Last weekend, I returned from a lovely seven days spent in Sewanee, TN. I taught a Highlands Wrap Dress workshop at Shakerag, an incredible artist summer camp held in the Tennessee mountains. It was a great experience and I hope to return as a student!
In my class, I demonstrated the step-by-step process of sewing both views of the Highlands Wrap Dress over the course of five days, which means I returned back to Colorado with two new dresses!
This is one of them, the sleeveless version of the Highlands Wrap Dress with a shortened hem. It's sewn in a 100% rayon Hawaiian print fabric purchased in Maui, similar fabrics can be found here.
Today, I want to show you how to shorten the Highlands Wrap Dress. Because this dress is designed with slits, it can be confusing to modify the pattern pieces to make a mid-thigh dress without slits. But it's not hard at all!
I have a long torso and shorter legs, so feel free to increase or decrease the distance between the "step" to your length preference.
For this tutorial you'll be working with the following pattern pieces only:
- Lower front facing
- Lower front bodice
- Back skirt
1. On the lower front facing and back skirt, measure 1.75" (or your desired length) below the step and draw a horizontal line. Then draw a vertical line that extends from the side seam down to the horizontal line. We are eliminating the "step" as we don't need the slit in this shortened version.
2. On the lower front facing, shorten the facing so that the bottom of the facing is in line with where the original "step" is located. Put a notch on the lower front bodice to align with the bottom of the lower front facing.
3. Cut these pattern pieces on the dotted lines indicated in the illustration. Tape the lower front bodice to the upper front bodice. Cut the rest of the pattern pieces out as you normally would and sew the dress together using the instructions up to step 24. Skip steps 25 and 26.
4. On step 27, you'll sew the side seams of your dress all the way to hem and finish those seam allowances together. Press these seams towards the front bodice. They will lay flatter at the waistband when pressed this way.
5. Disregard steps 28 through 31. Sew the hem of the dress by pressing the raw edge to the wrong side by 1/4" and then again by 1 1/2". The raw bottom edge of your facing should be enclosed in the hem. Sew the hem down with a 1 3/8" seam allowance.
6. Sew the rest of the dress as outlined in the pattern instructions.
That's it! It's a pretty simple mod and gives the dress a totally different look.