Heeeeeeyyy there sewists and future hackists!
I’m sure you already got the memo, but just in case you missed it: July and August have been branded Lisa and Kimberly months by the wonderful Athina of Athina Kakou Patterns. Over the course of both months, Athina and her army of talented sewists have been showcasing the beauty of both the Lisa Dress and the Kimberly Dress. The patterns were drafted to be interchangeable, and though they are pretty awesome in their original forms, they have been the subject of several hacks throughout this promotion.
When Athina invited me to help celebrate these dresses, I immediately knew what I wanted to create… a shirtdress!!!!! It’s no secret that I lurve me a shirtdress! In my mind, they are modern, sexy and functional, the perfect combination for a mom on the go.
If you’re interested to see how I hacked the Lisa and Kimberly Dresses into one bomb-ass shirt dress, then keep reading.
*Disclaimer* I am NOT a professional seamstress. In fact, I may not be a seamstress at all as I am self-taught, and have only been sewing a little over a year. My steps may not be in keeping with “professional standards” but hey! they worked for me and at the very least, my process will get your creative juices flowing.
For my hack, I used the bodice of the Lisa dress and paired it with the Kimberly skirt. If you need to make any fit adjustments to the pattern, I’d suggest doing it BEFORE hacking it. Once you’re satisfied with your fit, then join me for this hack.
The Lisa and Kimberly dresses both are designed to fasten with a zipper at the CB. For my shirtdress I used the Lisa bodice (but you can make these changes on the Kimberly bodice as well).
Since we are changing the bodice into a button-down front, the first thing we need to do is remove the 5/8” seam allowance from the CB bodice since the back bodice will now be ‘cut on the fold’. The 5/8” seam allowance we took from the CB must then be added to the CF bodice, which will now be cut 2 main. Once the seam allowance has been added to CF, we then need to make an overlap for the buttons and buttonholes. Now, the amount needed for the overlap is dependent on and equal to the size of buttons you choose. I used 5/8” buttons, and so I added 5/8” for my overlap. If you are using bigger, or smaller buttons, adjust the overlap amount accordingly. The total amount I added to my CF piece was 1 ¼” (5/8” seam allowance and 5/8” button overlap).
These same changes must be duplicated on your lining pieces.
Since we’ve added a button extension, I decided to add a strip of interfacing to the wrong side of the CF bodice main, to add a bit more support for the buttons.
I followed Athina’s instructions for constructing the bodice and the lining pieces – sewing the darts, sewing the shoulder seam, attaching the bodice main to the lining at the neckline and armholes before pulling them through and closing the side seams. Remember though, when sewing the neckline, sew from the waistline of the CF, up to the ‘V’ neck, and pivot before going around the neck and back down the waistline on the opposite end. Clip and notch the neckline before turning. Once done with the bodice, it’s time to move on to the skirt.
I traced off the Kimberly skirt in my size. Just as with the bodice, I removed 5/8” seam allowance from the CB and cut the back skirt on the fold. I added that 5/8” seam allowance to the skirt front, as well as the 5/8” necessary for the button overlap. In total I added 1 ¼” to the skirt front.
The Kimberly skirt is unlined so I drafted a facing piece for CF. To do this, I traced off the new CF line, and extended it 3” toward the side seam of the skirt. I interfaced the facing piece, in order to add some support for the buttons and buttonholes.
Before sewing this facing piece to the skirt, I finished the inside edge of the facing with my serger. Of course, you can finish your facing with a zig zag stitch, or with bias binding.
Other than the facing piece, I followed the rest of the pattern instructions for attaching the pockets, hemming the skirt and joining the bodice to the skirt.
Once the dress has been constructed, the only thing left to do is to sew your buttonholes and buttons and voila! You’ve got yourself a Lisa/Kimberly Shirtdress!
Thank you to Athina Kakou for choosing me to help her celebrate two wonderful patterns and for allowing me to make a guest appearance on her blog. Thank you guys for reading and I hope this was helpful and inspiring!
Waist 33.5” (on a good day)