This week at the Monthly Stitch, sewists are challenged to Hack a pattern -- whether that's changing up one pattern or combining a couple. I thought about this challenge, and looked through my fabric and pattern stash, finally deciding on this project.
I started with a pretty dark blue/pale blue/mauve floral knit that was given to me by a friend's Mom who was weeding out her own stash. It's a thin and stable knit, not overly stretchy, but enough so for a comfy fitted dress.
|\Lightweight, as shown via the Petal Skirt crossover|
I trialled a few ideas, and settled on this combination: an Itch to Stitch Lindy Petal Skirt, with cut-on pockets added, based on the Sewaholic Cambie dress, and a Colette Moneta bodice.
The bodice was the most straightforward part: I cut my usual size but added a bit of width at the waist to compensate for the lower stretch of this fabric compared to my last Moneta. I also cut the neckline much higher and narrowed it slightly, to give a more retro feel to this make. I used the short sleeve version, and used a bias binding at the neck rather than facings.
Then I got to the skirt. I used the free Lindy Petal Skirt pattern from Itch to Stitch (my first make from this company, btw) and found it well-drafted and with solid instructions. It would have been quite straightforward but I decided to add on some cut-on pockets as I can barely stand to wear pocketless clothing. But I didn't want the pockets to interrupt the lines of the skirt, so cut-on it was.
I used the Cambie pocket design as my base, though I found that I had to reshape the pocket bag to fit this pattern -- only a few inches and different angles here and there. It's still not exactly right but fairly close to what I was going for -- a smooth pocket in this shaped skirt. On my first try, I cut an angle at the side seam on each piece to add the pockets, and only realized as I was putting the skirt front together that it meant that one pocket would be completely covered up under the seam - doh! So on the second try, I cut one layer of the skirt piece normally, and added the pockets to either side of the piece I wanted to go on top of the skirt. That means that on one side you sew through a few more layers than the other, but it works out if your fabric isn't too heavy.
The only real difficulty was with the waistband. I wanted to maintain the waistband of the skirt to give the dress some definition, but had to totally change the construction, as it's not a folded over elastic casing any longer. I basted in on to both skirt and bodice and then tried it on. I had to take about 1.5" out of the full width to make it balance & fit right, and then narrowed the side seams from 3/8" at the skirt edge to 6/8" at the bodice edge (seamed on an angle). This gave it the correct shape and made it fit both edges without any gathering or puckers. I also stitched it down permanently with some clear elastic in the skirt seam to give it some support and structure. I should have interfaced the waistband piece with some knit interfacing but didn't think of that until I was done.
I really like the look of this combination, and the fit is both close and yet comfortable. I am also considering making a detachable collar that I can add to this dress whenever I want to change up the look (something like this one)
I don't think I would have gone to all this effort if it wasn't for the Hack It challenge, so I really do appreciate the impetus to try something new! I really like this new dress.
All my photos were taken on a lovely evening at one of my favourite local churches, St James Anglican Church. I get to walk through this gorgeous garden-filled churchyard on my route to work, always a pleasure. This church has a 15 Bell Chime & gives chime concerts, and it also is the site of the *best* local rummage sale every spring, notorious for multiple rooms chock full of things, including a linens room where I've found many treasures over the years. They have some spectacular volunteer gardeners among their parishioners and I've always wanted to take photos there. I'm glad I finally did...and so are the mosquitoes!
I love how you have combined these patterns to create this beautiful dress. Well done!ReplyDelete
Thank you! I'm so glad it worked out as I'd imagined, although a touch shorter than planned due to the waistband adjustmentDelete
What a beautiful church and gardens. Such a gift to be able to walk through each day. And you grace it so beautifully with your lovely dress 😊ReplyDelete
Thanks Rhonda :) It really does help to start the day off right, especially when the church bells are ringing!Delete
It is absolutely beautiful! Love the colors, and shape, plus pockets-winning combo! Thanks for sharing your process, both thought and execution steps since both are really important to those of us getting up that pattern hacking learning curve. And thanks for enduring the mosquito swarm so we get to see both the dress and the church....ReplyDelete
Just doing my Christian duty providing food to all of God's creatures... ;) I'm so glad you like this; I did think about it quite a lot and am very happy that it worked out mostly as planned!Delete