Tuesday, March 21, 2017

High Low Knit dress, featuring the Sis Boom Angie

Hello peoples, welcome back to my blog! I'm the second stop on the Sis Boom Angie Pattern Hack-A-Thon and I can't wait to show you how I've hacked my Angie! Above is the original version of the dress. The pattern is drafted for woven, has bust and back waist darts, elastic back waist, and gathered skirt. Here is how I hacked mine, plus a mini tutorial!
(Frigid outdoor pics, hence the face, the wind was soo cold! I ended up taking my shoot inside with a tablecloth backdrop.)

 I measure at the end of a medium, or beginning of large, so I went with medium. Since I was doing mine in knit with a good amount of stretch, I ended up taking in the final dress, and could have probably gone with a small. The fabric I chose was a meter of grey cotton Lycra that I ordered from True North Fabrics, and two meters of stripe poly blend that I got from my sis-in-law for Christmas (I love when she draws my name for secret Santa!).
I made the bodice as per pattern with only three small changes. First, I shortened it by a couple of inches, so that it would hit my higher natural waist. I wasn't sure how my proportions would end up, considering I have a short waist, but long torso but I think it looks well balanced. Higher waist, but not empire, lol.
Second, I didn't add elastic in the back (since it was knit and I took it in it was fitted enough without it), and, third, I went with knit bands for the neckline and armscye finishes.

Here are the instructions to do the knit bands. Begin by sewing up your bodice as per pattern, and make any fit adjustments. Then measure the total circumference of the neckline, and armholes. The band length for the fabric I was working with (cotton Lycra) was 80% of the circumference measurements and I cut them two inches wide. Then I attached them like I normally would in a regular knit pattern.
For the skirt, I drafted my own high-low skirt. Since I have high hips and a fairly pronounced spoon shape, I decided I didn't want any gathers or pleats at the waist seam. So I went with a somewhat a-line shape.
 I began with measuring the width of the front of the finished bodice, from side seam to side seam, and added half and inch seam allowance. I then measured how wide I wanted the skirt to be. Next I measured from my natural waist to how long I wanted the skirt to be. I repeated the measurements with the back.
Since I don't own a french curve yet, I searched my kitchen for a bowl lid with a curve large enough to my liking and used that to get nice curves at the bottom left and top right of the hem line, but free handed the middle. If your're good at free handing you could free hand it all, but I'm not.
Here are my finished pattern pieces. See how the curves match up when I line up the side seams?

I then cut each piece on fold, remember that for the back the long side lines up with the fold, and for the front the short side does.

After that I just sewed up the skirt right sides together at the side seams, and attached it to the bodice right sides together. Finally, I used my serger to do a narrow rolled hem. This is only my second time doing the rolled hem, and I obviously need practice, but i don't mind the waviness. I chose to wear mine with a belt. Since I used two different fabrics, it just seemed to want a pretty belt. And of course some pretty heels! 
I probably won't wear the three inch heels very often, but this dress will get so much wear as it gets warmer! I even happen have a cardi that matches the darker grey stripes perfectly! Also, I've got enough fabric left over to make my girls matching Sallys, although theirs won't be high-low. All from one meter of cotton Lycra, and two meters of the stripe poly blend. I happen to love being matchy matchy for holidays, and Easter is right around the corner!
I can't wait to see all the other hacks in the tour, because who doesn't like being able to get more out of their patterns, right? This dress is perfect for hacks, no zipper or buttons to worry about, but you still get a great fit. Remember to check in the Sis Boom Pattern Co Facebook group for the next stops on the tour!
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