Summer Time Shift Dress Pattern Hack

Hello everybody! In this pattern hack tutorial, we are using the Little Miss Muffett Frilled To Bits pattern and by using only the lining and improvised facing pieces you can make a delightfully simple shift dress - perfect for summer! 

It's super easy to do -- follow along as we show you how!


1. Follow the suggested cutting layout for the dress lining with your fashion fabric.  Use the Dress/Top Front Lining pattern piece and cut out one on fold for the dress front.  Use the Dress/Top Back Lining pattern piece and cut two for the back of the dress.

2. Facing just around the neckline and armholes of the dress will result in a lighter, less stiff lower skirt than lining the entire dress.  Mark 1" under the arm of the Front, and 1" under the arm of the Back pattern lining pieces.  You can either draw a line straight across and perpendicular to the center front and center back, or make the pieces more contoured, as pictured.  To make a contoured front facing, mark 1" down from the top center front and draw a gentle "S" curve to connect the mark below the underarm with the mark below the neckline.  To make the back contoured facing with a similar curve, mark 2 1/4" down from the upper back.  Draw a gentle "S" curve to connect the mark below the underarm with the mark below the neckline.  Cut one Front Facing on the fold, and cut two of the Back Facing pieces.


3. With right sides together, sew the dress front and back pieces together at the shoulders, then sew the front and back facing pieces together at the shoulders and press seams open, following step 17 in the pattern.  Finish the lower raw edge of facing front and back pieces.  Finish raw side edges of dress front and back.

4. For a simple shift dress, there's no need to use piping, although that detail is always chic!

Following step 20 in the pattern, pin, then sew facing to dress around armholes and neckline, matching shoulder seams.  Clip curves.


5. Leave the center back open, omitting step 21. Turn facing to inside, pulling the back pieces through the shoulders as seen in step 22.   If needed, use a bluntly pointed tool to completely turn seams right side out.  Press neckline and armholes.


6. Following step 24, open out facings, then pin and sew the side seams.  Press side seams open, then fold facings back into place, matching seams.  Tack facings to dress at underarm seams.

Finish entire back raw edge, overlocking or zigzagging facing to the outer dress.

7. Keeping back closure simple:  Sew from the bottom of the dress up 2 3/4" with a 5/8" seam allowance, then pivot your work under the needle and sew into the seam allowance to the edge.  With the dress inside-out, press sewn seam to the right side.  Turn right-side-out and continue pressing the fold in the (proper) left side, extending the same fold line all the way to the neck.


 8Finish the raw edge of the dress bottom.  Turn up 3/8" and press.  Topstitch hem at 1/4".

9. Apply a 5  1/2" piece of hook and loop tape to the upper back above the seam.  Line the hook side up 1/8" inside the seam line on the right, and line the loop side 1/8" from inside the folded edge on the left side.

10. Quick alteration:  To make the upper bodice more fitted on a slimmer doll, sew a 1/4" box pleat at the front center neckline (try the dress on your doll to see if she needs a bigger or smaller pleat.  If a 1/4" seam makes it too tight, skip the pleat).  Turn the dress inside-out, and fold along the center front.  Pin, then sew from neck down 3/4".  Make sure the neckline stays even at the pleat.  Finger press pleat flat, matching the front center point with the new seam to form a 1/4" box pleat.  "Stitch in the ditch" to secure pleat

11. You can be done now, but in case you want more pizazz, this classic A-Line shift is perfect for any applique or fabric painting design!  Learn how to beautifully compliment any project with Cinnamon's  WORKING WITH EMBELLISHMENTS - MASTER CLASS VIDEO COURSE



Congratulations! You've just hacked a pattern successfully!

Thanks for following along, and have fun with this!

For Pixie Faire,





May 04, 2024

Merci pour tout ce que vous faites


July 04, 2019

thank you

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