…A bright, bright Sun-Shiny dress – Hack-it!

Well, hello there! I’m Gaëlle, I’ve been sewing around Leipzig since a year or so and have yet to manage sharing my “makes” on Instagram…when I do it will be @olaf_and_I (Olaf is my kitchen robot…I kind of baked myself out of industrial clothing sizes…). So, this is my first time social-media-sharing—how exciting!

[[First, sorry for being a total internet loser but I could not extract the URLs of my pictures, so you can find them all here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/O4VJCTOZ6U0nthtM2]]

I only learned of the Monthly Stitch and the IPM at the beginning of the month through Blueprint patterns newsletter and thought participating would have been fun if only I had known about it sooner. I guess I was itching to make a new dress too much though and tried to enter in the first week contest…and did not make it…but since I was hacking it anyway, here I am.

This is a hack of the Charlie dress from ByHandLondon. I love this dress—I have already made 3!—the bodice fits me perfectly without any alterations which makes it a great playground. I’ve been lusting after vintage styles lately and used the Betty dress from Eliza M as inspiration. To achieve it, I cut a little triangle in the bandeau; self-drafted neck straps; and widened and lengthened the variation 1 skirt piece for added fluff. Construction-wise, I frenched all the seams and machine blind stitched the hem with a purple bias tape. I plan to use the same bias tape on the zipper seams and waist line but haven’t had the time yet.

I did not want to buy new fabric (ok, I wanted to, but I am aiming for reasonable fabric consumption), so I used what I had on hand. The yellow one was a little piece leftover from a skirt I helped a friend make and the patterned piece was a gift from a friend’s trip to Ivory Coast (it is from Vlisco).

The result is this very bright sunny summer dress. It is definitely one-of-a-kind and I am very happy with how it turned out. I am lucky to work in a completely casual environment, so I can wear it without second thoughts. Actually, since I started sewing and wearing my successes, a lot of my colleagues got motivated to transform their own African fabric loots (they all spend some time in the field in Africa) into skirts and dresses. I have already hosted a couple of skirts workshops which were a lot of fun.

There is something about this dress though that makes me want to shake my hips like one of those hula dancer bobbling statues…not sure why…

I have to say that although I really like the style of the halter top, I find it very uncomfortable, like something is pressing on my neck at all times. It also feels as if the back is dropping down past my bra. I’ve never owned a halter top dress before though, so there might be construction secrets I am not aware off. I am considering transforming it into a normal shoulder strap dress. Unless someone here has a better idea? Maybe an elastic around the high bust? I would be grateful for suggestions!

7 thoughts on “…A bright, bright Sun-Shiny dress – Hack-it!

    • Thank you! It’s awesome if my hack inspired you. I would advise to make it a bit tighter than normal, or get some elastic involved somewhere to make the dress more comfy. I plan to add some elastic under the bandeau for mine, I’ll let you know if that works!

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    • Thank you! This dress surely brightens this not so great summer we’ve been having. I thought boning might be the secret of those beautiful halter dresses…not yet in my skill set though.


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