I have come to realize I absolutely love dresses. I have also realized I don’t have too many cozy winter dresses. Actually I have none, no cozy winter dresses. After purchasing this super soft French Terry from Raspberry Creek Fabrics, I decided I needed to make a cozy dress with it. I got the design idea after seeing one of my friends wearing a similar one. I decided hacking my pattern Flower Stripe would make just what I was looking for!! If you want to make your own, follow the directions below. I used the Flower Stripe pattern, and will follow the instructions listed on the pattern. On this tutorial I will share only how I hacked the pattern, for the rest of the instructions refer to the pattern.
- Following size chart to select size, start by tracing your dress pattern (Straight hem version) onto different paper. I always need to grade in-between sizes to get the perfect fit for me. Measure your upper arm girth divide it in half and record. You will want the sleeve opening the same as half your arm girth plus seam allowance. For reference here are my numbers: Arm girth- 12″ divided by 2 = 6″ plus seam allowance = 6.375. I just rounded up to 6.5″. From the top of the sleeve opening, measure down the number you just came up with (mine was 6.5″) and make a mark. From there draw in the new curve.
- Since all our bodies are different, it’s a good idea to check to make sure you like where the drawstring will hit. To do this measure from your shoulder to your waist and record. Then measure the same thing on the paper pattern. See if the “elastic cinch line” matches up with where you want your waist. If it doesn’t, simply draw in a new line where you want it to hit. Once you are happy with where the line is, cut the dress in two on that line. Add one inch of paper to each dress piece. Place the two pieces together and draw in a new line. Trim excess paper off.
3. Your dress piece is now hacked! Follow these same instructions to hack the back of the dress OR cheat a little like I do. Instead of re-doing the entire back piece, I simply cut out the neckline of the back piece. Tape it in place onto the front piece when you cut out your fabric pieces. Obviously this cheat can only be done when the back is the same as the front!
4. On to the sleeve piece. You can leave the sleeve as 3/4 length if you want, but I lengthened mine to a full length sleeve. To do this, measure from your mid shoulder to your wrist. Mine was 24″. Next measure the entire sleeve length of the original pattern. Make sure you measure the actual sleeve and about the middle of the sleeve on the dress piece. Add those together and minus 3/4 and inch for seam allowance to connect the two. Mine was 16 1/2″-3/4″ for a total of 15 3/4″ original pattern sleeve length. I wanted the entire sleeve to be 24″ so I would need to add 9 3/4″. To do this extend the straight line on the sleeve piece to your needed additional length. Square across stopping at 3/4 of your wrist measurement. Now we need to make the top opening the same size as the sleeve opening on the dress. Using measurement of your dress sleeve opening, measure from the straight line toward the slanted line and make a mark. For example my dress sleeve opening was 6.5″, I made a mark 6.5″ from the straight line on my sleeve. Draw in a new slanted line between this new mark and the mark you made for the wrist opening.
5. Sew your shoulder seams together and attach your sleeves following the instructions in the Flower Stripe pattern.
6. Attach neck binding.
7. Sew side seams of top piece together. Then sew the side seams of the skirt piece together.
8. Now find the center front of the top piece and measure 1.5″ up. Mark where you want the button holes for your draw string to be. Double check that they lay where you want them before opening them!
9. With shirt right side out and skirt wrong side out (skirt and shirt will be right sides together) line up side seams and pin in place. Sew skirt and shirt together using a 1″ seam allowance.
10. Finish edges and flip seam allowance up toward shirt piece. Press and pin in place. Edgestitch seam allowance to shirt piece.
11. To decide how long to make your draw string, measure the casing and multiply it by 2. Then subtract your waist measurement from that. This will leave you with how much will be hanging out. Then add however much you want to that, I added 6″ to mine. For reference my measurements were: 38″ drawstring casing – 29″ waist = 9″. That means that only 4.5″ would hang out on either side. You can add as much as you want depending on how long you want your drawstring to hang.
12. When you decide how long you want your drawstring cut out that length x 1.5″ wide. My drawstring measured 44″ x 1.5″.
13. Press your strip in half lengthwise. When you get to the ends fold about 1/4″ in and press. Unfold and press raw edges in to the center. Then fold once more so all raw edges are encased and press. Edgestitch shut.
14. Thread your drawstring.
15. Tie knots on the ends!!
16. Simply hem the bottom and sleeves and you are done!!
Don’t forget to share your creation with #flowerstripe!!
Pattern: Flower Stripe
Size sewn: 4 graded to 8
Measurements: Bust: 34″, Waist: 29″, Hips: 40″
Fabric: Raspberry Creek Fabrics