Today we’re going to try out a summer dress hack with a tried and true pattern – the Deer and Doe Plantain Shirt which we are sewing up for the Sewalicious blog! If you haven’t sewn up this shirt before you can access it for free on the Deer and Doe website.
Plantain one of my favorite everyday shirts – the cut is really flattering and I love the neckline so why not hack it into a dress?
Well I did just that with this drapey Carnival Viscose Jersey from Sewalicious! This is a bold print but I think is perfect for summertime – it’s fun, festive and bright!
Here’s what you need to do:
Get your free copy of the Deer and Doe Plantain Shirt. Measure yourself based on their directions to find the right fit. Once you have cut out your pattern take out your tracing paper (I used medical paper), your drafting rulers, pencil/marker and your measuring tape.
Lay the finished front side of the pattern against you in the same position it would be worn. Take note of where the hem lies on the centerfront of your body. Set the pattern aside and using your measuring tape, measure from the hemline point on the centerfront of your body to the length you would like the dress to be – keep the hem allowance in mind as well (you can add 1” to 2” for this depending on your preference). Record this measurement.
Next, cut two pieces of tracing paper a little longer than the skirt portion of your dress. Tape the paper to the back of the pattern. Starting with the front piece- from the centerfront hemline of the front pattern measure down in a straight line the measurement you just recorded then measure across at the hem past the side seam of the original pattern. Use your curve form ruler to match the original hip line with the new hemline at the side seam. You can make this as wide as you would like. Repeat for the back pattern then cut out your new pattern.
The end result should look like this:
All that is left is to cut out your fabric, sew, and wear!!
For more on the Deer and Doe Plantain Shirt click HERE!
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and while some of you are thinking about the big date night or maybe dreaming about chocolates or flowers, we are thinking about sewing over here! Specifically hacking the Just Patterns Bias Top pattern into a night gown. 😉
Well for today’s guest post on the Sewalicious blog, I will be hacking the Just Patterns Bias Top aka a camisole pattern into a delicate and romantic nightie/nightgown. I will be using Burgundy Peachskin fabric from Sewalicious– rich color, soft texture and beautiful drape! Absolutely perfect for this project.
The Just Patterns Bias Top calls for a lining but I opted out and cut the pattern without it leaving one front piece and one back piece.I then decided how much length I wanted to add to the camisole to make it into a nightie. I added a little extra just in case things go wrong.(As we all know in sewing we can’t always be certain when hacking!). I decided on adding 14 1/2 inches to the hem of the camisole.This would give me option of have a short sexy nightie or a longer romantic gown.Moving forward, I took out my trusty medical paper and taped my pattern down then measured out 14 1/2 inches down for the new hemline.I used my curved pattern ruler to give some subtle shape to the skirt.
Sewing Up Your Night Gown
Once cut out, I overlocked the edges then sewed up the side seams with a straight stitch.I wanted a slit on both sides of the gown so I left 6 inches of the side seam open at the bottom.I pressed the seams open making sure to press the slits open as if I had sewn them.
Add Some Lace
I measured around the circumference of the top of the night gown to determine how much lace I would need. Then, I repeated this for the bottom including the slit areas.
Using a wide zigzag stitch I carefully attached the lace to the outside edges of the night gown being mindful of covering the overlocked edges.I repeated this for the hem and slits as well.
I tried on my night gown to determine how long I would need to make the straps and what position I would like them to be in the back.(I advise having someone help you with this if possible).Once determined, I cut out my straps, lined them up where they needed to go and zigzag stitched them in place.
Easy as that! 🙂 I think I’m ready for Valentine’s Day now… are you?
It’s pinning time! Got a Pinterest account and maybe a sewing board? Pin this!
Happy Sewing! 🙂
If you want to try this hack you can find the Just Patterns Bias Top Pattern HERE.
***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.
Fashion Sewing | Top Pattern Review
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!
The Low Down:
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.
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.)
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! 🙂
I wasn’t sure what I was going to sew for sleeve fest but with a little patience it all came together. I had plans to sew a long kimono to wear with my Valentine and Stitch Dune Maxi. I went shopping in the Downtown LA fabric district and picked up this beautiful yellow floral print fabric. I was initially going for a black printed fabric that I thought I could wear more often but then I saw this print and fell in love. Anyway my friend and I decided to walk out of the fabric district that day and stumbled upon a cute little shop. They had these beautiful dresses and tops with the fluttery flowy bell sleeves. She bought a dress and I bought a top. The more I thought about what I wanted to do with my kimono I realized that the sleeve of her dress would be a perfect match. So I went ahead and traced the sleeve when I got home and created my pattern. I ordered my kimono pattern from Simplicity and with a little work this kimono was born.
The Low Down:
The New Look Pattern 6378 Misses’ Easy Kimonos with Length Variations from Simplicity Patterns comes in a paper pattern and has 4 variations. Long with sleeves, long and sleeveless, mid-length with sleeves, short with sleeves. I had been eyeing this pattern for a while but couldn’t fit it into my sewing schedule. This is a very stylish pattern that can be sewn in a variety of fabrics perfect for summertime.
This pattern has several fabric options including:
For pattern B – Two packages of ½” wide single fold bias tape
I purchased my fabric from the Los Angeles Fabric District.
My process was a bit thrown off with this pattern. I had ordered it on August 14. The order confirmation stated that I would receive shipping confirmation once shipped. A week passed and I received nothing so I checked my account and it said my order was still being processed. I was very disappointed so I ordered an alternative from Simplicity. This time it was a PDF pattern. I printed the pattern and was ready to put it together. The very next day I received my original Simplicity pattern. I was a little annoyed that I now have two patterns but relieved because the PDF of the other pattern was not user-friendly.
I started on this project on a Friday night. I traced pattern B in XS, cut it out then cut out the fabric.
The next day I stole a few minutes away and sewed up the back seam and staystitched the back neck. Realizing I had a few more minutes later on in the day before we were going to head out for the evening I quickly sewed on the sleeves and the side seams. The directions call for a double stitch on the armhole then to trim the excess seam allowance as you can see in the photo below.
Then I got home a little after 10 p.m. with no intention of sewing but the machine was calling and I answered… I added my flutter sleeves and it was EVERYTHING! My face was the heart eyes emoji!
If you want to make a similar flutter sleeve measure the sleeve opening for the garment you are working with. Draw a circle using the measurement as the diameter then split that circle in half. You should have a half moon now. Draw a line away from the edges of the half circle on the top, bottom then draw a line away from the center to the length of your preference on each side. Connect each point to create a larger half circle/moon. Erase the original diameter line. You should be left with a thick backwards “C”. Add seam allowance to each side. The small half circle part of the pattern should be cut on the fold. As you can see on my pattern the “cut on fold” lines are not in line with each. I traced this sleeve from another garment so I improvised while cutting instead of making a new pattern. I may just have to write a pattern hack tutorial post but for now hopefully this helps.
That had to be my stopping point for the night. All that was left was hemming the sleeves and adding the single-fold bias tape which I completed over the next few days.
To the say the least I love this kimono! I want to wear it with everything. I think I’ll do just that! There are just a couple more weeks of summer left but I’m certain I’ll be able to transition this kimono into fall as temperatures won’t be dropping drastically for awhile here in Los Angeles. Yay!
First hiccup – ordering a second pattern I didn’t need. 🙁
Second very minor hiccup – the armhole opening of my flutter sleeve was slightly larger than the armhole of the pattern. I didn’t spend too much time measuring this out so I just sewed the excess back into the sleeve seam so it just adds more flutter.
Third hiccup – I followed the directions on how to pin the single-fold bias binding but once I sewed it on I came up short and had to cut an extra 3 inch piece to be able to attach the beginning and end pieces. The main fabric ended up stretching a bit while I was sewing causing my binding to come up short. I’m not too thrilled with the bias binding as I think it looks stiff compared to the rest of the garment. You can see a bit of how it curls in the photos.
Be very careful when cutting. This pattern calls for mostly slippery fabrics so you just want to make sure that you don’t inadvertently move the fabric while cutting or stretch it out.