Oh No, some hooligans have been graffiting the blog again. Well they must have tapped into my brain because I have a special sew-a-long installment planned today, a sundress pattern hack. "A hack you say? I would have never in a million years thought Heather would hack another pattern." is what no one said ever. You come for the hacks and stay for the crazy. Yes? yes. So let me take off my lab coat and present you with my latest Pattern McFrankenstein creation, the Nettie/Flora knit dress - Nora for short. Frogore, throw the lights.
Sown in Brooklyn's instagram feed. Nettie posted a picture of a great dress that immediately called two patterns to mind. Nettie on top and Flora on the bottom. It's comfy, it's sexy, it's Nora. And apparently if you start binge watching "Mr. Selfridge" then you think of everything in terms of marketing. Do you think Mr. LeClaire will design me a window? What if I tempt him with the back view?
handy technique posted by Colette for the Moneta dress. The Flora skirt was attached with a few "on the fly" changes to pleat depth to get the two pieces to match in diameter. On my size the back skirt fit perfectly, but the front knife pleats needed to be deepened by about an 1".
*Note - I went one size up on the recommended Nettie size for this dress. Mostly because of my wider back issues with the higher back neckline. You may not need the extra ease so muslin, muslin, muslin.
How to Adjust Nettie
1. To start, trace the front scoop neck and the medium back view on the Nettie pattern.
2. Use one of the lengthen/shorten lines as your waist seam for the patterns. I used the upper line.
3. On the front shoulders mark 1/2" in on either side of the strap. Then repeat this step on the back pattern piece.
4. On the CF raise the neckline at least 3/4". You need to fill in the neckline a bit because you won't have the added coverage of the neckband . Also the weight of the skirt will pull the bodice down giving you a deeper plunge then you might expect. You may want to raise the neckline further depending on the vertical stretch of your fabric.
5. Raise the CB of the back scoop 3/4" for bra coverage.
7. Then redraw the armhole.
8. Repeat the last two steps on the back pattern piece. Cut off the excess paper on the armhole and necklines to get finished pattern pieces that look like these.
Optional Bodice Step - You may also want to shorten the strap length to counter act the weight of the skirt pulling it down. The more vertical stretch the fabric has, the shorter the strap length should be.
Optional Skirt Step - If we are being good little pattern drafters, then the final step would be to compare the length of the waist seams between the Nettie and Flora patterns. Then adjust the Flora skirt to fit by either making the pleats deeper for shaving some of the side seam off.
If you want to be lazy like me and do it on the fly, then do the following. Notch both the CF and CB on the bodice and skirt. Pin the skirt to the bodice at these notches and both side seams. Now you can see how much fabric needs to be folded at the pleat to make the two pieces fit. You can fold the correct sized pleat and sew the skirt to the bodice.
Quick note about fabric - Because of weight of the skirt I'd recommend using a jersey that doesn't have too much stretch in the vertical direction. However it should be light enough to have some drape for the skirt. Something like an ITY would work great for this sort of design. The fabric I used has been stashed long enough that the fiber content is a little hazy in my mind. I believe it's a cotton/lycra blend, due to the hand. It's a lot more stable than a rayon jersey, but I still needed to shorten the straps to keep the neckline from getting too low.
Now that it's back to the sewing machine to work on my Cambie hack. Can't stop, won't stop. :) There's still plenty of time to join the sew-a-long if you get the itch. Just pop on over to the flickr group and join. I'll have Froggie mix up a fresh batch of daiquiris when you arrive.