Here it is, the tutorial to make your very own Harriet Scout Dress

Now this is easy-peasy, and you could probably have worked it out just by looking at the dress but if you're a visual learning like me or new to pattern hacking I hope this tutorial helps. If you have any questions please ask in the comments & I'll do my best to answer you.

For this alteration you will need:
  • Shirt front pattern piece
  • Shirt back pattern piece
  • Alteration materials (pattern tracing paper, ruler, scissors, sticky tape, pencil, etc.) 
NOTE - This tutorial is for Grainline's Scout Tee, but if you have another t-shirt pattern (that doesn't use notions), use that!

1. Dress Front
First we need to determine how much to lengthen your shirt front pattern piece. Do this by measuring from your hips to where you would like your hem to fall. Take that measurement and add a seam allowance. 

For example with my black dress, the length between my hip and hem was 52cm (~20.5"). I added a seam allowance of 3cm (1.2") (Your seam allowance can be as small or as deep as you would like). So my final measurement is 55cm (~22").

2. Find where your hip would sit on your shirt front pattern piece. Using a ruler, lengthen the pattern piece the desired amount. Congratulations - you've just created your dress front pattern piece! 

3. Bodice Back 
Mark where your waist sits on your shirt back piece. 1.5cm (⅝") below that mark, make a horizontal line which sits at a right angle to the centre back line. Cut and discard the lower half. This is now your bodice back piece. 

Note: Why 1.5cm below our waist? Because that's the seam allowance! :) 

 4. Skirt Back
The skirt back piece is a rectangle that is gathered at the waist, and can be easily drafted by drawing a rectangle. Your width measurement depends on the size of your waist and how full you want your skirt to be. I cut my rectangle 100cm (40") wide, which is pretty full for my shape. 

The length of the rectangle is how long your skirt back will be (from your waist to the hem), plus your seam allowance that attaches to the bodice (1.5cm or ⅝"), plus your seam allowance for the hem (whatever you cut for your dress front, e.g. 3cm or 1.2"). For example my measurement is 62.5cm + 1.5cm + 3cm = 67cm (~27"). 

5. Pockets
To create your pocket pattern piece, draw a rectangle that is 13cm (~5") wide and 20cm (8") tall. Round the bottom two corners using a french ruler or a round object (like the edge of a tin can or plate).

Congratulations! You have just created all of the necessary pieces for the Harriet Scout Dress. Grab your sleeve pieces and bias tape from the original pattern and put it all together. If you've already made a scout tee I'm sure you can figure out the assembly, but here's a quick run down if you don't.

NOTE - I use french seams for most of my seams. Yes, even the armholes. It's like being cuddled by your dress. 

1. Cut out your pieces (the above images doesn't include bias tape).  
2. Stitch a double row of basting stitch at the top of the skirt back piece. With right sides together, pin the skirt back to the bodice back, pulling the thread tails until the two pieces fit together. Stitch together and remove the basting thread. Finish seam as desired.

NOTE - A flat fell seam works really nicely here.

3. Sew the dress front and dress back together at the side seams and shoulder. Finish seam. 

4. Stay stitch the neckline and then add your bias binding (be sure to check out this post if you find your bias binding never sits quite flat).

5. Stitch a double row of basting stitch on your sleeve cap between the notches. Sew sleeve closed and then hem.   

6. Pin sleeve and armhole together matching armhole seam and notches. Gather excess fabric between notches by pulling on thread tails. Stitch around armhole and remove basting threads. 

7. Hem the bottom of your dress. 
8. Fold and press the top (the edge with the non-rounded corners) of each pocket piece ½cm (~¼"). Fold it again at 3.5cm (1½") and press. 

9. Top stitch to secure the fold in place. 
10. Fold and press the remaining edges ½cm (~¼") with wrong sides together. You may want to cut a few notches around the rounded corners to remove bulk and help it sit better. 

11. Pin pockets to the front of your dress. Try your dress on and make sure they are in a comfortable, accessible, and even position. 

12. Sew around the 3 edges of each pocket, making sure you don't sew the opening closed. 

And now you're done! Ta-da! That was fun, right?

If you make your own version please, please show me by leaving a link to a photo or mailing me (reanalouise [at] gmail [dot] com).

Reana Louise x

Ps. Thanks again to the super duper Harriet for being my model and inspiration!

11 love notes:

  1. SO cute!! Thanks for the tutorial.

  2. Fabulous - Thanks so much for your detailed tutorial! ;)

  3. wonderful. thanks for the tutorial - I am going to be ALL over this next spring/summer. clever lady x

  4. Thank you! It is so clear and clever. I'm trying it right away.

  5. You clever, clever lady! Thanks so much for sharing ;o)

  6. This looks fabulous! And, your step by step tute looks really easy to follow.

  7. Fun pattern hack! Thanks for sharing it with us all!!

  8. cute! i never would have thought to split the back piece like that. very clever, and perfect for those of us with a curvy backside!

  9. This is the cutest tutorial I have ever seen! Your design skills are just as amazing as your sewing skills. I only wish I had your talent. My blog is in dire need of an update!

  10. Sew cute! Thanks so much for sharing the tutorial with us! It's pinned now!

  11. Nice dress, I actually ordered a dress from a famous designer’s bridal collection as well for double the price and returned it immediately because the material felt so cheap compared to the my other one.


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