Not long after I made my first ‘Henry Skirt’ hack. I wanted to make a gift, I had a few pieces left over, but not enough for a dress, so the idea of the skirt was hatched. My dresses were a hit, but I wasn’t sure about the skirt.
Do pattern designers mind when you hack up a pattern that they have spent months working on? Is this politically correct?
I have worked with many creatives over the years in advertising and design so I know that messing with creative can be a tricky business. But I bit the bullet and sent it to Erin, she hi5’d me and posted it on her Facebook page. She loved it, so much it seemed, that she asked me to write a little ‘how to’ tutorial.
How could I refuse, you know I love all things Henry!
It’s very easy to do, especially if you love the aesthetic of the dress but don’t have quite enough fabric or if you are a newbie and are a little nervous about neck facing and setting in sleeves. So, let’s get started…
PREP THE PATTERN:
Prepare the Henry Dress pattern pdf as per instructions. We will be using pieces 1 – 6 only. I am cutting a size 4, but this hack works with all sizes.
The best way to draw up the skirt hack, I find, is to grab a coloured marker (I used red) and mark up the skirt onto your dress pattern. Before I do this, I want you to know that I experiment as I have no conventional training. Newbies will thank me as I speak their language, experienced sewers will probably raise the odd eyebrow.
Trace off the POCKET (6) and POCKET FACING (5), no alterations are needed here.
Finally, you’ll need to draw a WAISTBAND pattern piece, we will be inserting a 1 inch elastic into the casing, but of course you can use any size elastic, just change the formula to fit! Measure the waistline (drawn in red) on pieces 1, 2, 3 & 4, the measurements are marked in green (based on size 4).
Photo top left – FRONT = 2½ inches x 2 (note: it’s on the fold!) = 5 inches, then remove seam allowance (½ an inch off the 2 edges) = 4 inches
Photo top right – BACK = 2½ inches x 2 (note: it’s on the fold!) = 5 inches, then remove seam allowance (½ an inch off the 2 edges) = 4 inches
Photo bottom left – SIDE FRONT = 5½ inches x 2 (note: left & right sides!) = 11 inches, then remove seam allowance (½ an inch off the 4 edges) = 9 inches
Photo bottom right – SIDE BACK = 5½ inches x 2 (note: left & right sides!) = 11 inches, then remove seam allowance (½ an inch off the 4 edges) = 9 inches
Add them all together – 4+4+9+9 = 26 inches, now add back in a ½ inch seam allowance on each edge (there are 2 edges) = 27 inches
The waistband depth is 3 inches (1 inch for each side of the casing and an extra ½ inch on each edge (there are 2 edges) for seam allowance)
The pattern piece should be 27 inches x 3 inches. Draw this out to create a pattern piece.
This pattern works really well with pretty much any cotton fabric. I have made the skirt in both heavy and light fabrics and they both work, but I do think a bit of weight helps the drape. So for the main body of the skirt, I am using an old faithful! This is a medium weight cotton drill in sea green, found in the charity shop for a dollar a metre. This skirt will be my fourth and final project from this fabric, it has worked as a pair of adventure pants, a gilet and a pair of parsley pants!
I am more excited about the pocket fabric though. This is a bag I have had for a while, a little retro piece gifted to me from my sister. While it’s cute, it’s very small and not user friendly but as pockets it will work a treat!
It’s made of sturdy stuff, it’s a heavy cotton drill, in the most beautiful shades of green and blue. I have already patched my jeans in it.
Get your Henry Dress instructions at the ready! Lay out your pattern pieces as per page 2, pin & cut.
As Erin at Brooklyn Pattern Company is a complete gem, she is offering a Henry Dress pattern to one of my lucky readers. So, not only could you own my favourite girls dress pattern, you can also make the skirt hack too. Eeek!
All you have to do is tell me “Who’s your favourite Henry?” in the comments section below and Erin will choose a winner on 1st December.