Self Assembly Required

DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

A Jenna dress hack // By Hand London

The square neckline is trending big time right now and I’m always one to jump on a bandwagon. 😂

I spotted a polka dot dress from Oliver Bonas recently (on-line not in real life!) that I really wanted to make my own version of.

I don’t quite know why I liked it so much! There’s something about it that just kind of works for me!

I had thought about drafting a pattern from scratch for it but in the end I decided to purchase the Jenna pattern from By Hand London. (I planned to use it for a few makes so it seemed worthwhile!). The Jenna dress is a fitted empire line dress with option for either a square or high neck, tied short sleeves or plain long ones and an optional Peter Pan collar. Lots of interchangeable components so you can make your own version!

I used the square necked bodice for this make. (I did an FBA on it as just from looking at other versions, I knew it comes up snug). I like that the bodice is fully lined – perfect for those fabrics that are slightly sheer like the one I used! I used the plain sleeve hacked to be gathered and cuffed.

For the skirt, I drafted a simple pleated skirt with a slit on the left front.

I picked out a polka dot fabric from Sew Me Sunshine – I think it’s a Lady McElroy fabric. It’s not quite the same as the original but I like the little pops of colour!

I don’t think I quite achieved the original dress I was going for but I still quite like it!

It’s light and airy and a great summer dress though I’m not sure I’ll have the right occasion to wear it (especially with lockdown still continuing!). I’ll just have to wear it to lounge about the house in!

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