Pattern: McCall 6559, altered
Fabric: rayon poly jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics
Wedges: Born Concept
This dress originally started out as a maxi dress, but now, as you can tell, it looks nothing like the dress on the pattern envelope. Why? Call it a happy accident: I cut out the dress thinking it would fit me just fine (I mean come on, it’s a simple knit tank dress) and when I finally tried it on, the neckline was indecently too low. Like, my-bra-peeking-out-can’t-cover-it-up too low.
Hmm. What to do.
That’s when I got the brainstorm for this cute little ruffled number! You could use any simple maxi dress pattern, but here’s how I altered mine:
1 – After I sewed the side seams (and took them in quite a bit…the 10, which is usually what I cut, wasn’t as tight as I liked it), I chopped off the top of the dress right underneath the armholes. This gave me a long, tubular dress shape.
2 – Then, I cut about 5″ off of bottom of the dress and set that fabric aside for the bust ruffle. Since there was going to be a lot of skin showing up top, I opted to make the hem a modest knee length.
3 – Taking the reserved bottom of the dress I just cut off, I turned a narrow hem at the widest end (the bottom) and ran gathering stitches around the top (narrower than the bottom). With the wrong side of the ruffle facing the right side of the dress, I then eased the gathers of the ruffle around the top of the dress and stitched it in place using a 5/8″ seam.
4 – I turned the raw edges of the top of the dress to the inside and stitched a 1/2″ wide elastic casing. I cut the elastic snugly and threaded it into the casing and stitched the casing shut. Also, stitching in the ditch is your best friend when it comes to elastic!
5 – I made long, narrow tubes of fabric for the halter straps and attached them to the front of the dress where I thought they looked best.
It’s as easy as that! I’m really happy with how this dress turned out – it could have been a disaster if I hadn’t come up with a solution to my poorly fitting maxi dress, and a waste of such nice fabric.