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DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

A Rhea crossed back dress hack // Tammy Handmade

I bought the most gorgeous green and pink floral satin from Sew Me Sunshine earlier this year. It was an ex designer deadstock fabric so I snapped up the last of it before it was gone forever! The vibrant colour was just so beautiful!

Of course with an impulse purchase like that, I had no idea what I was going to make! I managed to get a couple of metres of it so I had a bit to play around with. I initially thought I wanted to make some sort of ruffley blouse out of it but just couldn’t bring myself to commit. I had to take that as a sign that it wasn’t the right choice for me! As it was peak summer at the time, I decided to make a maxi summer dress instead!

I used the Rhea dress by Tammy Handmade which I’ve made once before last year (check it out here). I LOVED that linen dress and had always planned to make more of them as it always gets so much wear!

I thought I’d make the most of the fabric and make it as long as I could in relatively even tiers compared to the original pattern design. I also decided to change the back of the dress to make the straps cross over. I always have a issue with strappy tops where the straps fall off my shoulders – I have relatively round sloping shoulders – and I wanted to make sure that wasn’t going to happen here!

I took the back bodice piece and redrew the shape where the straps attached so it was angled towards the centre so that it would sit better rather than just crossing over the straps themselves.

I lined the bodice with a piece of scrap satin from this project so it had a silky smooth finish on the inside too!

So, it didn’t really work out how I had imagined it would. I love it from the front. It’s soft and swishy as I’d hoped. The back however had some issues. Mostly from where I’d tried to cross the straps over. I hadn’t taken into account the looseness of the fit and weight of the fabric and that that would make the bodice develop a big fold of fabric in the centre back. I think my plan would’ve worked if it was a fitted dress!

I had some great ideas given by commenters on my YouTube video where I discussed this dress including adding elastic or shirring to the centre back or even just taking a wedge out and adding a zip, none of which I’ve done!

I decided to just sit on it for a little while and see if I like it as it is more after I’d given it a bit of time and my disappointment was less fresh! I definitely dislike it less as time goes on so I may just end up leaving it as it is!

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