Welcome to my first paid guest blog post! When Anna @sew.lala posted her images of this Sia Dress hack on Instagram I knew instantly that I had to approach her to do a guest blog post for me. Now I can share with the world how Anna transformed the Sia Dress pattern into this beautiful summer dress. From this point further in the blog post are the words directly from Anna herself. I hope you enjoy and I can’t wait to make my own version of this hack.
Anna’s Sia Dress Hack
My first Sia Dress was born during the pattern testing for Taree in March 2020. I was so excited to be part of it since I fell in love at first sight with the pattern. There are so many options already coming with the pattern and even more hacks and changes to the pattern are popping up in front of my eye just looking at the technical drafts.
Finally, I found time to sew the hack that I already planned way back then. When Taree asked me to write a little bit about what I did and how I hacked the pattern I was full of excitement to share my hack with you.
Firstly, I would recommend to sew the pattern as purchased at least once before hacking it. This way you know how the pattern reacts to your body shape, if you need grading between the sizes and also you will get a clear idea of what happens with the pattern while following my hacking process here.
My vision for the hack was a romantic, but not too overdone look that keeps as many of the original seam lines as possible. I’m seriously into ruffles and gathered sections and took the idea Taree started at the sleeves a little further by adding gathers at the waist instead of pleats, and ruffles to the skirt hem. I also wanted to remove the zipper and have a more versatile option to open and close the dress through the front. I converted the faux front placket on the skirt to a functioning front placket and continued it through to the waist and bust area.
Changes on the Pattern
Figure out your size and trace the pattern on paper.
I have already added a little extra to the neckline as a full bust adjustment when sewing my first Sia Dress (red line in the picture). I found this the easiest way to change the pattern to fit a fuller bust and still be able to close the front bodice a little more. Taree does have video tutorials on how to do this adjustment on her website. I then measured from the waist to where I wanted the first button to close at the neckline. For me it was 17cm up from the waist, but you can alter this to be whatever you like. From this point down to the waist add a 3 cm wide piece of paper. This is going to be the functioning button placket. The pleat below the bust can easily be adjusted for gathering simply by rounding the pleat point to a curved line.
The Sia Dress has a comfortable fit with ease through the waist that can be adjusted with the waist ties. For this pattern hack I wanted to omit the ties and decided to size down one size on the original waistband pattern piece to have a more fitted look.
However, make sure the waist is not getting to tight as you don’t want any pulling on the button area here. My recommendations is to take your measurements and compare with the finished garment measurements noted on the original Sia Dress pattern. For this hack the front waistband pattern piece is not cut on the fold. You will need to add 3cm to the fold line that will again from part of the functioning button placket.
I wanted to have volume at the lower sleeve but not to much at the shoulder. So I decided to go for sleeve option A with a little puff sleeve and give it more width like option B has at the hem. Or alternatively you can use the sleeve pattern from option B.
If you would like to create a sleeve like mine, tape together the front and back sleeve from option A folding away the ties. I added 12 cm to the length of the sleeve and draw a straight line from the underarm point to the new sleeve hem.
As much as I love pockets from the original pattern I felt they wouldn’t fit with all the ruffles on my new design. To keep the original shape of the upper skirt side seam and waist I simply laid the pocket piece on top of the skirt pattern.
Again, for this hack the front skirt piece is not cut on the fold but separated into two pieces. You will need to add 3cm to the center front line for functioning button placket. I also added some extra width along the side seam as noted by the pins in the image above. This will create more gathers in the skirt. Add the same to the back side seam and change this pattern piece to be cut on the fold instead of cut 1 pair. When adding width to the side seam make sure it is added at the same height of the original waistline. Do not make it higher, just extend it as shown in the picture above by the pins.
I reduced the original midi skirt length by 13 cm on both the front and back pattern pieces. Then I added a ruffle that is 25cm long. The width of the ruffle pattern piece is two times as long as your skirt hem.
Sewing the hack
Since I sewed my hacked version of this dress before I wrote these instructions there are no pictures of the process. Below is a brief overview of the construction process.
Start with your bodice.
- Sew the darts at the back pieces as shown in the pattern instruction.
- Finish the edges of the CB seam with a serger or zigzag.
- Sew CB pieces together where the zipper would have been stopping 10cm down from the top edge to create a back keyhole. Sew the last 1cm at the top neck. Press seams flat and fix back keyhole with topstitching.
- Gather the bust darts so they fit the front waist band between where the original pleat was.
- Pin front bodice pieces to front waistband pieces. They need to line up at the side seam and CF. Sew together with a 1cm seam allowance. Finish seams with serger or zigzag.
- Pin and sew the back bodice to the back waistband and finish seams with serger or zigzag.
- Close shoulder seams and side seams of the bodice and finish with serger or zigzag.
- Prepare the sleeves as shown for version B skipping the sleeve pillow (or add the pillow if you’d like a bit of extra poof).
- The sleeve hem is finished onto a bias band instead of using elastic to pull the sleeve hem in. You could use the elastic finish if you would like or alternatively to finish like mine cut bias tape 4cm wide and 2cm longer than your lower arm measurement is. Close the ends and press seam flat.
- Sew 2 lines of gather stitch to your sleeve hem and gather them in evenly to fit the bias band. Pin in place and sew to the wrong side first. Then fold bind over and under to the right side to do the final top stitch and attached the bias band to the sleeve on the right side.
- Pin and sew sleeves to bodice.
- Sew the side seams of the skirt together. Finish with serger or zigzag.
- Gather the waist of the skirt to fit the lower waistband. Pin and sew in place, finishing seams with serger or zigzag.
- Hem the lower edge of the ruffle. You could overlock and turn or do a small double turn hem here.
- Add the gathered ruffle to the bottom of the skirt. Make sure your gathers are even before sewing. Finish seam with serger or zigzag.
- Finish the neckline with 0.5cm double turn. Alternatively you could used bias to finish the neckline.
- To finish the function front button placket fold the front edge over 2cm twice to the inside. Pin well and press in place. Finish by topstitching the front placket down on both edges.
- The neckline is topstitched close to the folding edge.
- Sew buttons and button holes.
- Et voila! You are done!
Feel free to contact me when having questions on a step.
Yours Anna from Sew.lala