How often do you find a dress that can travel from season to season without issue? Or find a bridesmaid gown that everyone in your party loves? With a convertible gown, your wardrobe concerns go out the window! The Hydrangea features a simple slip-style dress that can be made out of anything from this rainbow lame to brocade to sequins! As an added bonus, the pattern also comes with an evening length gathered skirt and separate top, featuring gorgeous statement sleeves that would look stunning in a soft tulle, organza, or even a double georgette! Pair the dress with just the skirt for a sleek gala look, or skip the long skirt and opt for the top on those chillier nights. My personal favorite aspect of this pattern is its potential for embellishments, especially when Mood has so many exquisite appliqués and rhinestone trims to choose from!
Fabrics & materials used:
- 6 yards White Leonardo Plus Soft Tulle
- 2 yards Metallic Rainbow Polyester Lame
- 3 yards 1/2″ Silver Metal & Rhinestone Trim
- 2 yards 2mm Silver Metallic Cord
- 2 yards 1/4″ Millenium Silver Single Face Satin Ribbon
- 1 pkg Dritz Lingerie Strap Slides and Rings
- 1 yard 2mm White Elastic Cord
- MDF111 – The Hydrangea Gown Sewing Pattern (free download below!)
All seam allowances are 1/2″ unless otherwise stated. See chart below for sizing specifications. Note, this specific pattern is available up to a size 30.
1. The Dress
The first thing I started on for the dress was the straps. The key to a fitted dress (of course) is having the right fit, so I wanted to throw some adjustable straps on this design.
Being by folding 1 yard of your metallic cord in half. Slip the folded end through one of the lingerie slides, like you see in the top left image below. Pull the excess cord through the loop created by the fold, so the cord is secured to the slide by a sort of slip knot.
Slip a lingerie ring onto the open ends of your cord and move it up until it’s about 5″ from the slide, like you can see in the bottom right image below.
Fold the open ends of your cord up and thread them through the slide like you see below. Voila! You’ve made an adjustable strap for your dress! Trim any excess cord off the end and use a 2-3″ scrap to loop through the ring on the back end of the strap. This will be used to attach the strap to the back of the dress.
Set your straps to the side for the moment while you construct your dress. Matching up any notches and the waistline, attach the side front panels to either side of your center front piece. Press your seams open. Do the same with the side back panels, attaching them to the center back. Sew up the sides of your dress, attaching the two back panels to the front.
Repeat with your lining pieces so you essentially have two dress – one from lame and one from lining.
Pin the lining and self together along the top and hem, with the fabrics faces touching. Line up all your seams, and pin your straps into place at the front and back princess seams. Sew along the top and hem of your dress, securing the straps along the top like you see above.
Lastly, add in your invisible zipper at the center back along your outer layer, sew up the remainder of the center back seam and then slip-stitch the lining closed along the zipper.
2. The Shirt
Begin the shirt by gathering between the notches along the top of your sleeves and the neckline at the center front of your bodice. You can do this by basting and pulling, or simply use a gathering foot.
Attach your front and back panels at the shoulders and side seams. Create the collar to your shirt, folding it in half along the height and stitching down the sides. Attach to the neckline of your shirt, faces together.
Gather the bottom of the shirt, like I did with a basting stitch below. Pin your 1/4″ ribbon along the inside so the shirt is evenly gathered with plenty of extra ribbon on the ends to tie the shirt closed at the center back. Stitch into place.
Attach your sleeves to their respective armscyes, matching up your notches from the pattern. Create your cuff by folding it in half along the length and sewing up the short side to create a loop of tulle. Fold the loop in half along the height and your cuff has been created!
Gather the bottom of your sleeves and attach a cuff to the bottom of each. Lastly, hand stitch your rhinestone trim along the cuff and collar, folding the seam allowance down and out of the way.
If desired, hand-stitch some trim along the back opening of your shirt as well.
3. The Skirt
The skirt is the absolute easiest part of this pattern. It’s just a huge rectangle of fabric, gathered. That’s it!
Fold your fabric in half, faces together, match up the two shorter edges of fabric and sew. This is now the back seam of your skirt.
Fold the top edge of your selvedge down 1/2″, toward the inside of your skirt, and stitch. Cut your elastic cord to the size of your waist, thread your elastic cord through the casing you just made, and tie or sew the ends together. Ta-da! Easy, gorgeous gathered skirt!
If you’d like, you can cut the skirt to a shorter length, but this one shown is kept at the full fabric width.
What’s your favorite version of this convertible dress and where would you wear it? Let me know in the comments below!