My wardrobe is lacking everyday dresses. I wanted something suitable for the spring that would work tightless and have short sleeves. I have seen lots of the Colette Monetas on Instagram but didn't want buy another pattern. But then I remembered the Tilly and the Buttons Agnes top dress hack and I already have the Agnes Pattern
in my collection, yay! I've never made the Agnes and went straight in with the hacked dress.
I normally have to do an FBA but as I didn't have any spare stretch fabric to make a toile here's what I did to check the fit:
~ Measured my full bust.
~ As stretch garments have negative ease I picked the measurement closest to my bust measurement. This was 2 inch smaller.
~ I then marked this onto the uncut fabric and wrapped it around me to check the fit/stretch.
~ With a white backing there is a risk that It will show when stretched. You can see from the photos that it is slightly lighter where's it's stretched over the bust but I don't think it's too noticeable.
I was happy with the fit so cut out the pieces and got sewing. This fabric was really nice to work with and the edges hardly curled which was amazing as some jerseys have a tendency to curl a lot making the, tricky to work with. My neckband went on first time, yay, and as I was feeling lazy and didn't want to switch to a double needle for top stitching I went round twice with a straight stitch.
Tilly has a brilliant tutorial on her website for how to hack the top pattern but here's a brief run through the of what you do:
~ Trace the pattern and shorten to your waist, or desired length.
~ Straighten the bottom 15mm of the sides.
~ Make the top as per the instructions but don't hem.
~ Work out the length of the skirt you want and add seam allowances.
~ As the skirt is gathered for each piece I just used the width of the fabric but if you want it less full or fuller then cut your skirt pieces to your desired size.
~ Sew the side seams together.
~ Gather the top edge. Instead of sewing three rows of basting stitches and gathering by hand I use the longest stitch length and upped the tension and it gathers it for you as you sew.
~ Sew the skirt to the top and hem.
I was a bit worried about the weight of the skirt on the top as it was quite full so I stabilised the seam. To do this I attached ribbon along the seam line. This obviously reduces the amount of stretch along the waist seam so just make sure you can still get the dress on and off. Invisible elastic would also work well.
When it came to the hemming this skirt has such a lovely drape. I didn't want to ruin it by hemming so I didn't bother. This fabric will not fray and as long as you cut the hem nice and neat no one will know.
The dress came together really quickly and I used the stretch zig zag stitch on my regular sewing machine. I'm a bit OCD with the finish so I also overlock the seams to finish them.
I wore this dress on a very warm and sunny day on a recent trip to Denmark and it was perfect. I will definitely be making more Agnes dresses and some of the tops too. I'm sure you could hack any jersey top into a dress in a similar way. If not I would definitely recommend the Agnes as I think it would be easier to make the top into a dress rather than a dress pattern into a top.
I am being more ruthless with my scraps and have a very small amount of fabric left from this make so I'm hoping to be able to make a pair of knickers with them. Plus matching knickers will be perfect if your skirt blows up!
Thanks for reading,