Today I’m sharing a different take on the Ballard Top pattern from Straight Stitch Designs. Kimberly is celebrating Straight Stitch Designs’ one year anniversary, and is having a fun Remix the Stitch tour to go along with it! Kimberly is a fellow Seattle-ite, and I’m lucky enough to call her a have gotten to hang out with her a couple of times, and I can tell you that she is just as great as her patterns are. Oh, and there’s a fun giveaway at the end of this post!
I’ve been wanting some new dresses for fall, and decided to turn the Ballard Top into one of those dresses. I had the perfect fabrics picked out from my stash (you may have seen a pic of them on Instagram), but unfortunately I made a cutting error on the black and white herringbone fabric that I was so excited to use for the skirt portion, and had to change my plan. Luckily, I happened to have another herringbone fabric in my stash (when you’re addicted to making Schoolboy Vests one can never have too much herringbone on hand), and although I’m still disappointed about the black and white, I do love the navy blue with the mustard yellow.
The mustard came from the L.A. Fashion district, and I also used it recently this skirt. I guess it’s just meant to be paired with navy :). The navy was ordered from Fabric.com a little over a year ago.
To turn the Ballard Top into a dress, I knew I wanted a closer fitting bodice than the pattern intends. I sized down, basing my size off of the finished measurements rather than my body measurements.
I also obviously shortened the bodice, adding enough seam allowance so that I could make a casing with it (I used the same method as in this dress that I recently made). I love to keep a roll of elastic (affiliate link) on hands at all times so I never have to run to the store. Nothing better than shopping from your own stash, and buying elastic by the roll is one of my favorite ways to save money while sewing – you’ll spend a fraction of the cost you’d spend per yard buying in small packages.
After a little guesswork (the mustard fabric is seriously unpredictable stretch-wise), I cut the back on a fold instead of as two pieces that normally create the open back.
Because of the large amount of stretch in the knit and the weight of the herringbone suiting, I made sure to use clear elastic in the neckline and shoulder seams. If you’ve never used clear elastic before, you should definitely try it! I love the security it gives to a seam.
I have to say that this is probably one of the most comfortable dresses I’ve made for myself. I love the soft knit in the bodice, and the stability of the woven skirt. I’d love to make a similar style in a maxi length next!
Be sure to follow along with the rest of the tour, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway below – there are some reeaaalllly great prizes!