Turkish Dancer, my Dress

I’m not going to use the work “hack” for my changes.  

Here’s why:

Definition of hack (according to Merriam Webster

 

  • 1 a :  to cut or sever with repeated irregular or unskillful blows

  • b :  to cut or shape by or as if by crude or ruthless strokes hacking out new election districts

  • c :  annoy, vex —often used with off He gets really hacked off when people cheat.

  • 2 :  to clear or make by or as if by cutting away vegetation hacked his way through the brush

  • 3 a :  to manage successfully just couldn’t hack the new job : 

  • b :  tolerate I can’t hack all this noise

None of those definitions describe the thought and care that go into modifying a sewing pattern.  Perhaps “mod” is a good substitute word.  What are your thoughts?

Here’s how I changed, modified, adapted Folkwear Turkish Dancer Dress #108 into a sleeveless dress.

Let me start by saying that I NEVER cut out a “master pattern”.  Anymore.  The last time I cut out a master pattern I cut a size too small.  Nowadays I trace, using the thin but strong medical paper that Distinctive Sewing Supplies sells by the roll. 

To add for a larger front overlap:

I drew a line 1 inch away from the edge of the paper, parallel with the straight edge, as long as the front pattern piece,  then lined up the original center front on the new line before beginning to trace the front.  This added one inch extra on the center front. You can see the original pattern easily through the tracing paper.

I used a dressmaker curve to “true” the lower neck curve, ignoring the pointy self-facing.  You can see the original pattern through the paper.

using dressmakers curve for neckline
drawn curve

I also shortened the dress length by 12 inches which still gave me a 1 inch hem allowance.  To mark an even hem line I measured up from the bottom and marked the pattern at even intervals then just joined the marks.

 After cutting out the dress in both the linen and voile I lined each piece (2 fronts and a back) with the voile and serged around the outer edge to treat each inner lined piece as one. 

Cut strips of 1 inch wide medium weight interfacing and fuse them to the inside (on the voile) edges of the fronts.

The sewing was quick and easy.  I marked the darts and sewed them from the middle out to the points.  Then joined the shoulders. 

I finished the neckline, armholes and the fronts with self-made bias binding.  I had enough voile left from the original amount of 1 1/2 meters to make enough 2 inch wide bias strips for it all.  I pressed 2 inch wide bias in half length-ways with wrong sides together, then sewed the raw edges around the neckline first, using a 3/8″ seam allowance, and leaving about 1 1/2 inches extra at each end. 

right sides together
pinned
right side

Fold the binding and the seam allowance to the inside and stitch close to the fold of the binding.  Don’t trim off the extra ends yet.

Finish the armholes the same way, BEFORE sewing the side seams.

 

I also finished the edges of the fronts with the first step of the binding, then trimming off the extra neck binding.  Leave a bit of extra binding at the top and bottom. Press the folded edge out over the seam allowance, it should just extend over the edge of the fabric a tiny bit.

Sew the side seams and press up the hem by 1 inch. 

To finish the fronts, I folded in one inch, tucked under the tail of bias, and pressed.  (the edge of the fusible interfacing is the fold line)  To hold the front facings in  I stitched where the black line is in the photo below, then followed the folded edge of the binding all the way to the hem, and back stitched.  Did the same for the other side of the front, then stitched up the hem.

Buttonholes and buttons, and ready to wear. 

I love my dress! 

Both the linen print and the cotton voile lining were given to me by Distinctive Sewing Supplies in exchange for making the dress and documenting my pattern changes.

For a printable PDF describing my pattern “mods” please click here.

Turkish Dancer to Dress How-to

3 thoughts on “Turkish Dancer, my Dress”

  1. Great dress. Love the design. Will have to join you again at the library when work slows down again. You are so creative adding a pocket with flair making it your own.

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