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Camisole Dress Hack from the Tropo Camisole

I hadn’t even thought about hacking the Tropo Camisole into a dress until I got feedback from my Tropo Camisole pattern testers and discovered that Maria had made a couple different dresses while testing the pattern so of course I had to copy her idea because imitation is the highest form of flattery and I thought her idea was great!

It’s pretty simple to turn the Tropo Camisole into a dress, but you do need to consider the width of your hips. This will be a fitted dress with negative ease through the hips (to be consistent with the negative ease in the upper part of the camisole) so you should end up with a hip measurement on your finished dress that is a few inches smaller than the width of your body. There can actually be a lot of variability in this number from one person’s “perfect fit” to another based on the unique size, body shape, and fit preference of the person. Start with the same size you would use if you were sewing the camisole pattern as is – meaning use your high bust to determine your size. Remember to make the same adjustments to both front and back of the camisole.

If your hip measurement is significantly smaller than the given hip measurement on the Tuesday Stitches size chart for your size, then you can hack the Tropo Camisole into a dress by simply continuing the line at the side hem straight down.

If your hip measurement is similar to the given hip measurement on the Tuesday Stitches size chart for your size, then you can hack the Tropo Camisole into a dress by marking a point that is 1/2″ out from the hem line and a few inches down. Gently extend the side curve so it goes smoothly from the waist to this point (not the waist to the hem). Continue straight down from this point. For reference, my high bust puts me in a size 8 which has a hip of 39″. My actual hips are 40″ so I used this method for my dress hack.

If your hip measurement is significantly larger than the given hip measurement on the Tuesday Stitches size chart for your size then you’ll need to do a little bit more work than the other shapes. You’ll do a quick and dirty version of slashing and spreading your pattern to make more room for your hips. Cut a line in the middle of the pattern piece from below the underarm straight down to the hem. Cut from the top of that line toward the underarm but leave just a little bit of paper there so the pieces are attached but can pivot. Pivot the side so that you have added in whatever width you need (1-2″ at most) – remember that the width you add here will be multiplied by 4 in the finished garment and that you do want negative ease in your finished dress. Continue a line at the side straight down to your new hem. If you want to further refine your dress you can do a couple more things. The slash and spread also added in width to the waist. If you want to remove that width you can measure how much was added at the waistline and take that out in the middle of a fisheye dart – remember the dart should start below the breast and the widest part should be at the waist. If you don’t have full thighs and would like the dress to be fitted on your upper leg, you can also taper the side seam gently to the hem to cut out a couple of extra inches that were added to the hem width.

Comments 6

  1. Wow, as a large hip lady who has tried extending shirts before, suddenly this has clicked. Of course just adding width to the hips gives me weird hollow pockets. And the way the dart is added just seems so clear and logical now. This was a very helpful tutorial, thanks!

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  2. In spite of reading a ton of tips and tutorials, I am still having trouble getting my foldover elastic to look nice where the ends join. If you have a good method, do share 😊 And you are looking good in your post baby body. Isn’t it a miracle what female bodies can do?

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      Thanks! Female bodies are astounding. Hard to wrap my head around the changes they go through.

      I have a tutorial coming soon for an alternative construction method that gets rid the need to have the ends join. I don’t have anything specific planned for the sewalong to help with the ends joining, but I’ll see if I can get a decent video recorded to add in to the sewalong since I think that will help quite a bit and you’re not alone in finding it difficult.

  3. I’d thought this would indeed make a great slip as well for those sheer summer things we love to wear… So this post is both well timed & saves some working out of the details, too. Thanks!

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