Merchant and Mills The Top 64 Pattern Hack
I was so inspired by Merchant and Mill's pattern hack of their Top 64 Sewing Pattern, to make a short sleeved dress, that I just had to make one for myself!
This really is a very straightforward, and quick, pattern hack... first of all, you need to work out what length you'd like your finished dress to be. I chose mine to finish just above the knee.
Next, trace off the front and back lower panel pattern pieces, minus the hem edge. I used dot and cross paper to trace on to, but baking or parchment paper will work equally well.Extend both the centre-front and side seams to the desired length (I added 24cm), remember that the hem is already factored in. For the lower edge of these panels, follow the original line of the top panel pieces which curve up slightly towards the sides.
If you want to make the dress with long sleeves then that's the only modification you need to make; and all the other pattern pieces remain the same.
However, if you'd like to make a short sleeved dress then again, you need decide on the desired finished sleeve length. As before trace off the two sleeve pattern pieces.
For my dress I used the Yarn Dyed Essex Linen in Graphite with Lt Beige top-stitching, I've used our 100% Organic Cotton Thread in Beige. Apart from adapting the pattern pieces mentioned above, the instructions for sewing remain the exactly the same.
The other change I made was to swap the neck facings for a binding, this was purely a personal choice, I'm just not a big fan of these facings. I chose to make a feature of the bias binding and used one of the cotton sateen fabrics from the Beau Yin Yang Collection by nani IRO, to give added hanger appeal.
I also added top-stitching around the neck for a contemporary look.
It's a while since I made my original Top 64 and I have to confess I'd forgotten what a fabulous pattern this is to sew up.... now that I've made a short sleeved dress I'm thinking that a long sleeved version would be lovely for Winter... because of the panel interest I personally feel that this style is particularly well suited to plainer fabrics, the Metallic Essex Linens would look fabulous, as would Corduroy, a Flannel fabric would make for a super cosy top, or for a more casual look Denim would work equally well too... next up for me is a long sleeved dress version in denim, you can buy the pattern to make your own version by clicking here.