Jennifer Lauren Handmade - The 'Gable' Top to Dress Pattern Hack!

by - 8/31/2016

My finished 'Gable' dress!

I started this make pretty much as soon as I finished my original 'Gable' top, a fabulous new pattern from indie designer Jennifer Lauren Handmade. You can see the post all about the top HERE.

I originally ordered this polka dot jersey for the top version, but I was impatient and did some stealthy cutting out of some striped jersey from my stash. Then on the day I finished my top, this gorgeous polka dot jersey arrived in the post and I couldn't resist.

I can't resist a polka dot!

I'm a sucker for a comfortable jersey dress and I decided adding a simple gathered skirt to the t shirt version of the 'Gable' top pattern would make for a fabulous everyday, but also smart sometimes, dress. Of which I also hoped would be simple to make because I was feeling especially lazy...

Que awkward hand pose...

Again, I just love the neck line of the pattern. A vintage style slash neck, with some interesting stitching detail. It makes a nice change to the usual top stitched round neck jersey patterns.

Since I made the 'Gable' top, I must have worn in every few days! So I'll definitely be making more. I'm really happy with the outcome of my dress too, and I think it'll be great with tights and boots in the winter.

So, to hack the 'Gable' top in to a dress, I turned to my Tilly and the Buttons self drafted skirt pattern. I've previously used this skirt pattern for my Tilly and the Buttons 'Lilou' Dress which you can see HERE. It's the easiest skirt to make ever and would definitely recommend drafting it as it's a great pattern to have in your arsenal.

Sew your dress following the instructions up until sewing up the side seams. Then it's hack time!

Step 1:

Draft skirt and gather front and back panels.

Step 2:

Sew the front panel of the skirt to the front of the t shirt (like you would for any dress). Repeat for the back panel.

Step 3:

Turn inside out and sew both side seams from the sleeve cuffs, joining up the underarms, waist and finally the long skirt side seams. Pivoting at the underarm corner as the pattern instructions say to.

Step 4:

Hem the skirt and tada!

Pattern: hacked!

One thing I'd like to point out is that this dress is loose fitting. Whilst the fabric is stretchy, the waist seam is not. I took the pattern in at the waist but was careful to not take it in too much to allow me to get it on over my head (but mainly my boobs!). Alternatively, you could sew an elastic channel into the waist or some kind of fastening, like a zip.

Sewing Summary:

Pattern: Jennifer Lauren Handmade 'Gable' Top Pattern PDF - £10.40 

Fabric: 2ish metres of jersey

Notions: I used satin ribbon for the shoulder seams.

Sewing time: An hour and a bit.

Modifications: I shortened the bodice to my waist point to attach the skirt pattern. Further detail above.

Fit: Just what I wanted.

Difficulty: Easy-peasy.

Watch out for: Getting the gathers even in the skirt and make sure you stitch the waist seam a couple of times to secure it as the jersey fabric can be heavy and pull the top down.

Make again?: I want to make 100!

Serving accidental 80s in this photo!

Overall, I'm really happy with my finished dress. Easy to sew, quick to make and super comfortable to wear - my kind of make! It even saw me on a 4 hour car journey to London and back on a super hot day (that's 4 hours there AND another 4 hours back uhh!).

Let me know if you give this pattern hack a go!

Thanks for reading, pinups.

The top pattern was supplied to me free of charge by Jennifer Lauren for purposes of review. All thoughts & opinions are my own.

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  1. That's such a gorgeous dress! I think I like it more as a dress than a shirt. It looks like it fits you perfectly and is one of those great fancy looking outfits which feel like comfy pjs.