I don’t know why, but I don’t often think to do the obvious. For example, shorten a dress into a top – or conversely, to lengthen a top into a dress. I have no idea why it doesn’t occur to me more often. Fortunately, a month or so ago it did. Clare has been asking for some more tops that are casual but not too casual (yes, she’s a 13 year old) that would look good with higher waisted jeans or skirts.
This is the Madeit Patterns Groove Dress for teens, shortened to a top. We kept the high-low hemline, and just measured on Clare where we wanted the top to finish at the front. The body of the top is scuba from Spotlight, so it has loads of body and retains the flare of the pattern despite the shorter length. The neck binding and sleeves are in a much softer and stretchier double knit that was somewhere in my stash.
You can see the curve of the hemline well when I make her twirl!
I sewed the smallest of the teen sizes. This pattern actually comes in adult and child sizes as well, and the teen pattern was free if you bought the adult or child sizes. So expect to see a Lara-sized Groove dress at some stage too. There are a number of style options included. From their website: The Groove Dress is an utterly covetable, swing dress made using knit fabric, with short or long sleeves and a high low or straight hemline. And as if that wasn’t enough, we went crazy to offer you five, yes five different neck options. Round, scoop, slash, cowl or hooded, whatever takes your fancy. The combinations are endless (well nearly, you do the maths).
The neckline is bound rather than banded. I sewed a strip of fabric to the right side with a 1cm seam allowance, flipped it over the seam allowance to the wrong side, completely enclosing the seam allowance, then topstitched it a couple of mm inside the seamline to secure. Most other construction was on the overlocker, with the a machine zig-zag used to secure hems.
Clare’s new high-waisted jeans came from Dejour Jeans in Brunswick. They make all their jeans here in Melbourne and customisation to fit you is included in the price, while you wait (or while you go and have coffee at a nearby cafe). We were thrilled to be able to buy jeans with hip and bum shaping in a small enough size to fit Clare – they took the waist in a little, altered the front rise, shortened the jeans, and narrowed the lower leg. She is rapt, and we’ll definitely be buying jeans there in the future! I love the concept that they automatically alter their jeans to fit the person, rather than the person being expected to just fit into the jeans. And they have all the equipment set up – it was great to watch the alterations people zooming through all the garment changes. Word has got around about Dejour Jeans in recent years and they are often super busy with queues of people and sometimes shop closures due to crowds! Apparently Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the quietest days. Allow plenty of time if you are visiting.