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Laura’s Sicily Slip Dress Hack

With some clever construction Laura used her shimmer viscose in the Mini Box to make a Sicily Slip Dress hack by Masin Patterns

Anyone else get a hit of 90’s / early 2000’s nostalgia when they saw the classic/mini fabric this month? For me it takes me right back to being a kid and being in my favourite ever party dress:

burgundy taffeta, puffball sleeves and roses along the sash. I know. It sounds horrific when I describe it out loud. But I loved it. So, I couldn’t not make a garment that was party ready!

Given I only had 1 meter, a cami was going to be my best bet. I obviously wanted to make the most of that amazing colour-changing mermaid-esque sheen, so decided on a bias-cut garment and I settled on the Sicily Slip Dress from Swiss pattern designer, Masin. I just fell for that gorgeous cowl neck.

The pattern comes as two versions, both dresses, with a differing strap situation: one with skinny straps, and the other wider all-in-one. The pattern recommends first making the version with skinny straps before tackling the all-in-one version once you are more confident with bias cut sewing. So, I heeded the advice and went with the skinny straps.

To hack this into a top, I simply measured on my body how long I want the top to be and translated that to the pattern pieces. I wanted it to be long enough so I could wear it out and tucked in without bunching. I think it came to about 18 inches from the neckline.

I was extremely grateful for the “Bias-Cut Sewing Guide” that is included in the pattern instructions. It had lots of really useful information to get the best results; I liked that it explained not just what to do, but why you are doing it, so you feel like you really learned something.

When it came to cutting out, unfortunately, I didn’t quite realise how big the front piece was going to be as it includes the facing as one long piece. After trying every which way to get them to fit, I had to admit defeat.

I chopped off at the facing fold line that is indicated on the pattern and cut them separately (adding on appropriate seam allowance). I made sure that the direction of the bias was the same to ensure minimal disruption. Thankfully it’s almost invisible on the finished garment as it’s right where the cowl neck drapes around.

One of the pattern tips was to cut your front and back pieces perpendicular to each other (so they are on the opposite bias line). This makes the top hang nicely on your body without it pulling to one side.

Once you have it cut out, the difficult part is over. The sewing itself is an absolute breeze. I thought the cowl neck was going to be difficult, but there is nothing to it, it’s just how the fabric falls thanks to the bias cut.

When it came to the straps… low and behold, I couldn’t for the life of me find my elusive loop turner. The tool that you hardly ever use until you need it and can’t find it! This made the process extremely tricky, almost impossible. About an hour later and having to cut them out a further 3 times after they got too frayed, I finally got them out. So, make sure that you’ve got yours before starting!

After letting it hang for a day or two and levelling off the hem, I was thrilled to be able to finish it off. I pulled the lazy sewist card again and opted for a rolled hem using my overlocker rather than face my nemesis: the narrow-rolled hem foot!

Obviously, it looks great on its own, but I also paired it here with a simple thin jumper underneath which takes it to a more “everyday” look which I love. I’m looking forward to seeing what else I can pair it with!