About 500 years ago Sew crafty asked their design team if they wanted to have a go at hacking their shift dress pattern. I signed up straight away because the pattern screamed ‘dungaree pinafore corduroy dress of dreams’ and I needed all those things in my life. You may recognize this pattern if you were lucky enough to go to the dress makers ball as it was a slipped into our goodie bags.
I started designing the pattern hack before the pattern even arrived and although I took my time choosing from Sew Crafty’s gloriously curated fabric collection, I knew it couldn’t be anything other than their super soft corduroy and I wanted Dashwood confetti to complement it. Because DASHWOOD.
The moment the pattern and fabric arrived I got the pattern out and made a full toile because I knew I’d be making many adaptations to the pattern and there was no way I was risking cutting into the beautiful cord or Dashwood without being very certain of my design.
Now I’ll be honest, I’m not the most experienced at pattern hacking and I’m no pattern designer so for those of you thinking ‘I have no idea how to hack’ you’re on my team. I have built my confidence up by ‘Franken-patterning’. A term meaning taking elements from other patterns and throwing them together to create something else. This is a great way to start and you probably do it already without thinking about it. Want a pocket on the dress but the pattern doesn’t have notches or pattern pieces? I bet you steal them from another pattern and figure out the marks yourself. Bam. You’ve started your journey into pattern hacking.
I took inspiration from a previously made Grainline Farrow for the front pockets, changing from the original diagonal design for a horizontal affair. I also loved Jennifer laurens Ivy painfore placket but as I have not sewn that pattern I ‘made it up’ and toiled it out many times.
The shift dress is very basic which works beautifully with pattern hacking as it gives you a great base to start. The fit on this pattern on me was large. Be warned. I’d size right down to get the fit shown on the front cover. I made a size xs bust graded to an s hips and my body measurements are 36,32,42. Of course this works to the advantage of us curvy crew as the patterns size range extends that shown on the pattern cover. WHOOP! No need for grading up! If you are a slim Jim you may need to grade the pattern down.
I made 2 major changes to the pattern.
- Did away with the side seam pockets and created a front seaming concealing inseam pocket with added contrast piping
- Created Button-down straps at the shoulders which meant drafting new facings.
I did about 300 toiles to get the fit, straps and pockets correct so here we are later than planned with the final article. Okay, I lie. I got her finished a month or two ago but I wear her so often getting time to take photos has been the actual challenge!
No matter as the final edit has coincided with Sew crafty having a whopping 20% off their website range which means that if you act fast you could get some of this fabric yourself. Just use code xjuly20, but hurry it expires midnight this sunday.
I also have a copy of the Shift dress to giveaway! All you have to do is comment below about hacking patterns or this make, on an account that I can contact you on between now and friday 28th July and i’ll draw a winner over that weekend. Open internationally.
Supplies: Red fabric, blue spotty fabric and pattern supplied by Sew crafty. Button maker and button shanks both avalible from Sew crafty.
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