Olive Hack: Widening Straps

Have you ever gotten a pattern that you absolutely loved, only to realize that the straps weren't the perfect size for you? Sometimes, the straps are spot on for how you intend to wear your garment, and other times, they just aren't quite right. Maybe you are looking for them to be slightly thicker in order to cover the straps of your bra, or you plan on really working your garment hard out in the garden and need something a bit stronger than the typical thin strap. 

For me, the Olive Jumpsuit sometimes falls into this category. I love the delicate straps of the original, but sometimes (especially when I am out in the garden) I find that a thicker strap is necessary. That is why I have put together this quite tutorial on changing up the strap width of the Olive Jumpsuit (though this hack could be applied to any similarly constructed garment, such as the Olive Dress or the Ogden Cami or basically any garment that has the straps connect to the bodice separately.)

Let's get started!

For this particular hack, you can go ahead and start by cutting out all of the pieces that we won't be adjusting the pattern for. Those pieces include:

  • Front + Back Pant/ Short Legs
  • Pockets
  • Waist Tie
  • Tie Casing

Once you have those pieces cut out, set them aside and grab your Bodice Front, Bodice Back, and Strap pattern pieces. These are the three pieces we will be adjusting in this hack!

Adjusting the Straps

To start, let's adjust your strap piece as it is the simplest to tweak for this project. We will be keeping the strap length the same, but changing it's width. To start, you will want to determine what you want the final width of your strap to be. Then we get to do a bit of math (genuinely, my favorite part!)

For example, let's say that I want my final strap width to be 2" (5 cm) wide. To determine how wide my pattern piece needs to be, I simply need to plug that final measurement into the following formula:

[Final Strap Width x 2] + 1" (2,5 cm) = Pattern Strap Width

So, using this formula, my final pattern strap width should be:

[2" (5 cm) x 2] + 1" (2,5 cm) = 5" (12,7 cm)

Once you have determined the width of your strap piece, you can draw a new strap piece using it plus the original length onto a scrap piece of paper, like so.

Digital black and white drawing of a rectangular shaped pattern piece with the top labeled 5" (12,7 cm) and the side labeled 10" (25,4 cm)

Adjusting the Bodice

Now it's time to move on to the slightly more challenging bodice pieces. Honestly, they aren't really all that difficult to adjust, it just takes a bit more time since we aren't working with a simple rectangle. 

For this adjustment, grab one of your bodice pieces, either the front or the back. It doesn't matter which you start with since the adjustments to both will be the same. You may wish to trace your pattern piece onto a larger sheet of paper so that you can make the adjustments directly onto the page. 

We will be using your final strap width measurement for this part. Mine was 2" (5 cm). We will need to do a bit of math to determine how much we need to adjust our bodice strap opening, but this time, the math is really simple. All you need to do is add 1" (2,5 cm) to your final strap width! For me, that would make my new strap opening measurement 3" (7,6 cm). Easy peasy! Keep this number handy as we will need it soon. 

To start, find the center of your strap opening on your bodice piece. The strap opening on your bodice pieces is currently 1.5" (3,8 cm), so the center point should be 3/4" (1,9 cm). Mark this point. 

 A black and white digital drawing of the Olive Jumpsuit Front Bodice pattern pieceA close up digital drawing of the olive jumpsuit bodice straw opening with an arrow pointing out the center point of the strap opening labeled 3/4" (1,9 cm)

Take your final strap measurement and divide that number in half. Then, starting from the center point you marked on your strap, draw a line to the right that equals your new measurement. For me that is 1.5" (3,8 cm).

A close up digital drawing of the olive jumpsuit bodice strap opening with a new line in pink drawn to the right of the strap with the label 1.5" (3,8 cm)

 

Repeat to the left of your center point as well. You should now half a new line that matches the total final strap measurement. For me, that was 3" (7,6 cm).

A close up digital drawing of the olive jumpsuit bodice strap opening with a new line in pink drawn over the top of the strap opening with the label 3" (7,6 cm)

 

Now it is time to connect your new strap opening with the underarm curve and the neckline curve. For this step, feel free to use a French curve ruler if you have one. I don't, so I always just eyeball this part a bit! The only thing you want to make sure of is that the line connecting to the strap opening be made at a 90 degree angle for at least 1/2" (1,3 cm) before starting your curve. 

A close up digital drawing of the olive jumpsuit bodice strap opening, neckline, and armhole with a dashed line in pink drawn connecting the new strap opening with the curve of the neckline and the curve of the armholeA digital drawing of the olive front bodice with a line in pink drawn connecting the new strap opening with the curve of the neckline and the curve of the armhole

Once you have completed one of your bodice pieces, repeat all of these steps with the remaining bodice piece. 

 

Sewing the Olive

You can now cut out your new pattern pieces and begin sewing your Olive Jumpsuit/ Romper! You don't have to change anything in regards to sewing your pattern together. Simply follow you instruction booklet as you normally would. 

Et Voila! You have successfully completed your new Olive Jumpsuit, complete with new straps - YAY! You nailed it!

 

Close up of a white woman with brown hair wearing a beige romper with thick straps and a floral print. Her hand delicately touches her collar bone wear a gold honeycomb necklace is seen

A white woman is standing with her back to the camera and is reaching out to a plant on a white bakers rack filled with many plants. She is wearing a beige colored romper with thick straps and a floral printA white woman is standing in front of a white bakers rack filled with many plants. She is wearing a beige colored romper with thick straps and a floral print

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