You may recall that a few months back I made a Rushcutter dress (by In the Folds), a pattern featured in Indiesew‘s Spring Collection. The dress itself has a completely different look depending on the fabric used. It can be sewn up in a heavier fabric for a more structured look, as shown in the collection, or in a more drapey and lightweight fabric for a softer aesthetic. I went with the latter, choosing a beautiful graphic rayon from Cotton + Steel and leaving the neck binding exposed for a bit of a retro vibe.
Well, here’s the thing about me: I DON’T GET DRESSED UP. It’s not that I’m opposed to it; I just don’t have much occasion. I work from home, and my extracurricular activities involve sewing (in my pajamas) or picking my kid up from camp or school (likely also in my pajamas). My uniform is jeans, a tee-shirt, and Birkenstocks. It’s how I roll.
So I felt a bit bad that my Rushcutter dress was languishing in my closet, continually unworn. In the rare event I did get a bit dressed up, I felt like the dress in that print was a bit too “out there” for professional engagements. Surely there had to be a way to get it to align a bit more with my everyday life. And then it hit me:
A SWING TOP. The Rushcutter is an A-line swing dress, so why not cut it off at hip level and transform it into a summer, breezy top? It’s perfectly suited for wearing with shorts and flip-flops for hot summer days, or it can be worn with wide-leg or skinny pants and flats for a chic yet casual look.
The horizontal “zip-line” print was perfect for figuring out where to cut. I first chose the line that was just about where I wanted the top to be at its longest point, added 1/2″ or so for hem allowance, and cut it off. The dress has a side panel under each arm, so then I found the horizontal center of each panel and marked it a few inches up from the new cut line. Then I carefully drew and cut a curved hem. Business in the front and back, “reasonable mom” amount of party on the sides.
And I LOVE it! I wore this top to Quilt Market and felt sophisticated and cute, but not too dressed up or too twee. The Rushcutter swing top has made a regular appearance in my summertime garment rotation, and it was such an easy hack to make. The only problem? It’s got me thinking about what other dresses in my closet I can cut up and repurpose.
What’s your favorite pattern hack?