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!