Changing things up a little bit this week, and posting about one of my May Makes a little bit early. I think this might be a regular thing when I use a new (or at least new to me) pattern.
Last week, Sew Over It released their latest pattern into their collection: the Kitty Dress! The pattern was originally from one of their in-store classes in London, and you couldn’t get it unless you took the class. As I live in New York, I couldn’t exactly drop by their Islington shop over the weekend and take a sewing course! So I waited, and hoped, that the pattern would eventually make its way to the general public.
Once it finally, finally appeared, I bought it almost instantly. As a member of the PDF Club, I got the opportunity to purchase the pattern before the general republic release last Wednesday. I bought it, printed it out, and then promptly had a million other things to do besides sew a dress! I did, however, have the perfect fabric all ready to go. It was a viscose called Bubble Party, which I also got from SOI (it is unfortunately not currently in stock on their site anymore). I had originally purchased it simply because I loved it, not because I had any pattern in mind. I’m so glad I saved it!
So let’s talk about Kitty. First off, it is a shirt dress that can be made up into ten different combinations. It can be sleeveless or with short sleeves, it can have a notched collar or a shawl collar, a gathered skirt or a paneled skirt. You also have the option of doing princess seams or bust and waist darts to fit the bodice. There is almost nothing you can’t do by combining the various options of the pattern. Also, it has pockets!
For my first Kitty, I chose sleeveless, notched collar, princess seams and gathered skirt. I was incredibly happy with my finished product:
I love the narrower shoulders that give the pattern a faux halter look. After making this first one, I know I want to make many, many more of these. You may notice that my skirt doesn’t have buttons going down the front of the skirt. This is because I chose to hack the pattern a little bit and make it more like the original London class version. So instead of the buttons, I kept the skirt whole and did a side zipper instead. At the end of this post I will go into a little more detail about how I hacked it, but first I want to show off some more details:
Even with my little hack, Kitty was a breeze to sew. The instructions were clear and easy to follow. You will need to be comfortable with making collars and adding buttons and buttonholes, but if you’re an old pro at those things, you may be able to sew up this dress as fast as I did! I was determined to have it ready for the general release date, and so I spent last Tuesday evening furiously sewing. This pattern made me throw caution to the wind with my busy schedule and stay up a little bit later than I normally would!
How I Hacked the Pattern:
Hacking the Kitty into the original design was really very easy. Assuming you’re comfortable inserting a side zipper, you should have no problem with it! First off, I didn’t make any changes to the bodice at all, aside from not sewing one side completely to make room for the zipper. I attached the waistband more or less the same way the pattern tells you to, but instead of lining of the short raw edges with the center front, I lined them up with the side edges (where the side zipper would be).
The skirt is where I made the most changes, but even those were not significant. The front skirt piece is bigger than the back because of the overlap for the buttons. I just folded the placket area back and cut the front piece on the fold. I realized later that it probably would’ve worked just as well to cut two back skirt pieces on the fold. Other than that, I made no changes. I connected the skirt pieces on the side, but left the other side open for the zipper. I gathered and attached them to the waistband. Voila! One hacked Kitty Dress.
I loved the dress so much, I managed to make two in just over a week! My second one was also done in record time, and I wore it for a performance during my school’s Teachers Got Talent Show last night.
For the second one, I used a cotton lawn that I’ve had for a long time. I had been planning a jumpsuit but then decided the Kitty would show off the pattern beautifully. Really glad I took the plunge and used it.
Longtime readers already know that I am a huge, huge fan of everything SOI does, and the Kitty dress has done nothing to change that! If anything, it’s made me even a bigger fan! I am looking forward to trying out all of the other options this summer!
That being said though, my next Kitty is going to be done the exact same way as my first one. I was scrolling Pinterest the other day and saw this:
I’m definitely using Kitty to recreate my own version of it (I may or may not include the tie belt, I haven’t decided yet). I have a gorgeous red crepe purchased and on it’s way to me soon!