line on to the back.

Method 1 – Lay the front pattern piece on top of the back.


Use a tracing wheel to trace along the line and through to the back piece.



Lift off the front and there will be the tiny prick marks made by the tracing wheel.  I have tried to show these but they are really too small.


Use these to draw in the new seam line.

Method 2 – If the paper is thin enough lay the back over the front so you can just see the new seam line on the front through the paper of the back. Or you can mark the centre front point and the sleeve point and just join the two dots.


Double check that the new seam line on the back hits the centre back at a right angle by using a ruler with 90° lines on it to use as a guide.


Separate the back pattern pieces and the front pieces by cutting up the new seam lines.


Add seam allowance on each side of the new seam lines. Add a strip of paper to each side of the new seam lines.


The seam allowance on the Peaseblossom is 1cm so you can either continue with the same or if you prefer to use a larger seam allowance add 1.5cm.


You can use the grading lines on a Patternmaster or quilter’s grid to make sure the seam allowance is parallel to the stitching line.


Add in balance marks (also called notches). Match up the two front pieces with each other and add in a single balance mark or notch. This will ensure that the two pieces match up correctly when sewn together.


Do the same for the two back pieces but use a double balance mark or notch to indicate that this is the back.


**In pattern notation a single notch is always used for the front and a double notch for the back.

The pattern pieces are now ready to cut out and make up in your chosen fabrics.


This is a really easy pattern hack to do just remember to keep an eye on those right angles.

If you are making your top from a woven fabric have a look at our How to Sew a Clean Finish Binding tutorial it gives a really neat finish to the neckline.

Happy sewing!

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