This is the first By Hand London pattern I’ve tried and I didn’t even make the whole dress! (I’m rubbish I know! Already hacking away without even trying it out to start off with…)
There was a reason for this though as when I bought the pattern it was with this hack in mind and I knew I was unlikely to use the full circle skirt pattern that is part of the dress. It’s a bit too 50s for me though I do love the shape of it. I’ll probably try it one day if I find the right fabric for it.
So the plan was to use the wrap bodice top – which I loved the style and fit of in the example photos – and hack a different skirt on. I had a beautiful bright tropical printed fabric that I had in mind for a lovely maxi dress with a very fitted bodice and flowy skirt and I figured this’ll be the perfect opportunity to use it!
The bodice went together pretty well. I pretty much followed the pattern and instructions to the letter except where I opted to understitch the neckline lining before stitching the armholes together and pulling it through to make sure that I had a really crisp finish there.
For the skirt hack, I basically just made use of the rest of the fabric I had left which was not a much as I remembered (totally thought I’d bought 3 metres but in fact was 2.5 – that’s a big difference in the world of home sewing!). Shape-wise, it’s like a rectangle with slight shaping towards the waist. I used as much width as possible as I wanted to add some tucks into it. I ended up with 2 large pleats in the back and 4 smaller ones in the front of the skirt. I tried to match them up to the bodice darts as much as possible.
As part of the hack I also added in some in seam pockets! The pocket pattern came from the Peony dress from Colette. I could probably have just made it up but since I had it to hand I figured why not! As usual I put them in about an inch too low! I’ve really done that way too many times to count! 🙁
The dress is finished with a simple invisible zip in the back and hemmed.
I wish I’d done a muslin beforehand because I would probably have taken out some of the length in the bodice. I do find that’s a general problem with patterns and the fact I’m only 5’2! I like to try patterns without any adjustments to it the first time round to see what the fit is like but this is starting to be a trend! My own fault really for not doing muslins – I should try to get in the habit but I always feel like I’m wasting time and fabric…
The dress is perhaps a little too formal for casual summer wear and a little too short for full on eveningwear… Dilemmas.