Move over tennis, there’s a new court in town – and it’s causing quite a pickle(ball)! The rise of pickleball has been nothing short of a success, with players and fans alike dill-lighted by the sport’s rapid growth. If you want to ace your game and look fabulous, forget about spending a fortune on store-bought athletic wear. Sewing your own pickleball outfit is a cost-effective and rewarding way to get the perfect outfit for your game! To make things even more fun, we created a convertible belt bag, which can be worn across the waist, crossbody, and as a belt.
For our pickleball dress, we knew attached shorts were a must! Using our wildly popular Arbor Skort for the bottom, and the Sylvan Tank Dress for the top, we created a dress with attached shorts. The addition of an elastic band and straps jazzed up the dress, resulting in an eye-catching statement look for a truly one of a kind look.
Since I omitted the pocket on the shorts, I decided to self draft a convertible belt bag (also known as a bum bag or fanny pack), which can be worn on and off the pickleball court. This would also be a great bag to take to festivals, concerts, trips, and much more!
Purchase Materials Used Below:
- 3 yards of Pink, Purple and Orange Wild Brushstrokes Stretch Nylon Tricot
- 3.5 yards of Italian Black and Metallic Green Elastic Trim – 2.75″
- 4 spools of Lock Purple Stretch Serger Thread – 2000 yards
- 1 package of Heat & Bond Lite Soft Stretch Web Adhesive – 5/8″ x 10 yards
- 0.5 yards of Mood Exclusive Metallic Magenta Glossy Tyvek
- 0.5 yards of Mood Exclusive Metallic Royal Blue Glossy Tyvek
- 0.5 yards of White Birdseye Pique Polyester Mesh
- 1 pc of Italian Large Jasmine Green Plastic Release Buckle
- 3 yards of Italian White 0.63 mm Gauge Webbing – 1.375″
Before you get started on the dress:
We are combining two patterns that have different amounts of negative ease. Take a look at the finished garment measurements of each to help determine your desired fit. Nicolle is a size 12 in the Sylvan tank top, and a size 14 in the Arbor skort, which are her true Mood sizes. This fabric has a very generous 4 way stretch, so I decided to take some of the extra ease out of the skort.
Print out the following pages for the tank top:
How to adjust the tank top pattern:
On the front and back, draw a straight line from the armpit to the fold line. If you want the front to curve upwards slightly, do so now! Just make sure that the side seams will match up. Cut along the line.
Place a skort waistband onto its corresponding tank top piece, making sure the fold lines match up into a straight line. I placed the top of the waistband ¼” from the cropped tank’s low point (pictured above).
Note: If your pattern isn’t matching up, as pictured, take into account the fabric that you’ll be using and adjust accordingly. Whether that means trimming the excess of the bigger piece, or adding to the smaller piece, it depends on the fabric’s amount of stretch. My fabric was very stretchy, so I ended up trimming the skort.
After you’ve got everything adjusted and taped, cut the waistband off of the tank top. The bottom of your tank will now be the correct shape to match the waistband!
Repeat on the other side.
How to adjust the Arbor Skort Pattern:
We’re going to attach the waistband to the skirt and shorts pattern. To do this, we need to remove some seam allowances. If you don’t mind that extra ¾” in length, skip this step.
On the bottom of the waistband pattern pieces, remove ⅜”. Repeat with the top edge of the skirt and shorts pieces.
Tape a piece of scrap paper beneath the waistband and skirt so it fills in the empty space. Then draw a slight curve to connect the two pieces together.
Repeat with the back skirt.
Similarly, attach the front waistband to the front shorts. Add a ⅜” seam allowance to the CF front waistband. Note: disregard the written fold line written on the waistband.
Repeat with the back shorts.
How to sew the dress:
Sew the front and back tank together at the side seams, right sides together. I used a serger with maxilock stretch thread.
Repeat with the skirt, then hem. I used HeatnBond Soft Stretch fusible tape to keep the hem looking precise and clean. It also helps the fabric from shifting when you’re sewing!
Sew the front and back shorts right sides together, along the side and inner seams. Hem the shorts.
Turn both the skirt and the shorts right sides out. Put the shorts into the skirt (with fronts and backs matched), align side seams, and sew together along the top edge.
Turn the skirt inside out. Place the tank top inside the skirt, so the waist is matched up with the right sides together. Align the side seams, then sew together. I used a serger for this step.
Finishing the dress:
Determine your desired circumference of the top elastic band. I don’t suggest matching the measurement directly to the top of the tank top, unless the elastic is very stretchy. Just hold it around your upper bust to figure out how snug you want it to be.
Overlap the ends of the elastic by about ¼” and secure with a zigzag stitch.
Place the wrong side of the elastic band on the right side of the top, so its bottom edge overlaps the top’s edge by ½”. Match the elastic’s seam to one of the dress’s side seams. Sew together with a stretch zag zag stitch. Since this fabric doesn’t unravel, there’s no need to finish the raw edge of the top. It will be hidden by the elastic!
Try the dress on to determine the placement and length of your straps. I don’t recommend skipping this step.
Once you decide on the length of the straps, add ½”. Cut the straps, then use a zig zag stitch to secure to the wrong side of the band, overlapping by ¼”.
Your dress is done!
How to draft a pattern for the crossbody bag:
Determine the size of the bag. I wanted to keep mine pretty basic, with just enough space for my phone and a few cards, so I chose 7.5″x4.5″.
11. Draw a rectangle using the length and depth measurements. You will cut one of the self fabric.
Now let’s draft the zipper gusset:
12. Draw another rectangle, this time using half the zipper measurement + your doubled seam allowance for the length. For the width, divide the depth of the bag, and add your doubled seam allowance.
You’ve now drafted your pattern! Keep reading for sewing instructions.
How to sew the bag:
A few notes before you get started:
- I lined the bag with this webbing to create a slight cushion for objects placed within the bag. This step is optional. If you choose to do this, simply baste the lining onto each piece before you begin assembling everything together.
- Do not use pins in the fabric. This will result in permanent holes. Use clips instead!
- You can customize this bag by adding internal and external pockets. It’s up to you!
Determine your desired strap length, taking into account the different ways you’d want to wear it and the lengths required to do so. Add a few inches just to be safe, then cut.
Cut another strip about 5” long. Feed through the clip, and stitch to secure.
Sew the zipper gussets to each side of the zipper, then topstitch to secure.
Sew the ends of the zipper gusset to each end of the side/bottom. Topstitch. You should now have a circle.
Use clips to attach the bag front to the completed zipper gusset, matching notches. Then sew.
Baste the clip and strap onto each side of the bag back piece, about halfway down.
Right sides together, use clips to attach the bag back piece to the sides of the bag. Match the notches, then sew.
Now that everything is sewn together, this is the time to finish seams. I suggest bias tape.
Turn right side out, then feed the long strap through the other side of the clip. Double fold the raw end down and stitch.
Your bag is now finished and ready to use!
Brilliant! Thankyou for this!
how do I download the directions for assembly?
Hi Carol, the instructions aren’t in a file to download. But you can always print, or copy and paste into a document. 🙂