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Free pattern hack: Violet sans facing


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I don’t know about you, but I’m not always crazy about facings.

Sure, they’re easy to sew, and there are certainly times where a facing is the best option for finishing a neckline. There are even times when it’s really the only option.

But with a little more work, you can often change out facings for other finishes that look a little less homemade. This month, I decided to try that out on Violet, swapping the front and neck facing for a placket and finishing the neckline with bias tape.


This is an especially great modification if your fabric is at all sheer, since facings can sometimes show through. The placket gives the Violet a more traditional and slightly less feminine look. You could use this same modification on just about any button down shirt that has a facing.



Modifying Violet for a placket does mean changing up the pattern. You have to cut separate placket pieces, and adjust the right and left sides of the blouse front a little differently. The collar also has to be trimmed back a little to leave room at the center front for that placket.

To make it super clear, I created some free instructions, complete with illustrations, to show you step by step how it’s done.

I went with lovely clear glass buttons on my own Violet. I love the weight of glass buttons, don’t you?


Introducing the Pattern Hack Pack

We’ve created a few downloadable pattern hacks with these bonus sets of instructions in addition to this one. And we have a lot more of these freebies planned in 2015. I’m hoping to create one for each Pattern of the Month this year!

To keep it all manageable, I’ve created a special download file just for free pattern hacks. Just click the link below to download all our pattern hacks in one handy zip file!

Get the Pattern Hack Pack

Sarai Mitnick   —   Founder

Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.

Comments 22


Thank you very much, and I always appreciate the opportunity to learn something!


What a lovely blouse! So cute! And very interesting modifications. I love to hack patterns in order to make them more unique. So thanks for sharing this pattern hack!

A Morris

BEAUTIFUL. Love the blouse, love the whole look. Thanks.


I was *sure* that this had to be possible, and was in the middle of trying to think it through for another sewing pattern. How great to know that it is! Would you consider publishing the hacks on your blog as well, so that I didn’t have to download all the extra hacks that I don’t need?


If you sign up once, we’ll send an email each time there’s a new one so that you can either download the entire pack, or just the newest one. That way, you can always get the old one, but you don’t necessarily have to keep downloading the whole thing.

They’re proper instructions with technical illustrations and everything, so they don’t fit as well on the blog as they do in a PDF.

Floranne Dyck

I love seeing real people wear the patterns. I like to see styling options . It makes it easier to visualize. Thank you for continuing with this.


Oh, I think this is much, much nicer for the Violet! I have a couple of handmade garments with facings that hardly see any wear because I find them extremely difficult to iron and a bit annoying to wear. I guess I should just sew the facings down and get over it :)


Thank you, your generosity is very much appreciated.


I just finished a Hawthorne dress and wondered if the bulk of the facing could be avoided somehow. Will this hack be possible on the Hawthorne neckline?


Yep, you could definitely do the same thing on Hawthorn!


Ooh this crisp white version with the placket is so cute.

Julie Parrish

What a lovely blouse! Could you address one of your articles to achieving clean, consistent buttonholes? For those of us who have an old fashioned zigzag machine, it’s sometimes intimidating to contemplate making a garment where the buttonholes are very visible. Tips would be appreciated!


I’ve actually been thinking about this lately! I need to do more research on machines and such first, but I think it would be a good one for a future tutorial/guide.


I love the Violet as it is, but I would be interested in how you changed the pattern up. Maybe after I’ve made a few, I will be willing to make some changes too. I love these pattern of the month posts.

Alice Elliot

I much prefer the bias tape neck finish and placket. Looks very cleanly finished and more easily cared for when you don’t have to always press the facings after laundering!

SJ Kurtz

It’s a pattern hack sneak attack! With a snack! Plackets wear better, too.

I finally put up a long-worked on post about an all zig zag buttonhole (ernie….buttonhole-theory.html) . My Bernina is possessed by Satin…uh…. The automatic buttonhole, she no work so good.

I would love to see how other folks deal with this, besides hiring it out.


Thank you so much for this hack! I have made two Violets in the past, one with the facing and one with voile where I kind of made up a placket using the facing pieces with some voile. This method is so much better for lightweight fabrics than my weird version and the instructions are so easy to use.


I always like a white blouse look, it’s a clean look. It can go with anything if you want to add different colors vests to it. Or just add a little color pins. I’ve always wanted learn how to make my own bras. It’s hard to find the right sizes sometimes,I don’t like try bras on at the stores. I love how you showing pictures of sewing. I could really learn some things from this . I’m a grandma, I like to sew some things for my granddaughter that’s 8. I can tell she going to be a sewer like me. I can’t wait to show her this blog. Happy sewing,


I love this. I have this pattern stashed away but haven’t made it yet. When I do, I will definitely use plackets– just a bit more menswear looking.


Wish I had this info before I sewed the Negroni. My husband complains about that facing. He says it’s “too floppy.”


Great idea. I’m not a big fan of facings. I’ll need to try this on my next Hawthorne (if I ever finish the first one, it seems to always get pushed to the bottom of the sewing list, even thought it’s more than half done).

Speaking of which (both my Hawthorne and hacks to your patterns), I had Pinned (on Pinterest) a few tulip sleeves to use for my Hawthorne. One of them was from a blogger who made some changes to a Sorbetto. That Pin gets repinned all the time (15-20 times in the last month! 144 times total – so far), but the interesting part is that so many of those are pinned to boards about scrubs. I’m not entirely sure if it’s for the sleeve (that’s pic I pinned) or if these people want to use the Sorbetto pattern to make scrub tops!

This one even made it the main phot of her Scrubs board (as did 4 others) –

Here is the blog post –

I Have been thinking I should let you know about this, and this post seems a good oportunity.


Thank you for usefull tips. :)

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