Pattern Hacks: Turning the Sweetheart Dress into the Favorite Dress

If you've been wanting to make yourself a Favorite Dress, this is the post for you!

TL;DR: the Sweetheart Dress IS the Favorite Dress.

I know. They don't look like the same dress. But look closer:

Sweetheart neckline, princess seam shaping, spaghetti straps, circle skirt...

Sweetheart neckline, princess seam shaping, halter strap, gathered skirt...

See that bodice? It's the same on both dresses. And if you have the Sweetheart Dress pattern, it's REALLY easy to swap out the skirt and strap and make a Favorite Dress instead. It's like having two dresses in one!

[Get the Sweetheart Dress Pattern]

What you'll need:

  • Fabric! The fabric estimates on the Sweetheart Dress pattern should be plenty.
  • A 16-18" zipper
  • Thread to match your fabric
  • 1/4" rings and sliders for your straps
  • A large (36"x36") piece of paper for your circle skirt pattern
  • A ruler (I use this one, but you can use any ruler) to draft your circle skirt
  • A measuring tape

Here's how to do it:

First, you'll want to adapt your bodice pattern just a touch. 

The bodice of the Sweetheart Pattern is designed for a gathered skirt, so it has a 1" seam allowance at the waist to give you plenty of gathering room. You don't need gathering room on a circle skirt, so you can just use a 5/8" seam allowance. Fold up the bottom edge of your bodice pattern 3/8". That way, when you cut out your pattern, the waist seam will only have a 5/8" seam allowance.

Next, you'll need a circle skirt pattern.

Don't feel like making one? You can totally use the body piece from the Wrap Skirt pattern - just choose the size that corresponds to your bodice's waist measurement.

If you DO want to draft your own circle skirt (it's fun! and easy!) hop on over to How to Draft a Circle Skirt and make yourself a quick circle skirt pattern. I included a calculator so you don't even have to math. ;)

Straps!

You'll need to make two adjustable spaghetti straps for your dress. Head over to the Spaghetti Strap Tutorial to get the quick and dirty on how I make straps.

Make the dang thing.

First, cut out your bodice, circle skirt, and strap pieces.

Make your straps using the Spaghetti Strap Tutorial.

Next, assemble the bodice and bodice lining of your Sweetheart Dress pattern.

Set your straps and baste them to the bodice lining. I usually set them just outside the princess seams on the front of the bodice and right in the middle of the back of the bodice, but you can move them out or in if you want.

Attach the bodice to the bodice lining. Trim and understitch your seam allowance. 

Turn the bodice right side out and press that top seam.

Assemble your circle skirt as shown below. Leave the center back seam open. You can use French seams to connect the pieces as in the Wrap Skirt pattern, you can pink your seams for that 50s touch, or you can stitch and serge. Totally up to you.

Staystitch (baste) the waist of your circle skirt using a 1/2" seam allowance, then clip the seam allowance to open up the waist.

Pin your skirt to the waistline of the outer fabric of the bodice, right sides facing, and stitch using a 5/8" seam allowance.

Trim the seam allowance and press it up toward the bodice.

Follow the instructions in the Sweetheart Dress pattern to insert your zipper and finish your dress.

When you get to the hem, try this method for hemming a circle skirt.

Now put that dress on and go dance!

Happy sewing! :)

 


3 comments

  • Hi Audrey!

    The skirt on the green dress is part of the Sweetheart Dress pattern. You can find it here: https://lilaandjune.com/products/sweetheart-dress-pattern

    Hope this helps!

    Kirsten
  • Welp! I know what I’M doing with my day off today! Thanks for the tips – I never would’ve thought to reduce the seam allowance!

    Bekah
  • Hi Kirsten,
    I just have a little technical question. On the red and the blue dresses, the skirt is a circle skirt, that’s ok.. But on the military one, there seems to have more “folds” at the waist of the skirt. Do you make it just cutting the skirt with a bigger “waist circle” and make folds..? I hope I am clear enough to be understand :)

    Audrey Adams

Leave a comment