Hiya! Amy here with some exciting news about our latest pattern, the Pauline Dress; we've created a free pattern bonus with lots of new options for you! Around these parts we tend to design patterns with a lot of variations and views so you get a big bang for your buck. This pattern was no exception - when we originally started working on Pauline we planned on doing a high square neck in addition to the lower cut one, but it turned out to be a few too many pattern pieces. Around that time, I was experimenting with the Pauline bodice and decided to add a simple gathered skirt out of some leftover linen I had cut out of a tablecloth. The team ended up loving this pattern hack - it was less fitted and felt more casual. Rather than scrap the high neck, we decided back in the spring to create a free pattern bonus to include both of these variations, along with a shorter puffed sleeve. And now you can download the bonus (for free!) and enjoy even more variations of Pauline! Yay!
Here's what's included in the pattern bonus (for sizes 0-32):
- A higher cut square-cut bodice (hits around the clavicle area) with a corresponding matching facing and front lining piece
- A short puff sleeve
- A gathered skirt with mitered back slit
- Optional patch pocket
Here's a version we made for Heather (using organic cotton double gauze from Core Fabrics) with all the new bonus pieces. Only the back bodice pieces are from the original pattern - otherwise, it's basically a whole new dress!
We haven't created new fabric cutting layouts, but we did provide estimates for fabric requirements using the new pieces. Please see below for estimates.
Prepare your fabric as per the instructions of the pattern. The pieces required to make Heather's version above are the back pieces (B, C, E, F, G) as well as the pieces included in the bonus download. The new pattern pieces use same letter as the original pattern, so you can follow the instructions without too much confusion.
Assembling the Bodice
Sew the bodice, following the construction steps in the original instructions. There is no dart in the neckline with this higher version so skip that step and go to the instructions for sewing the facing to the bodice. We have a tutorial coming next week on how to sew that square neckline, perfectly!
If you're adding the new shorter sleeve, the instructions are exactly the same as the original instructions. The only difference is the shorter length. Ensure you cut a longer elastic to fit around your bicep if you are adding a gathered hem. You can also sew the sleeve hem flat for a less voluminous cap sleeve.
Preparing the Gathered Skirt
Our gathered skirt has a lovely mitered hem at the center back slit. To sew, finish the bottom and slit edge of both skirt back pieces with a serged or zig-zag stitch. Right sides together, fold angled edges at back slit together. Stitch at 5/8” (16mm) to the circle mark indicated on the pattern. Trim seam and notch corner.
Turn right side out. Press hem and side of slit up to upper circle marking.
Stitch back seam at 5/8” from upper circle marking to approximately 12” from top edge of skirt. The remainder of back seam will be sewn closed after invisible zipper has been sewn.
Press sewn portion of center back seam open. Topstitch each side of the miter from the wrong side, using seam allowances as guides. Leave hem unsewn for now – it will be completed in one pass later.
Gathering the Skirt
Gather the skirt with the method of your choice. Here we've used the two-thread method outlined in our blog post, Tips for Sewing Gathers. Gather the pieces separately, distributing gathers and matching up end points of skirt pieces at the side seams of the bodice. We attached the pieces independently of one another, in order to allow us to press the side seams open and allow for easier alterations later if needed. That said, you can also sew the skirt pieces together and gather in one pass to speed things up.
Attach the skirt, finish the seams and proceed to sewing the zipper and finishing the garment construction as outlined in the instructions.
This pattern bonus includes a patch pocket. Prepare the pocket by folding along the notches wrong sides together, and then pressing the raw edge under. Topstitch the top edge of the pocket down. Press the remaining sides and bottom under by 5/8". Using the circle marks on the skirt as a guide, topstitch the pocket in place at 1/8" along sides and bottom in one continuous stitch line (here is a handy tutorial on sewing a patch pocket if you need some help).
The last step is to finish hemming your dress. Press up the front skirt at 1 3/4" to match back skirt hem and sew the whole thing in place starting and finishing at the mitred slit you stitched in place earlier. And there you have it!
We hope this gives you even more opportunity to customize your Pauline!! What view will you be making?