Thursday, May 19, 2016

Hybrid dress - copying and reusing.

When I was leaving aqua aerobics one morning about 8 weeks ago, I saw someone wearing a dress with a simple elastic gathered A-line, dirndl skirt shape, I think a scoop neck and an action back in woven fabric. It looked so nice and summery and McCall's 6359 came to mind immediately and decided I could and would easily copy it.

What's with the putting views C, A and B in that order? Anyway, I digress. I made View A cut at about 6 cm past the waist measurement on the pattern. At first I made it wider at the side seams to do a sort of lazy simplified FBA, but that didn't work, really changing the shape of the front too much so I cut it back to the right size and due to my small back, there is enough ease in the top.

Let me preface this by saying the top looks better than it does in this photo... I was wearing my swimming sports bra ready to go swimming and it is not a great shape for dresses! (I wear an old but still supportive sports bra under my togs for aqua as I need the support and although this one doesn't give great shape, it's fills a hole for jumping around at aqua letting me be more active). I wore the dress with a convertible bra yesterday and it does sit nicely and the bra gives a much better shape. Why didn't I get someone to take a photo at the glistening pool after aqua yesterday... don't know!

I love the back. It gathers at the  middle part which isn't easy to see in these photos. The instructions get you to put the back straps in between the facing and the right side, so nice and neat, but then it instructs to just sew the straps to the front after finishing the facing. I didn't do this. I like the neat finish with the straps hidden in between the facing and the dress so I sewed them in. I think they do this to make it easier getting the straps the right length but I don't like hand sewing this stuff and really don't see any need. I put the facing on and left the tops of the points open then I pulled the straps through with some safety pins and then adjusted in the mirror and then finished sewing the facing. Much neater. I attached the skirt with a 2cm seam allowance so that I could turn it up to make a casing and thread the elastic through it.

So that's the copying but the reusing is that I made the skirt out of a long pillow case dress I made for myself maybe in January. I usually do this by cutting out a raglan peasant blouse pattern front and back and just turn over the top and back and thread through a tie. This one was from a pattern that was very full and it really just didn't work. I wore it once and my sister was not very complimentary so I chopped at the underarms and fit the skirt to the top here. That's why it may look a little short to some, but I like a maxi right at my ankles so I don't trip!  The tie I used for the straps on the old dress is the waist tie on the new dress. The fabric was part of my only online fabric purchase. I've mentioned this before that it was listed as a rayon but it is definitely a mix as the paisley "print" is heat embossed on and this can only be done with synthetic fibres... it kind of melts the print on... kind of like the iron does to your fabric when you don't want it to! I love the colour and have had a number of nice comments about the dress and colour and although I'm disappointed it isn't rayon, it was only $2 a metre.

It's not perfect as I should have made the back bodice a bit shorter as it blouses much more than the front. I'm pretty short at the back, well probably the same as the front length but the bust pulls the front up and I should have taken this into account, other than that, I'm pretty happy with my hybrid dress. I have started another maxi dress for my sister using View B with the scoop neck - but I made a boo boo and then a save. That'll be next plus some fleecy jumpers (i.e. sweatshirt and jacket) for Alex. Oh and just a quick note about the pineapple kimono and shorts - my niece LOVES, LOVES, LOVES them so I'm super happy that she's happy despite the trials in sewing them.


  1. How neat of you to see inspiration, and come up with your own awesome make!! I have that same Mccalls pattern, and have yet to make it. I'm also glad to hear that your niece LOVES her outfit!

    1. Oh Vanessa you should make it. It is really easy and with the three different backs is a very good value pattern. I have made all three of the styles and I think it's one of those patterns that will always be useful.

  2. Love it - very nice and swishy for summer and the back looks great.

  3. You must still be having quite warm weather up there, so hopefully you will get to wear this pretty dress - in any case, it will soon be summer, and this is so just right for next season. We are still getting warm days here - 26 tomorrow.

  4. Love the top. It sets that skirt off.

  5. Love the top. It sets that skirt off.


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