- Paper – you can use freezer paper, medical paper or any other paper you use for tracing patterns
- French Curve (not necessary, but will certainly makes things easier)
Seam AllowancesMake sure to mark your seam allowances on both front and back bodice pieces. We will be making all modifications from the actual seam lines. Seam allowances on Orla Dress are 3/8" or 1 cm. We will add those back in once the hack is all done.
MeasurementsYou will also need some measurements to make this hack:
- distance from the waist seam to hip. I found it very helpful to put on my regular Orla dress on to measure this correctly from the actual waist seam. For reference, I am 5'10" and my distance was 8 1/2"
- Length of your Orla dress skirt pattern piece. Mine is 19 3/4" without hem allowance.
Front Bodice ModificationsIn order to hack your Orla into shift dress, you will first need to rotate your bust darts into the side seam. Trace your front bodice piece onto a new piece of paper that is long enough to fit an entire dress length. Lengthen the center front line. When you rotate the dart, the waist seam becomes slightly curved. Straighten it, so it is perpendicular to the center front line. Measure your distance from the waist seam to the hip down the center front line from the waist line. Draw a line perpendicular to the center front line. This will be line 1. Take your hip measurement and divide it by 4. Add 7/8" to that measurement, this is the amount of ease at the hip.
(Hip / 4) + 7/8"My resulting number was 11 1/5" . Measure that distance from center front line on line 1. This is point 2. Note that my dress has 3 1/2" of TOTAL ease at the hips. This was a personal decision and you can add more or a little less ease if you like. Using French Curve, true the side seam from the dart down and draw a new side seam from the waist down. I kept the same amount of ease at the waist as the original pattern, but this is where you could add more if you would like. On the center front line measure the skirt length distance from the waist seam (not line 1) and draw a line perpendicular to the center front. This is line 3 below. I wanted my shift dress not to be too flared, but also not too straight. So I added 1/2" to my final hip measurement (point 2) and marked that distance as point 4 on line 3. Mine was 12". Connect points 2 and 4 with a straight line. Now let's even out the skirt hem. Measure the distance between line 1 and 3. Mark the same distance on the side seam from point 2. This is point 5. Using French curve draw a new hem line connecting roughly the middle of the old hem with point 5.
Back Bodice ModificationsTrace your back bodice pattern piece onto a separate piece of paper that is long enough to fit an entire dress pattern on it. Extend the center back seam line down. Square off the waist line so it is perpendicular to the center back line. Just like with the front bodice, measure your distance from the waist seam to the hip from the waist seam on the center back line. Draw a line perpendicular to center back line. This is your line 1. We are going to mark point 2, just like we did with the front bodice. Point 2 on the back bodice is the same distance away from the center back, as point 2 on the front bodice is away from center front. To remind you, this is your hip divided it by 4, and 7/8" added to it.
(Hip / 4) + 7/8"Measure that distance from center back line on line 1, mark point 2. Using French curve draw a side seam line. On center back line, measure skirt length from the waist seam, not line 1. Draw a line through it, perpendicular to the center back line. On line 3, mark point 4, the same distance away as point 4 is on the the front of the dress. To remind you, I added 1/2" to my final hip measurement, so
(Hip / 4) + 7/8" +1/2"Connect point 2 and 4 with a straight line. Now, measure the distance from line 1 to line 3 on center back line, and mark point 5 the same distance away from point 2 on the side seam. Using French curve, draw a new hem line by connecting point 5 with the old hem line.