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A Doris Dress Hack

For my second version of the Sew Over It Doris Dress Pattern, I’ve changed things up enormously. I decided to make a maxi length dress that would be wearable in winter with tights and a sweater or cardi, but also floaty and cool enough to wear in the summer. I knew that I needed to make some fitting adjustments to the pattern but I wanted to do some serious hacks as well.

First off, I completely omitted the front button band and raised the neckline. The Viscose Fabric I used was so light and drapey that I didn’t want to risk having the button band drooping. And I also didn’t want to mess about with sewing buttonholes! I know I could have made the button band decorative and just sewed the buttons through both layers, but that just felt weird. I also fully lined the bodice so I wouldn’t have to mess with facings flipping out at the neckline.

Next I left off the back darts/tucks and moved the waist ties to the side seam. I wanted the waist to be slightly looser than my first version so that the waist ties would actually nip things in rather than being decorative. And it ended up that by doing that I have just enough room to squeeze the dress over my head without any zipper! Let me tell you, I was beyond delighted when I realized I wouldn’t have to fiddle about with inserting a zipper.

The last adjustment I made was to the skirt. Actually, I didn’t adjust the pattern at all, I just drafted an entirely different skirt! The Doris dress skirt has several different panels that skim over the hips and then flare out at the bottom. I didn’t have enough fabric to lengthen each of those panels.

Instead I measured the waistline on the bodice pattern which was about 36 inches. Dividing that by 4 I got 9 inches. I cut two skirt pieces on the fold, one for the back and one for the front. I measured out 9 inches for the waist and 43 inches for the length. I flared it out from the top to the bottom (almost like a triangle with one point cut off) as wide as I could on the fabric. So now it’s almost like a 1/4 circle skirt.

Doesn’t this dress look amazing with my Deer and Doe Lupin Jacket?? I am so pleased with how my modifications turned out! I totally winged it and didn’t make a muslin first. I was a little worried about how everything was going to fit. Then I tried it on after the skirt was attached and it was sheer heaven.

The skirt is so swishy and gently dramatic, and the fabric feels absolutely amazing. Because I left out the back darts there is a bit of blousing in the back when I tie the ties and I love that! This dress is both simple but elegant and I am excited to be able to dress it up or down depending on the circumstance. I have a feeling it is going to be amazing to wear next summer!


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