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Chalk and Notch Orchid Dress Hack

Hi friends!

Alexis here and I am very excited to be on Minerva Blog today and join the Maker’s Team!

When my first makers call was announced, I quickly opened the links to check out the fabric and was totally blown away. I have a tendency to wear dark colors or simple prints but I’m trying to get out of my simpleness and embrace a bolder color palette and pattern. I was immediately drawn to the Floral Viscose Challis Fabric and it seemed like the perfect fit for the season.

Choosing my fabric was simple, I mean hello! Beautiful Floral Viscose Challis fabric! Picking the pattern on the other hand had my head spinning. I think I came up with 8 different projects before deciding on Chalk and Notch’s new Orchid dress. The beautiful, elegant and retro floral print needed it’s equal! But, since I am me and can’t leave well enough alone, I decided to hack the Midi dress into a peplum top. I tend to wear more tops with jeans rather then dresses (even though I do love dresses). I thought it would get more use and I can pair it with white pants for Easter.

Before I share more about the hack, I just wanted to mention a trick I do when I am working with any kind of slippery fabrics: I do one of two things, before cutting the pattern out I iron and use starch to stiffen the fabric. If I forget to do that, hey it happens, I will iron and starch my pattern pieces, especially the front and back bodices.

Ok, onto the hack…

Let’s start at the sleeves; I cut 5” off my sleeve pattern pieces then my fabric. This created a ¾ sleeves length that hit at my forearm. To be honest, It’s my favorite sleeve length. Even when I wear a flannel button down shirt in winter I find I roll them up to the forearm.

Since the Orchid dress uses elastic in the waistband to cinch in the waist I added two ½” waistline darts about 3” in from each side seam and about 4” in length. This created a more tailored fit to the back.

The next change and obviously the biggest, was with the skirt. It’s normally a midi length dress or you can even make it a jumper! I cut 2 rectangle pieces- 10 ½” x 43”, one for the front and one for the back. It’s roughly double the width of the bodice. Also, I am 5’5” tall so when you are making yours, you can use that for reference.

So those 3 things were the only parts I deviated from to create the Orchid Peplum Top! Super easy right?!? And… the soft and flowy Floral Viscose was the perfect drape to complete the look. After I was finished sewing and threw it on for a fit check, I immediately thought, yep I am going to need 3-20 more!

After you pick out some fabric on Minerva’s shop and make your own Peplum top, tag Minerva Crafts and me @myysweetsunshine. We can’t wait to see!

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