Esma Top Hacked to Dress

Tuesday, March 31, 2020


Most days during this shelter in place situation, I am dressed in my workout gear which is great for ensuring I get my workouts in. Some days it does seem to improve my mood when I put on makeup and fix my hair though. Finishing this Esma Top to dress hack was a great excuse to dress up even for a couple hours. The Esma Top by Blank Slate Patterns is great basic, easy fit pattern to have in your stash.


Check out the original Esma top makes here. I hacked the Esma top into a dress once already simply by adding length. This time I opted for more of a babydoll dress look with a gathered skirt. 


I wanted this dress to be a bit higher waisted, so I determined the bodice length from top of shoulder to 1" above my natural waist would be 17" including seam allowances (1/2" at shoulder and 1/2" at waist). I simply cut the top front and back pattern piece off with a straight line to create the new bodice pattern piece. 


Next, I determined the length and width of the skirt rectangles. I wanted the finished dress to be 36" long, so I started with 36" + 1" shoulder seam allowance + 1/2" hem allowance = 37.5". From there 37.5" - 17" bodice length = 20.5". Add in the seam allowance at the waist for 20.5" + 1" = 21.5". My skirt height needed to be 21.5". For the skirt width, I measured the flat width of the bodice. For a flat width of 19", use 19" + 1" seam allowance = 20". To allow for gathers I used 1.5 times this width, so 20" x 1.5 = 30". To complete the dress, I cut two rectangles 21.5"h x 30"w, stitched the side seams RST to create a tube, gathered the top of the tube, and attached it to the bodice. The final step was creating a 1/4" hem.

This is such a simple way to create a v-neck babydoll dress, since the most difficult part, the bodice fitting, is already done for you. When you have a great base like the Esma Top, the pattern hacks are endless. I used a linen from Joann's that I purchased last summer. I'd love to see this dress style in rayon challis too.

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