I loved the look of this beautiful John Kaldor Floral Print Slinky Satin Dress Fabric as soon as I saw it, mainly because I loved the yellow and black print, but when it arrived, I have to admit, it was a little more silky and sheer than I had imagined so for a little while it sat in my stash until inspiration for the right project arrived.
If you’re on Instagram, I’m sure it didn’t escape your notice that August was Ogden Cami month and as more beautiful versions of this pattern appeared in my feed along with some lovely dress hacks it suddenly hit me that maybe this beautifully drapey silk fabric would make a perfect dress hack of the Ogden pattern.
If you aren’t already aware, the Ogden Cami is a pattern by True Bias. It’s a beautifully simple camisole top pattern which is the perfect scrap buster as it takes so little fabric. I’ve made around four versions of the cami top straight from the pattern but I’d not yet tried to hack it in any way.
So I decided that, with this fabric, I would try a dress hack of the Ogden Cami by shortening the bodice pattern to very high waist and adding a gathered skirt. To do this I folded up the bodice pattern to the lengthen/shorten line on the pattern which happened to be the length I wanted to waist to be. I cut out two of each bodice piece so that I would have a main piece and a lining.
I knew that I would prefer a midi length dress rather than a mini because I much prefer that style at the moment and also I think a midi length makes a dress that little bit more ‘dressy’ and this fabric is suited to a more dressy style in my opinion because it’s so silky.
Originally I was just going to draft my own rectangular skirt pattern based on a measurement of 1.5 times the bodice width and then the length I required but then, to save myself the hassle of drawing that all out, I decided I may as well borrow a skirt pattern I already have and lengthen it. So, I decided to use the skirt of my Megan Nielson Sudley Dress pattern – another pattern which I absolutely love – and extend the length of the pattern to a midi length which on me was around 12cm. I also decided that I would add some waist ties in order to bring the dress in at the waist a bit more.
If I’d had enough fabric I perhaps would have lined the skirt as the fabric is sheer but I didn’t so decided that I would just wear a half slip underneath to solve that problem.
As usual I cut out my fabric using my rotary cutter and cutting mat but it’s worth noting how slippery the fabric was to cut out so I placed lots of pattern weights all over it in order to stop it slipping out of place and off of the table.
I was a little bit worried about how the fabric would sew but it was absolutely fine, it sewed and overlocked beautifully but I did make sure that I used a new 70 point needle for this fine fabric.
I constructed the bodice as per the instructions but when it came to the straps I shortened them by 1cm each in order to bring the neckline up slightly as I do find this pattern to be quite low cut for me.
Since the fabric did fray quite a lot I made sure to overlock all the edges I possibly could to extend the life of the garment more and protect it when washing etc. When it came to the bottom of the bodice I overlocked the two edges of the hem together so that when it came to attaching my skirt piece I was handling them as one piece rather than working with them as a top and lining.
The skirt piece is attached at the sides and gathered at the top and then attached to the bodice. Before gathering I, again, overlocked my top edges so as to prevent as much fraying as I could.
For the waist ties, I also used the pattern piece from my Sudley dress pattern that is usually used for the neck ties of the dress but I cut the pattern on the fold to give me some longer ties. These I turned through with my hemline loop turner. The straps turned surprisingly easily using this tool which I was relieved about because turning straps is one of my worst sewing jobs to do.
I had initially planned to attach my waist ties into my skirt but while making them up I decided it might be nicer to join them together and have them as a detachable belt – so that’s what I did in then end and I’m so pleased I went with this option because I love the dress both cinched in and loose.
The length of the dress was pretty much perfect as it was so I levelled out the hem, overlocked it and turned up a teeny tiny amount so as not to loose much of the skirt.
I absolutely love how this dress turned out, the weight of this fabric is perfect for a gathered skirt as it drapes beautifully. The silkiness of it also makes it feel very luxurious and I feel that it could be dressed up with heels or just as easily worn with flats in summer for a cool, relaxed look.
I highly recommend this fabric from Minerva, it’s lovely to work with as long as you take those extra care steps such as cutting carefully, using a new needle and overlocking where ever you can. It would make a beautiful blouse or top too in my opinion.
I hope you like how my dress turned out – I think there will be many more Ogden Cami hacks coming next summer.
Thank you for reading – until next time!
If you’re interested, I have a sew-along video on my YouTube channel of me making this dress so if you’d like to see if come together ‘in person’ you can view that below 🙂