Pattern Hack: By Hand London's 'Georgia' dress

We loved By Hand London's Georgia dress (our review can be found here). However, here at Fashion To DIY For we also love to adapt and 'hack' patterns to create beautiful and unique clothes from the depths of our imaginations. When we saw this pattern we knew it would be perfect for a dress we'd been planning for a while.

The most obvious change is the hemline. We added this flirty flounce along the hem using a general circle skirt rule. You'll need a donut of fabric, with the centre circle being the same as the circumference of the bottom of the skirt and the width being the depth you want your frill to be plus the seam and hem allowances.
We also adjusted the hemline to be slightly higher at the front than the back for a little more interest and shape.  You'll need to decide how long you want the dress to be at the centre front (cf) and how long you want it at the centre back (cb).  Then divide the difference between these two figures by half the circumference of your hemline.  This'll give you how much longer your skirt should get per cm around your dress.  Then you'll need to adjust your pattern pieces accordingly.  For example

Length of centre front = cf
Length of centre back = cb
Circumference of skirt = c

cb - cf / (c/2) = difference per cm of circumference (d)

Now you will need to mark your pattern pieces, starting with marking the length of the centre front on your pattern piece.  Measure the width of the pattern piece (w) and times this by the difference per cm that you calculated earlier.  This will give you how much lower the far side of the pattern piece should be compared to your centre front starting point.  Mark this on the pattern piece and mark the same point on the next pattern piece (the front side pattern piece as this is where they will be sewn together so need to match). Then measure the width of this piece and use the same formula (width of the pattern piece x d) to give you how much lower the other side of the pattern piece needs to be compared to this starting point.  Continue this process around the pattern pieces until you reach the centre back. This'll give you a straight diagonal line sloping down from the centre front to the centre back.  You can smooth the points out if you want but the flounce covers up the harshness of these lines.  All very technical!  Perhaps some diagrams would help?  Let us know if you want some.
The bow on the back is our favourite feature.  It's made from a rectangle of fabric which we pleated and slid through a loop we attached at the hemline when sewing on our flounce.  You'll need to hand stitch the top corners of the bow to the dress so that it holds its shape.
We felt that this dress was particularly suitable for piping (which we're obsessed with at the moment) as it helps to highlight it's sexy shape.  We'll be putting together a tutorial on piping soon if that's something that you're not too familiar with.
Finally, we topstitched the straps and around the neckline of the dress, just to give it a more professional and pulled together look. 
Note: We love tartan, as you will notice over our projects, but it is a lot of effort to work with.  No matter how frustrating it is it's always worth taking the extra time to make sure that you're pattern lines will match when sewn together.  Again, we'll put together a tutorial on how to match fabric patterns if that's something that'll be of use to you.  It's these small tips and finishing touches that will give you a more professional high end looking dress. 

We hope you love our pattern hack as much as we do.  If you're inspired to undertake your own pattern hack we would love to see the results!

Love F*2DIY4 x
@fashiontodiyfor #fashionDIY

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