During awards season, I always have dreams of creating gorgeous gowns with cascading trains and full sleeves. Sometimes though, it’s a bit tricky to translate the red carpet glamour into your typical wardrobe. My solution? Convertible garments.
I love the idea of being able to wear one garment to a variety of events with just a simple tweek, and The Nerine Dress is exactly that. With the base of a simple pencil dress that can be perfect for the office, this pattern can instantly transform into a nighttime look with the addition of a detachable skirt that can be worn three different ways. Keep it casual with a form-fitting ponte or up the elegance for a prom or wedding look with a brocade, jacquard, or even sequins!
Fabrics & materials used:
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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.
Begin by constructing the lining of your dress, forming the front and back at the princess seams and then connecting the front and back at the side seams. Press your seams open, like you see below.
Sew along the shoulders of your lining and press the seams open. Repeat above steps with your main dress fabric.
Attach the lining to your dress at the neckline and hem, clipping the seam allowance of the neckline.
Next, insert your zipper at the center back seam, to your main dress fabric only. Sew down the remainder of your center back seam of your dress fabric, as well as the lower 1/3 of your center back seam of your lining. The remainder of the lining will be slip-stitched closed later on.
Close your armscyes by pulling them through the opening left at the center back seam and sew with fabric faces together.
Lastly, slip-stitch the lining closed at the center back zipper and the main portion of your dress is complete!
Finish the two straight edges as well as the hem of your skirt with a small rolled hem. Repeat with the first 5″ of the top panels of your skirt, like you see in the left image below. Pin the remainder of the top of the skirt, but down’t sew it until the next step.
Cut your ribbon to the length of your waist plus twelve inches. Pin the center of your ribbon at the seam of your skirt and pin outward until you reach the last 5″ at each end that have already been sewn. Sew the ribbon to your skirt between those two points.
Overlap the unsewn portions of your ribbon at the front waistband, fold the raw edges toward the inside and place some velcro to secure.
To wear your optional skirt as a full circle skirt, place a set of snaps at the top corners of your skirt on the face of the fabric.
This is also how you can wear it as a shoulder ruffle!
To wear your skirt open in the front, add another set of snaps on the inside of your waistband ribbon, between the ribbon and the skirt. Fold the open edge of the skirt under and snap it into place! Note, be sure the snap you sew inside the waistband corresponds with the one you placed on that respective corner of the skirt.
Which version of this dress will you be rocking? Let me know in the comments!