Have you all seen the Wrapped In Love Dress? It's a super cute dress with a:
- boat neckline,
- lined bodice,
- set-in sleeves in 3 lengths
- gathered maxi skirt with a slit in front
- sash for the waist
It's adorable. The bodice is so classy with the boat style neckline and set-in sleeves. Plus, the maxi length skirt with the leg slit gives the whole dress a fun flair.
I do like a good full length skirt, but in the summer heat running around with my kids and also gardening, I prefer a knee length skirt! So, that's what we are up to today.
But, I didn't stop at just shortening the skirt, I also added a gathered tier at the hem of the skirt. Gathered hems are really in style right now.
For the Wrapped In Love Dress, the pattern instructions recommend a 4-way stretch fabric with 50% stretch. This navy blue polka dot dbp (double brushed polyester) fabric was hiding in my stash with the right amount of stretch. It must have been just waiting for this dress right? I just love the polka dots!
The bodice is unchanged from the original pattern. My only alterations was adding a tiny bit of length for my longer than pattern average torso.
A Quick Tip
I do have a quick tip for the bodice though. You will notice that the bodice front and back look very similar. It would difficult without comparing the width of the boat-neck each time, to determine which piece is the front and which is the back.
For ease of front/back identification, mark them! I like to use 1 clip for the front and 2 for the back pieces.
Shortened Skirt with Basic Hem
For the skirt, I wanted the hem to hit at just above the knee. If you wanted to omit the gathered tier, but make the skirt hem hit at knee length, you would cut the skirt pattern piece length to be about 22" in length (from the top to the bottom of the pattern piece). That is the length that would work for me at my height of 5'5". Add more or less for your own height of course!
Shortened Skirt with Gathered Hem
For the gathered hem, you will need to make the main skirt pieces a bit shorter to account for the gathered piece. The gathered piece on my skirt is 4 inches long. So if we subtract the seam allowance (1/4") and hem allowance (1/2") from the gathered hem piece, we see that we need to remove (4 -. 25 - .5 =3.25) 3.25" from the skirt length. This will make the skirt hem sit just above the knee when the gathered hem piece is sewed on. So, 22"- 3.25" = 18.75". To make this easier, I rounded up and made the skirt length 19".
The gathered hem piece will be 4" long. But how wide should it be? To determine this, you will need to measure all the way around the hem of your shortened skirt pieces.
I followed the pattern instructions for sewing the skirt pieces together as well as sewing down the slit. I then measured my hem - which came out to be 51". Be sure to measure your own skirt as each size will be a bit different.
I ended up cutting two 4" long strips at 51" wide (I ignored the seam allowance modification here as it was unimportant). I then sewed the short ends of the two gathered pieces together to form one 101" wide piece.
The next step will be to fold in and hem (at 1/2") each short end of the gathered hem piece. You then need to hem (at 1/2") one of the long sides of gathered hem piece as this will be the actual hem of the skirt.
Now it's time to gather the piece! You are welcome to gather any way you prefer. Personally, I like to crank my upper tension up to 7.5 and use a basting stitch with long thread tails and a 1/8" seam allowance. You will gather all the way along the un-hemmed edge.
Do yourself a favor and quarter both the skirt bottom and gathered hem piece. This will ensure more even gathers and less fuss time!
The last step is to attach the gathered hem piece to the shortened skirt. I like to baste mine on first and then serge the seam, but feel free to do this step however you like.
I hope this all made sense. If you need any further help, or if any of the instructions weren't clear, feel free to reach out to me via Facebook, Instagram, or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). I'd love to help!
You can find the Wrapped In Love Pattern HERE if you want to hack your own.
See ya next time!