Ballet Dress Hack, sort of…


What do you do when you ought to be working on legit projects or things on a time deadline or stuff that needs to get done before your vacation next week? Naturally, you make a perfectly unnecessary top and put off the other important stuff ’til later.

I found this black, thermal knit fabric on Girl Charlee (damn you, Susan!) and immediately I knew I had to have it. I mean – BOWS! It has BOWS ON IT! BOOOOOOWWWWWWWSSSSSS!


I made this top by adapting my ballet dress pattern. I shortened the skirt and slashed and spread it to make nearly a full circle skirt and made it into a peplum. PEPLUMS AND BOWS, PEOPLE!!!


I also shortened the sleeves. Not as exciting as peplums or bows.


Then there was, um, accidental changes. For some reasonΒ  the front bodice piece from test print of another of my patterns got stuffed in my Ballet Dress envelope (ugh, I’ve got to be more organized!). It’s based on the same block but not exactly the same. I realized I used the wrong piece when I found that my front neckline was a lot wider than the back…

Another problem – that bodice was designed with a waistband so it was a bit shorter than my normal Ballet Dress bodice piece. I managed to make it work at the side seams but uh, it’s a little shorter in the front. Oops. I didn’t have enough fabric to cut another piece so I just went with it. Bows make up for all mistakes.


And I made my neck collar a little wider than the ballet dress pattern because like in my last turn at making this pattern I was using a fabric that was only stretchy in the non-printed parts. I worried I’d have the same problem as last time where the collar would get distorted if it was too narrow.


Anyway, ignoring some minor mishaps I really love this top! I can already tell I’m gonna get a lot of wear out of it. BOWS B*TCHES!!!

  • Shona Roon

    This top can do no wrong, ignore those mistakes! It looks awesome!

  • Meg

    I kind of like it shorter in the front. It looks like a play on the hi

  • Kelly

    Soooooooo super duper cute!!! I am too mesmerized by the bows to notice any mistakes πŸ˜‰

  • Cynthia Pyatt

    Super cute! My husband looked over my shoulder and thought you were me, twinsies!

  • This is just tooo cute and looks gorgeous on. The style of top really suits you and such an pretty print. You def will love it!!

  • What a pretty pattern adaptation. It’s adorable! I mean, peplums and bows!!! πŸ™‚

  • lisa g

    happily, the “mistakes” don’t look like mistakes at all! love the top, love girl charlee, love the bows!

  • I didn’t notice a single mistake. This top is so incredibly cute! You look really happy in it too.

  • haha, that’s a high compliment, thanks πŸ˜‰

  • thank ya kelly!!

  • thanks, that makes me feel a little better about it. see, it’s a happy mistake πŸ˜‰

  • thanks shona!

  • aw thanks erin. i already love it lots. πŸ™‚

  • thanks alessa!

  • haha, thanks, yeah, i’m pretty excited about those features. πŸ˜‰

  • hahaha, and you knew from the start how excited i was about this fabric!

  • thanks so much lisa!

  • aww, thanks kelly. πŸ™‚

  • LOVES! That print is too much…. I would normally not consider a thermal knit but put bows on it and you win. Everything.


    This top is so perfect Dixie! Bows and peplums…they’re all a girl needs ;o)

  • Love your top! Those bows are soo cute!

  • The ballet dress is such a cute pattern! I love this variation and the print with the bows is so cute!

  • Juliet Sews

    So cute!! Am of to investigate the ballet dress pattern of yours right now…

  • I’m liking the slightly raised front waist as well. If you ever make this ballet dress turned top, please make the same mistake please. πŸ™‚

  • SOOO cute! And a perfectly legitimate project. πŸ™‚ WOMAN — you are the one that introduced me to Girl Charlee, so it’s really All Your Fault. πŸ˜€

  • Amanda Adams

    Bows! Flounce! Peplum!
    Too much rad in one garment = awesome!

  • Ooo I love it, and the bow print make it so cute.

  • I LOVE your peplums and bows top! It’s gorgeous!

  • Amy

    Cool pattern hack! Coincidentally I’ve been hunting for some kind of waffle/thermal knit. Wish I could find it in solids, but cute little zebras might not be bad, hehe. I actually love how the peplum and waistline curve up in the front, looks really cool. It’s great how mistakes make for cool designs!