Subscribers free pattern – The lined dress hack.

This is the last in my first series of patterns that are free to subscribers. Throughout the series I have based all the designs around a simple dart free boxy top pattern. For this version I am hoping to encourage you to have a go at a simple hack. With this hack you can adapt the 3/4 sleeve top into a lined dress with pockets. As we head into the cooler months a dress like this usually becomes an everyday staple for me. The addition of a lining and pockets means I can wear it comfortably with tights or leggings. I always need pockets!

The boxy top pattern is free to subscribers who will have received the information for how to download the pattern in the latest newsletter. These are the instructions for how to make this dress.

Subscribers free pattern from Bobbins and Buttons - the dress hack

Size chart for the body measurements:

Size chart for Boxy top

Fabric requirements:

This dress works in a variety of fabrics including, medium weight cotton, linen, lightweight denim, stable knits like ponte roma and other medium weight fabrics. I made this version in linen.

The quantity of fabric needed will vary depending on length and size. Start with the quantities needed for the 3/4 sleeve top and add the additional length you are adding to make the dress length. If you cut the pieces side by side (for wider fabrics and/or smaller sizes) you will only need the additional length plus hem allowance. For narrower fabrics or larger sizes you may need twice the additional length.

Lining fabric – You will need the length of the front/back dress piece if you can place the pieces side by side on the lining (smaller sizes and/or wider fabric). If the pieces won’t fit on the width of the lining you will need twice the length of the front/back dress piece. The sleeve is not lined.

Measuring:

Use pieces A and B from the first basic pattern.  Use piece C from 3/4 sleeve pattern.

Before you begin take some measurements. Measure your bust, waist and hips. Keep a note of these measurements. Your measurements will determine how to create the pattern. Take a measurement from side neck point to hem for where you would like the dress to finish. You could measure a dress you have that has a length you like. Add 4.5cm to this length for hem and seam allowance.

Ideally draft your pattern on a piece of paper, you could also work directly on the fabric if you feel confident. Start by drawing around the front bodice pattern piece.

How to alter the pattern:

Extend the centre front and side seam lines down to finish at the measurement you would like the dress to finish (adding an extra 4.5cm for turnings). Using a ruler with a right angle square across joining the side seam line to the centre front line.

Based on your measurements and taste you can now bring the side seam in or out or leave it straight. If your hips are bigger than your bust you might need to bring the line out to allow enough ease at the hips. If your hips are narrower than your bust or the same size you could bring the line in. For both these options you can bring the line in or out by approximately 3cm. Much more than this is likely to distort the shape and not work particularly well. Once you are happy with the measurements repeat with the back piece.

You can check the amount of garment ease allowed here: Boxy top garment measurements

Lastly if you would like to add a pocket you can draft a simple pocket shape. Draw a straight line, place your hand against this line and draw roughly around it with space for movement as you would expect with a pocket. You can sharpen up the line once you have it roughly drafted, remember you will have a seam allowance to come off. The pocket I designed measured 30cm high and 20cm at the widest point width wise.

Subscribers free pattern from Bobbins and Buttons - the dress hack

 

Cut:

Main fabric:

Cut 1 front on fold

Cut 1 back on fold

Cut 1 pair of sleeves

Cut 2 pairs of pocket bags

Lining:

Cut 1 front on fold

Cut 1 back on fold

How to make:

Unless otherwise stated the seam allowance is 1.5cm

Subscribers free pattern from Bobbins and Buttons - the dress hack

  1. Join outer fabric shoulder seams – With right sides together (RST) pin and stitch the front and back together at the shoulder seams. Press the seams open.

Subscribers free pattern from Bobbins and Buttons - the dress hack

2. Join lining shoulder seams – With RST pin and stitch the lining front and back together at the shoulder seams. Press the seams open.

Subscribers free pattern from Bobbins and Buttons - the dress hack

3. With RST pin the lining neck edge to the outer fabric neck edge. Stitch and clip around the curves.

Subscribers free pattern from Bobbins and Buttons - the dress hack

4. Understitch around the neck edge. Turn the lining to the inside and press.

Subscribers free pattern from Bobbins and Buttons - the dress hack

5. Make the pockets – Pin one pocket piece RST to each side seam – front and back. This position may vary slightly depending on your height. For this dress I positioned the pockets 18cm from the underarm point.  I measure 5’6″ tall and made a size 14. Stitch each pocket piece in place using a 1cm seam allowance. Neaten the raw edge of the side seam from the underarm to the hem. Press the pocket away from the dress.

Join the side seams above and below the pockets. Pinning along the seam beyond the cut edge of the pocket for 4cm. Leave a gap large enough to fit your hand in then pin from 2-3cm above the lower edge of the pocket. Pin to 15cm above the hem edge (this is for side vents). Stitch reinforcing well with back stitch at the start and finish of the pocket opening. Press the seam open.

Subscribers free pattern from Bobbins and Buttons - the dress hack

6. Neaten the raw edge of the pocket bags. Press the pockets towards the front of the dress.

Subscribers free pattern from Bobbins and Buttons - the dress hack

6. Neaten the raw edges of the lining side seams. With RST pin and stitch the lining side seams together, stopping 16cm from the hem edge.

Subscribers free pattern from Bobbins and Buttons - the dress hack

7. Pin the outer fabric to the lining fabric around the armhole. It is worth trying the dress on or putting it on a dress form to check the lining is not pulling the outer fabric.  Even quite small discrepancies between the lining and the outer can distort the shape. Once you are happy machine stitch the two together.

Subscribers free pattern from Bobbins and Buttons - the dress hack

8. Neaten the side seams and sleeve edge of each sleeve. With RST pin and stitch each sleeve together at the underarm seam. Press the seam open.

Subscribers free pattern from Bobbins and Buttons - the dress hack

9. As the sleeve is designed to be attached flat rather than on the round you might find it seems a little big for the armhole. If so scoop 1- 1.5cm out at the underarm of the dress to allow the sleeve to fit comfortably. It should have a little ease but no gathers.

With RST, the centre of the sleeve head matched to the shoulder seam and underarms matched pin the sleeve into the armhole. Stitch, neaten raw edges.

Subscribers free pattern from Bobbins and Buttons - the dress hack

10. Turn and press a single 3cm deep single hem around the sleeve edge. Press and hand stitch. You might prefer to turn a narrower double turned hem and stitch by machine.

Subscribers free pattern from Bobbins and Buttons - the dress hack

11. Before turning your hem check the length by trying on the dress. Once you are happy with the length neaten the raw edge, press a single turned 3cm hem to match the sleeve edge. At the side vents turn the hem RST, stitch the hem along the seam line at each edge.

Subscribers free pattern from Bobbins and Buttons - the dress hack

12. Turn the hem to the right side, pin and finish by hand.

Subscribers free pattern from Bobbins and Buttons - the dress hack

13. Trim 3cm off the length of the lining. Turn and press a 1.5cm double turned hem. Stitch and press. Press the vent open in line with the side seam.

Subscribers free pattern from Bobbins and Buttons - the dress hack

14. Turn the dress inside out bring the upper end of the lining vent above the upper edge of the outer fabric vent. There should be a bit of ease to prevent the lining from pulling and distorting the dress from the outside. Pin the lining to the vent 5mm away from the vent edge. Slip stitch discreetly in place.

Subscribers free pattern from Bobbins and Buttons - the dress hack

Subscribers free pattern from Bobbins and Buttons - the dress hack

Subscribers free pattern from Bobbins and Buttons - the dress hack

Subscribers free pattern from Bobbins and Buttons - the dress hack

Subscribers free pattern from Bobbins and Buttons - the dress hack

Subscribers free pattern from Bobbins and Buttons - the dress hack

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Julia Claridge

I was about 6 or 7 years old when I had my first go on a sewing machine, it was an old hand crank machine that my mum used with her patients, she was an occupational therapist. I still vividly remember watching with amazement as the tiny perfectly formed stitches were created as I turned the handle. I Grew up in the 70’s and 80’s when buying clothes was less affordable and dressmaking was an answer to updating your wardrobe more regularly. My own mother was a talented dressmaker who made most of my clothes and my sisters clothes as well as a many for herself. I soon got involved with making my clothes, I loved the whole experience of picking out fabrics, trims and a pattern to create a new outfit, then going home to make a new garment or outfit. When it came to leaving school I visited a careers advisor who asked what I wanted to do next. My answer was ..Sew! Read more...

2 Comments

  1. Lilly Zimmerman on September 26, 2021 at 1:51 am

    I love, love, love the lined dress hack! I need the pattern. I dont know if it’s too late to get it for free or not. I only just subscribed tonight.

    • Julia Claridge on September 27, 2021 at 11:04 am

      Thank you, no its not to late, the patterns are available forever. The details and link for the subscribers page is printed in every newsletter, the newsletters are every fortnight so not long to wait for the link.

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