Holding on to summer just a little longer inspired this new pattern hack! By combining the graceful long puff sleeves of the Bellium Dress with the flared knee-length skirt of the Bluebell Dress, I’ve crafted a prairie-style creation that’s perfect for your last-minute vacations. This dress promises comfort and style and is made in delightful blue candy-striped seersucker cotton. I’ve added pockets and a faux button placket to make this ensemble sweeter. So grab your free patterns and prepare for a fun and fashionable project!
Here are a few things to note before we get started. One of the patterns used for this hack, the Bellium Dress, was originally drafted for knit fabric. Here’s a list of important key points to consider when using a knit pattern for woven fabrics.
- Choose the Right Size: Sizing can differ dramatically between knit and woven fabrics due to their different levels of stretch. You may need to go up a size or two when switching from a pattern designed for a knit to a woven fabric. Be sure to measure yourself accurately and compare your measurements to our pattern sizing chart.
- Add Darts or Shaping Seams: Knit fabric naturally conforms to the body’s curves due to its stretch. Darts or shaping seams might be necessary with woven fabric to achieve the same fit. Consider the bust, waist, and hip areas – these are common spots for darts.
- Adjust Neckline and Armholes: Necklines and armholes in knit patterns may be too tight when sewn in woven fabrics. Consider adjusting the pattern to provide more ease and ensure a comfortable fit. You may also need to add fastenings like zippers or buttons for closure, as woven fabrics don’t stretch over the head like knits.
- Add Ease: Woven fabrics don’t have the stretch and recovery that knits do. You’ll need to add some ease (extra room in the pattern) to ensure you can move comfortably in the garment.
- Make a Muslin First: Last but not least, always make a muslin to test the fit. This practice will save you time, fabric, and frustration in the long run, allowing you to tweak and perfect the fit before sewing your final garment.
Here are the adjustments I made:
- Top bodice adjustment: A– First, to create the bodice, I cut the dress piece to the waist and added a 1/2″ seam allowance. B – Next, I added a dart under the bust seam for shaping. I adjusted the bust seam to curve slightly into the new dart. I removed about 1″ and blended it into the apex.
- Back bodice adjustment: I cut the back bodice to the waist and added a ½” seam allowance. Instead of cutting the back on the fold, I cut 2 and added the additional seam allowance needed for the zipper. I omitted the neck facings because the top bodice is self-lined.
- Sleeve adjustment: I wanted to add volume towards the cuff opening, so I used the slash and spread method. Starting at the sleeve’s shoulder seam notch, I measured and drew six vertical lines down to the edge of the sleeve. Each line is 1” apart. I slashed each line to the starting point without cutting through the paper. Then, I spread each section apart about 1.5” and taped it in place. The entire sleeve was retraced and cut out of fabric. The sleeves were set in and gathered with a ¾” elastic at the cuff.
- The skirt of this dress was made using our Bluebell Dress pattern. This added just the right amount of movement, and I even added side seam pockets. I added a back seam with an additional ½” seam allowance to accommodate the zipper. It was gathered, attached right at the waist, and installed an invisible zipper.
- I added a faux button placket and waistband to break up the stripe and add visual interest! This was a fun and easy project with endless possibilities!
Remember, the key to successful pattern adjustments is patience and practice. With some trial and error, you can quickly adapt your favorite knit patterns for woven fabrics.