***Valentine & Stitch patterns are sadly no longer available in the marketplace***
I think at this point you may have a suspicion that I love patterns from Valentine and Stitch… or maybe I wasn’t obvious enough! I didn’t venture too much into knits until I started sewing up their patterns. It’s really been great and has given me a lot of confidence in sewing stretchy fabric. My most recent make was the Dune maxi which you can read about here. My next course of action was the Dune top which was my intention from the beginning. I even bought fabric for it way ahead of time! I was planning on sewing it one weekend and realized that I didn’t have it printed out which lead me to stumble upon my Deer and Doe Plantain pattern which you can read about here. I’m currently putting together what I think would be a versatile casual work wardrobe for the office. I have two shirts down – Deer and Doe Plantain and I just completed two more of the Dune top.
Now, I did this one a little differently. I created one Dune based on the pattern (you will notice that this fabric matches one of my Plantain shirts) and one I hacked! Why would I hack a perfectly good pattern you might ask? Well it really had nothing to do with the pattern but more so with my fabric options. I wanted to sew up my second Dune in a lightweight gray jersey but I was short a few inches on my fabric. Then I took out some extra black jersey knit fabric which I had plenty of but once I saw it laid out I thought to myself I need a little oomph! So I looked through the rest of my stash and realized I had some matching fabric in pink, purple and blue. What could I do?! Color blocking naturally 😉
The pink and black color block Dune was born!
Dune is a summery top or maxi dress from the lovely Helen and Rich of Valentine and Stitch. Dune is a printable PDF pattern with the option of sewing the top or the dress with a round neck or a scoop neck. This garment is meant to be flowy and flattering as it drapes away from your body but still hugs you in all the right places. You can sew your top or dress in a stretch jersey or light cotton jersey. This is a very versatile pattern that can be enjoyed while hanging out at the beach our dressed up for a party or even dressed professionally for a day in the office. Click on the picture below to order your Dune Pattern:
Stretch jersey such as viscose or rayon jersey, bamboo jersey, and silk jersey OR light cotton jersey with a good drape or for a more stable fabric use a heavier weight cotton jersey, crepe jersey or a scuba
(*If you are using a fabric with less stretch, you may wish to lengthen the neck and arm bands slightly.)
- Ballpoint needle
- Twin needle (optional)
- Coverstitch machine (optional)
- All-purpose polyester sewing thread
I purchased my fabric from the Los Angeles Fabric District. I purchased my thread from Joann.com – Gutterman 10 and 307.
Here is what I did-
I used my dress form and my first Dune to get an idea of how high I wanted the apex of what I will call the bottom portion of the top. On the small sized pattern, I decided to measure down 7″ from the center back and 6 1/2″ from the back side seam then I connected the points. For the center front I measured down 6 inches and 6 3/4″ from the front side seam then I connected those two points as well.
I cut the pattern on the new line and attached the pieces to tracing paper where I added a 3/8” seam allowance like the pattern calls for. I trued the sides and cut the new pieces out.
I pinned the top pieces to the pink fabric and the bottom pieces to the black fabric. I was sure to start my color block below the sleeves so that I wouldn’t have to deal with a multi-colored armband although I’m sure I could have gotten away with one color.
Next, I cut all my pieces out and sewed the two front pieces together and the two back pieces together being very careful at the apex not to have a weird ripple. I then sewed everything as the directions explained.
This probably isn’t something I would usually do but I really like how it turned out. I am especially happy with how the color block seam lays and how the apex hits right at the bridge of my bust.
My only complaint is that I think my fabric stretched a little too much around the neckline but I think pressing it was a good remedy. This fabric is quite stretchy so some unwanted stretch is inevitable.
My other hiccup wasn’t on this hack but on my first Dune top and that was because the fabric wasn’t as stretchy so the side seams pointed out a bit more than I was used to. This also became a problem when sewing on the neck and arm bands. The directions state to cut your bands longer if you have less stretch in your fabric which I forgot about. Ultimately it turned out fine because once I wore it the fabric softened up a bit and the sides and bands became more flattering.
One thing that I did was I trimmed the excess seam allowance from the neckband and the armband before I attached them to the bodice. That way they would lie flatter and not get stuck under my presser foot which is a problem I tend to have.
Also if you do plan on doing the hack be sure measure where the seam line will hit your body best so it is most flattering. Please use a ruler for precision!!
Otherwise have fun sewing up Dune! You won’t be disappointed! 🙂