Rowan Dress Hackalong PT3 - Hacking the pattern

April 09, 2021

Are you as pumped to get started as I am? This is without a doubt the fun part of this Hackalong - seeing your design come to life! If you’re still undecided on what colorblock you’re going to make, try visualising your ideas using our design templates! Next to creating a colorblock, we’re also going to talk you through creating a (colorblocked) circle skirt and some potential variations!

So here’s what we’ll cover today:

  • Colorblocking the bodice
  • Colorblocking the skirt
  • Creating a full circle skirt
  • Adding a colorblock to your full circle skirt
  • Variation ideas

Colorblocking the bodice

Step 1 - Today we’re going to start with the pattern basis you’ve prepared previously. First, trace the front and back bodice until the waistline. Add a 1cm (⅜”) seam allowance below the waist line. 


Step 2 - Draw in the (custom) colorblock lines on your front bodice. Do you like the placement? How’s the balance? Measure the colorblock placement at the shoulder and waist. Transfer these measurements on your back bodice and copy the colorblock lines. Add notches (blue lines) to make lining things up while sewing easier. 


Step 3 - Cut along the colorblock lines and add seam allowances (1cm (⅜”)) to all the new seams (here in light pink) . Transfer all the necessary notches.  Make sure to name all the pattern pieces and add the grainline/cut on fold markings.


Colorblocking the skirt

Step 1 - Trace the front skirt until the waistline. Add a 1cm (⅜”) seam allowance above the waist line. 


Step 2 - Transfer the same waist colorblock placement measurement from the bodice onto the skirt. We want those lines to match up, right!? Draw in the (custom) colorblock lines on your front skirt. Do you like the placement? Add notches (blue lines) to make lining things up while sewing easier. If you follow our colorblock design, your front and back skirt are exactly the same. Therefore, you don’t have to adjust the back skirt. When cutting fabric, you can simple cut one extra (set) of all the skirt pieces.


Step 3 - Cut along the colorblock line and add seam allowances (1cm (⅜”)) to all the new seams (here in light pink) . Transfer all the necessary notches.  Make sure to name all the pattern pieces, add the grainline/cut on fold markings and additional cutting info.


Creating a full circle skirt

Step 1 - Creating a circle skirt might seem daunting, but it's really quite simple! But first we have to do a little bit of math. First, measure the waist width at the waist line (minus the seam allowance) on your base front dress. This is only  ¼ of the total waist measurement. To get the total waist circumference, multiply that measurement by 4 to get the total waist circumference of your skirt. Example: waist measurement on front bodice = 15 cm. 15 cm x 4 = 60 cm total waist circumference. Next, measure the skirt length from the waist down (minus the hem allowance).


Step 2 - Next, grab a big piece of pattern paper. Draw a horizontal & vertical line from the same point (A), the lines should be longer than the skirt length! Next mark ⅙ of the total waist circumference - 0,5 cm (¼”) on both lines from point A (pink lines), this way creating point B & C.. Example: 60 cm total waist circumference / 6 = 10 cm. 10 cm - 0,5cm = 9,5cm.


Step 3 - Draw a ¼ circle from point B to C (green line). This is your ¼ waist of your circle skirt! Measure round from point B to C to double check the number matches your measured ¼ waist measurement (15cm in our example). Starting from point B & C, mark the skirt length (blue lines) on the vertical and horizontal line. From there, draw a ¼ circle connecting the blue lines. This is the ¼ hem of your circle skirt.


Step 4 - If you don’t want to add a colorblock, you can proceed by tracing your ¼ skirt pattern and adding 1cm (⅜”) seam allowance around the waist and side seam and a 2,5cm (1”) hem allowance around the hem. This pattern piece should be cut from the fabric twice on the fold. Keeping the side seam can come in handy when you want to add pockets.

But you can also create a full circle skirt without side seams by doubling your ¼ skirt. Add a 1cm (⅜”) seam allowance around the waist and a 2,5cm (1”) hem allowance around the hem. Don't  forget to add a notch marking the original side seam. This pattern piece should be cut from the fabric once with both vertical sides placed on the fold.

 

Adding a colorblock to your full circle skirt

Step 1 - Trace your ¼ skirt pattern, but don’t add any seam or hem allowances yet. Transfer the waist colorblock placement measurement from the bodice onto the curved waist of your skirt. Draw in the (custom) colorblock lines on your front skirt. Do you like the placement? Add notches (blue lines) to make lining things up while sewing easier. 


Step 2 - Cut along the colorblock line - you’ve now created a front/back skirt and side skirt. Add a 1cm (⅜”) seam allowances to the waist and colorblock seams. The “side seam” of the side skirt, can be placed on the fold as well, so you don’t have to add seam allowance there. Add a 2,5cm (1”) hem allowance around the hem. Transfer all the necessary notches.  Make sure to name all the pattern pieces, add the grainline/cut on fold markings and additional cutting info.

 

Variations ideas

There are a million and one different ways to build upon our hackalong Dress basis. Let’s talk you through some of them!


Ruffles - Adding ruffles is always a good idea and there are so many possibilities! The diagonal seam in the bodice creates a perfect opportunity to add a ruffle! Or what about adding a ruffle to the hem? Read more about creating and attaching a ruffle here!


Long sleeved version - If you’re in the southern hemisphere and gearing towards fall, you can follow along with the hackalong but instead add long sleeves. Sjouk @dutch_sjouks made a super cute long sleeved version and she added yes - ruffles! - to the sleeve seam. 


Additional colorblock - Next to the subtle colorblock we’ve created, you can add even more style lines. Or add a pocket! Or do something completely different! Just make sure to always add the seam allowance back in! 

 

Maxi Dress - A simple hack with a “wow” factor! You don’t have to go all crazy colorblocking, but you can also keep it simple by lengthening the skirt (and adding a ruffle, obviously) into a maxi style dress! All you need is a fun print and summer!  

That was some major pattern hacking, right?! But you’ve successfully gotten your pattern ready for the next chapter: sewing the bodice & neckband! In the next couple off days, oil that machine, get all your sewing supplies and fabrics (pre-washed!) in order and cut out all your pattern pieces! 


Happy prepping!

Elles






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Size Charts

KIDS SIZE CHART

Body measurements cm

Body measurements inch

Size

Age

Chest

Waist

Hip

Height

Chest

Waist

Hip

Height

80

9-12M

50

48

52

80

19,5

19

20,5

31,5

86

12-18M

52

50

54

86

20,5

19,5

21,25

33,75

92

18-24M

54

51

55

92

21,25

20

21,5

36,25

98

2-3Y

55

52

57

98

21,75

20,5

22,5

38,5

104

3-4Y

56,5

53,5

59

104

22,25

21

23,25

41

110

4-5Y

58

55

61

110

22,75

21,5

24

43,25

116

5-6Y

60

57

64

116

23,5

22,5

25,25

45,5

122

6-7Y

62,5

58,5

67

122

24,5

23

26,5

48

128

7-8Y

65

60

70

128

25,5

23,5

27,5

50,5

134

8-9Y

67,5

61,5

73

134

26,5

24,25

28,75

52,75

140

9-10Y

70

63

76

140

27,5

24,75

30

55

146

10-11Y

73

64

79

146

28,75

25,25

31

57,5

152

11-12Y

76

66

82

152

30

26

32,25

59,75

158

12-13Y

79

68

85

158

31

26,75

33,5

62,25

164

13-14Y

82

70

88

164

32,25

27,5

34,75

64,5

WOMEN SIZE CHART

Body measurements cm

Body measurements inch

Size

High Bust

Bust

Waist

Hip

Height

High Bust

Bust

Waist

Hip

Height

AA

77

82

66

88

168

20,25

32,25

26

34,75

5 feet 6"

BB

81

86

70

92

168

31,75

33,75

27,5

36,25

5 feet 6"

CC

85

90

74

96

168

33,5

35,5

29,25

37,75

5 feet 6"

DD

89

94

78

100

168

35

37

30,75

39,25

5 feet 6"

EE

93

98

82

104

168

36,5

38,5

32,25

41

5 feet 6"

FF

97

102

86

108

168

38,25

40,25

33,75

42,5

5 feet 6"

GG

103

108

92,5

114

168

40,5

42,5

36,5

44,75

5 feet 6"

HH

109

114

99

120

168

43

44,75

39

47,25

5 feet 6"

II

115

120

105,5

126

168

45,25

47,25

41,5

49,5

5 feet 6"

JJ

121

126

112

132

168

47,75

49,5

44

52

5 feet 6"

KK 127 132 118,5 138 168 50 52 46,75 54,25 5 feet 6"
LL 133 138 125 144 168 52,25 54,25 49,25 56,75 5 feet 6"
MM 139 144 131,5 150 168 54,75 56,75 51,75 59 5 feet 6"
NN 145 150 138 156 168 57 59 54,25 61,5 5 feet 6"