Pattern Review · Sewing · Uncategorized

Hacking the Brunch in Paris Dress

This isn’t a ‘oh look at the lovely hack I did to make a different garment’ post. This is a ‘look at the hack job I did, that through magic and luck is actually wearable’.

I downloaded Love Sewing Magazine’s Brunch in Paris Dress it has a cowl neckline that I liked. I planned to make a top out of it. I eliminated the skirt, added some length and removed the darts on the front but kept the top two on the back. I didn’t need this top to be very fitted and it meant that I didn’t need a zip closure. I picked out some lovely poly fabric that has a lovely drape to it and feels very soft. This isn’t really a review of the pattern as I didn’t really follow it, but what I did follow is good and I believe that the pattern is well drafted. I would recommend it.


Bias cut fabrics are something that I have worked with before but I really want to improve on this. The front is cut on the bias and the back isn’t. I followed the instructions about not cutting the bias on the fold, but I didn’t draft a facing. I don’t like facings and decided to use a bias facing instead, in hindsight I should have followed this instruction.

So, I began, I cut out, sewed the darts sewed the side seams and pressed then I tried it on, just look!

Tried on at this length it barely hit my belly button. I am not a crop top person!

Clearly I didn’t add enough length! It was still long enough to wear tucked into a high-waisted skirt so I decided to power through and finish off the project, and planned to had a slip/lining thing later. I thought about it further and realised that the distance between the two pieces would just look odd, so I decided to make the first part into a very short lining, more of a long facing really.


I added length to the pieces (too much, next time it’ll be Goldilocks worthy!) and sewed it up as before. Despite a couple of mistakes like sewing the french seams on the outside I finally attached the two pieces at the neckline. This part made me so proud: they matched up perfectly. I had made no mistakes with the bias cut fabric! This means I can cross off bias cut fabrics from my list, as now I’m confident if I’m careful enough I can use them! Achievement unlocked!

I finished the armhole with bias binding as a facing. I could have used the ‘lining’ as an all in one facing, but for some reason doing that confuses me. Last time I attempted it I ended up in knots. I’d never finished an armhole like this before but I’d no issues.

A problem I had was that I didn’t account for my hips in the drafting so the fabric gathers at the back. A reoccurring issue I have is the armhole being to tight. Is this a sign of a needing a FBA? I didn’t do one and the dress doesn’t strain across the chest but it does pinch slightly at the arms. Does anyone know the reason for this? Luckily when I wore the top it was comfortable so this wasn’t an issue, but I’d like to correct it for the future.


At the back you can sort of see the how the fabric gatherers because there isn’t room for it to go over my hips.

I hemmed the bottom by hand. This might be really obvious to some but to me it was revolutionary. When pinning fabric to be hemmed I pin it to my ironing board cover then pressed it, this makes it really easy to manipulate. I apologise if that’s painfully clear, but it made my life so much easier!

Tucked into a skirt the problem at the back is less clear.

Someday I’ll write a post that won’t have ‘disaster’ as a tag, but until then I’ll continue to churn out less than perfect projects that I like and enjoy wearing. I loved this fabric which is why I powered through despite the difficulties, and I’m glad I did, not just for the final project for what I learned. I actually learned so much that I’ll put it in list format!

  • Follow instructions and draft facings for cowl necks
  • When cutting on the bias don’t do it on the fold.
  • When adding length add enough (!) and make it slightly wider at the bottom for hips
  • I can use bias cut fabrics I just need to be careful
  • My walking foot is my savior
  • When I find cheap and pretty polyester that feels nice I MUST buy all of it!

So while disaster is still a tag, ‘failure’ is not!