Monday, May 26, 2008

Jalie Dress Conversion

It began with the slinky fabric I purchased at Textile Fabrics; fabric I probably didn't *need* but just fell in love with. I thought I would just make another Madison Avenue Dress from it, but I wore the green Jalie 2682 top last week and suddenly wondered if I could turn it into a dress. I had the cutting table out to trim the surcoats, so I decided to do a little pattern drafting...just to see if it would work.

What I did:
I laid a second piece of tissue paper over the bottom bit of the lower top back, marked the overlap line, extended the fold line down the new piece 14" and across. Then I made a mark about 1" below the bottom of the side seam and 1/2" out from that line and extended the seamline from about the waistline over to that mark, to allow for, um, the fuller part of my hipline. Then I continued down to the hemline with a very, very slight angle; I can't tell you what the measurement was; I just eyeballed it. Then I repeated the process for the front, using the just-drafted back piece as a guide.

I made a boo-boo in that I didn't allow enough overlap for a smooth transition from the top to the added piece; but I took care of that when I cut it out by laying my ruler over the two pieces to 'fill in the gap'.

The dress went together nearly as quickly as the top; I wore it out last night. It does need some 'shapewear'...and it probably wouldn't have hurt to duplicated the flare at the bottom of the Madison Avenue dress pattern, but overall I like the dress.

One note about using slinky for this pattern (top or dress); it makes for rather lumpy serged seams; a conventional machine w/a very slight zig-zag might be a better choice. And I found the front armsceye (2 layers of fabric there) bulky and difficult to turn under (especially since I used clear elastic to pull in the slight gap there). It's not as smooth as I would like, particularly on the left side.

But that's just between you and me. ;)


  1. Nice dress, Lisa! Isn't it fun to turn a favorite top into a dress? Love the fabric, too.

  2. Very nice! That's such a great idea for expanding pattern options.

  3. Wow! It looks great! Very sleek and cool and comfortable - perfect for summer time! :)

  4. Your dress is very pretty.Great idea.

  5. Now, that's the type of dress that I like to wear only with sleeves. I have "bat wings" in my upper arms. Great job of realizing a vision and I think the fit is good.

  6. Good job! The dress is stunning and you look great in it!