When I first spotted the strapless summer dress that was the inspiration for my own DIY strapless summer dress (see #3 below), I loved it, thought it was cute. I also thought it was a little pricey on sale for over $100 bucks which then led to my automatic thought that I could just sew a similar dress myself for a lot less, so that's exactly what I did.
This dress is the perfect summer music festival dress (hey Essence, heyyy...) poolside dress, cruise ship dress, day party dress or tropical vacation dress. You can see all that right? My sewing method: This look is a pattern hack. And for those who don't know what a pattern hack is, the way I like to think of it is using store bought sewing patterns as your professional pattern making assistant. Your "pattern making assistant" gets you started on the pattern that you want, and you then rearrange, assemble, test, finish then complete your pattern with all of the combined design elements you want to make your desired look. The Thrifty Stitcher describes pattern hacking like this:
Essentially it means you are making changes to a sewing pattern that will create a design that’s different from the original. Hacking can mean small changes, like adjusting the length, making up in a different type of fabric etc, OR it could mean large adjustments like mixing together the sleeve from another pattern with the bodice of a second one and the skirt of a third pattern.
The patterns I used for my dress (my pattern hack):
McCall's M6083 - for the bodice +
New Look D0931 - for the midi skirt. Same pattern I used for my Kimono Duster +
New Look 6573 (skirt flounce) - used for my bodice flounce
And that's my complete pattern hack formula for this dress! Of course, adjustments were made, the bodice had to be made true to fit the skirt, the skirt flounce had to me made true with to fit the bodice (also added length), and I tested patterns on old t-shirts and fabric scraps before cutting into my actual fabric. I also had just enough fabric leftover to do one of my "satin" lined beanies to match.
I've completed 3 of the 6 looks so far from my spring sewing inspiration board (see above) and I'm feeling pretty good about that. The reason being is because I tend to be a little scatterbrained and lose focus easily when it comes to what I sew, but having an inspiration board full of looks that I'd like to create, gives me much needed direction and focuses my attention on achievable sewing goals. It also pushes me outside of a box and broadens my sewing creativity. Another bonus is that it fills my closet with aspirational styles that I would have had to spend big $$$ on or that I might not have had were it not for being able to sew. Have I convinced you to pick up sewing yet? Because what better way to fill your closet with the specific style pieces you want!
Don't want to sew your own dress (yet)? Shop these 3 similar dresses below!