Adding Drawstrings to the Hana Dress - Free Pattern Hack

Posted on September 16, 2022 by Elisabeth Moore
free drawstring dress sewing pattern hack

One of the best things about releasing free sewing patterns is getting to see what our wonderful community makes with them! Some of our favorite makes are pattern hacks, where the sewist uses the original pattern as a base, and uses basic pattern-making skills to change the pattern as they please. Inspired by the simple, yet sexy drawstring trend, let's transform the Hana Bias Cut Dress into a velvet dream perfect for nights on the town!

free drawstring dress sewing pattern hack
free drawstring dress sewing pattern hack
free bias cut slip dress sewing pattern

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This pattern redux was made with stretch fabric. Using non-stretch or woven fabrics will yield different results and is not recommended.

How to adjust the pattern:

Adjusting the front piece:

free drawstring dress sewing pattern hack

1. At the center front, measure 5” up from the bottom edge and mark it.

free drawstring dress sewing pattern hack

2. Measure and mark 1 ½” from the side seam, at the bottom.

free drawstring dress sewing pattern hack

3. Connect the two dots with a curved line, straightening it out as it goes to the side seam. Use a French curve if you have one.

free drawstring dress sewing pattern hack

4. Draw a line from that side dot, all the way up to the notch. You may have to do a very slight curve near the top.

Adjusting the back piece:

free drawstring dress sewing pattern hack

1. Take off 1 ¼” from the center back.

free drawstring dress sewing pattern hack

2. On the side bust, take the outermost side line (your pattern size) and extend it all the way down to the bottom. You should now have two long parallel lines on each side.

free drawstring dress sewing pattern hack

3. On the front pattern piece, transfer the notches to the wrong side. As pictured, place the front on top of the back, right sides together. Make sure the upper corners are aligned. Trace the front’s edge to the back, all the way down to that second notch. Cut along your new line.

4. On the back self facing piece, cut off 1 ¼” from the center back line.

You are now ready to cut out your pattern from your fabric. NOTE: Since we are using stretch fabric, this pattern should be cut on the straight grain instead of the bias.

How to make the drawstring:

1. Cut out two 45” long strips, using the strap pattern piece as a template for the width. Fold in half lengthwise, pin, and sew with a ⅜” seam allowance. Repeat.

2. Use a loop turner to bring the drawstrings right side out.

How to make the casing:

1. Cut out a 2” x 33” casing strip of your fabric.

2. Using the modified front pattern piece, measure in 1” from the center front. Using that mark as a guide, draw a parallel line all the way down. Cut the 1” strip out, then place it on top of the casing strip.

free drawstring dress sewing pattern hack

3. Use the paper strip as a template for the bottom curves, then cut out the fabric. No need to cut out the top “v”.

4. If the sides of the casing strip need to be hemmed, do so now with a 1/4” hem.

5. Mark the center line down the wrong side of the strip.

free drawstring dress sewing pattern hack

6. Snip the center front bottom, fold each curved side under, and then hem ¼”.

Because I used velour, I had to approach these next steps differently because I didn’t want the feed dogs to crush the velour. I’ve included those steps, along with the construction method for non velvet fabrics. For more information on sewing with velvet, check out this post.

Instructions for velvet:

1. On the right side of the dress front, mark the center front line.

2. Draw two more lines: ½” to the right, and ½” to the left. You should now have three lines going down the length of the front of the dress.

3. On the wrong side, mark the center front line.

4. Wrong sides together, match the CF lines of the dress and casing strip. Start at the bottom, making sure the hemmed end of the strip is 1” from the raw edge of the dress bottom. Pin the edges of the strip, making sure to place the pins lengthwise and close to the strip’s long edges.We don’t want them to get in the way for the next step.

5. With the right side of the dress facing up, sew the CF line, stopping 2” from the raw edge of the dress bottom. Repeat with the remaining two lines. Trim any excess casing strip at the neckline.

free drawstring dress sewing pattern hack

Instructions for all other fabric:

1. On the wrong side of the dress, mark the center front line.

2. On the right side of the casing strip, mark the center front line, then draw two more lines: ½” to the right & left of the CF casing strip line.

3. Wrong sides together, match the CF lines of the dress and casing strip. Start at the bottom, making sure the hemmed end is 1” from the raw edge of the dress bottom. Pin along the edges of the strip.

4. Sew the casing strip’s CF line, stopping 2” from the raw edge of the dress bottom. Repeat with the remaining two lines.

free drawstring dress sewing pattern hack

How to finish the dress:

1. Insert the drawstrings into the channels, leaving the excess at the bottom of the dress.

2. Sew the dress. When you sew the neck facing, be sure to catch the top of the drawstrings in that seam. Trim the excess.

3. To anchor the neck facing, sew it to the center front, stitching right over that CF seam for the drawstring.

4. Use fusible interfacing or understitch to keep the facing from being visible.

5. When pinning the hem, make sure the casing strip and hem match in length. The strip can even be slightly shorter. Hem the dress, folding the casing strip and drawstrings out of the way.

6. Lay the casing strip back down and complete the three channels, being mindful to not catch the drawstrings in the stitching.

Adding Drawstrings to the Hana Dress - Free Pattern Hack - Mood Sewciety
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