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After all the sewing I have been doing for my kids with Project Run and Play, I decided it was time for a little selfish sewing. I’ve had my eye on the Valencia by New Horizons Designs (aff) ever since it released, but never had the opportunity to snag it and sew it up. Now that I found myself with some extra time, combined with the need for something fun for an overdue date night, I decided to give it a go… with a bit of a twist. Here’s how I hacked the Valencia into a stunning faux wrap dress.
Before cutting out my final pieces I graded my sizes based on the instructions included in the pattern. The final look required a few more alterations, but by grading before I cut fabrics I gave myself a head start on achieving my desired fit.
After my pattern pieces were graded, I laid them out on my fabric. I used this soft, navy stretch velvet from Aurora Designs Fabrics (aff). It had the perfect amount of stretch to fit the pattern, and the color and texture added to the luxuriousness I feel when wearing it.
To transform this top pattern into a dress, I used an existing body con dress I had in my closet to help me extend my pieces to a dress length. Be sure to add in seam and hem allowances when tracing an existing piece.
The front was pretty simple, but the back pieces required a little figuring out due to the gathers on one side. I used the body con dress to match the length of the front on the side where they would meet. Then for the gathered side I followed the pattern piece and then went straight down to match the hem length. (If I do this again I would probably angle this cut out and add a little more flare to the angle which will help the crossover pieces not pull the side seams to the back – I’ll explain why that’s important in a min…)
Here you can see I used the lengthened front piece as a guide for the side seam of my crossover back pieces to ensure the hemlines met up properly.
After all my pieces were lengthened and cut, I assembled the pattern per the instructions. I used a basting stitch to gather the sides of the crossover pieces and then put it on my mannequin to see where I wanted them to sit and how gathered it should be. I then basted the side seams together and tried it on for a fitting.
As you can probably see by now, my crossover doesn’t quite match up with the original pattern. When I had this hack planned out, I intended to keep the crossover in back as per the original. Unfortunately because of how I angled my cut following the pattern piece for the gathered side it caused the crossover back to pull the side seams to the back, which didn’t flatter me quite as well as I’d hoped. But as Bob Ross says, “We don’t make mistakes. Just happy little accidents.”
In a moment of curiosity I flipped the dress around and had the crossover in the front… then bam! It was love. Now that the orientation was set, I decided I wanted the top of the dress to be a little more fitted. So I pinned the seams to my desired fit, then I messed with the gathers a little to make sure they all fell the way I wanted. Finally I was able to sew up my side seams and put the finishing touches on this piece.
Here is my finished look!
I’m all set and ready for date night!
I’d love to hear what you think and if you’re interested in trying this hack for yourself. Let me know in the comments below! Also, check out another New Horizons make I did earlier this year here.
Until next time, happy crafting!