I fell in love with the Deer Creek Tunic and Dress way back in 2016 when I tested the girl’s version. It’s cute and comfortable and so quick to sew up. Today I’m sharing a hack to get a slightly different look. A Tulip Skirt!
I traced out both the shirt tail hem and the regular dress hem to use for this hack. On the front piece, I free-handed a curve from the waist at the side seam to the bottom dress hem at the center (which is actually the edge of the pattern.)
Fold your fabric in half. I took my two yards of Modal knit and folded it in half from selvedge to selvedge. Because I wanted to increase the amount of gathers, I used almost the entire width of fabric for one piece. If you don’t want extra gathers, place the two pieces closer together.
Lay your back piece on the fabric with the center back parallel to the selvedge, but not right against the selvedge. Lay your front piece on the fabric with the center front parallel to the selvedge and closest to the back piece. I’m going to change where the two pieces meet. Instead of having two pieces that meet at the sides, I’m going to have two pieces that meet in the back (with a seam up the back) and overlap in the front, making the Tulip skirt. My waist is about 30” so I decided I wanted each of my pieces to be 40” at the top where it hits my waist. This way I should end up with more gathers than the original pattern.
After you’ve got the two pieces laid out, cut along the top edge. Place a pin in the top edge in each piece where you want the side to be.
Place a second pin the center of the “front” part of your piece. *hint* use two different colors of pins for the side seams and for the front center. Cut along the center back adding 3/8” for a seam allowance.
Now cut the bottom hem. Starting at the bottom center back, start cutting along the pattern’s curve. Then deviate from the pattern and curve up to the dress hem at the center of the front piece. Now follow the curve you free handed on the pattern piece. After you take off the pattern pieces smooth out your curve.
Cut out your front and back bodice, and neckband pieces. I was able to fit the bodice and neckband pieces (size small) from fabric that was under the curve of the skirt. Sew the bodice pieces as you normally would.
*Note* I have extended the bodice by 1.5” for a more blousy effect. Cut out the bodice pieces exactly like the pattern if you don’t want that little blousy look.
Sew the two skirt pieces together along the center back, with right sides together.
Hem the big long curve, from waist edge to waist edge. With knits, especially lightweight knits, I like to serge the edge with the differential feed set to slightly gather, then iron the serging under. The serging helps to both give the fabric a bit more weight so it feeds through the machine easier and the gathering makes ironing it under easier because it takes in the extra ease for me.
Overlap the front parts of the skirt so the center pins meet and the edges extend close to the pins marking the side seams. You can now treat those overlapped pieces as one piece. Gather all the way around the top edge of the skirt.
Turn the skirt inside out, place the bodice (right side out) inside the skirt and match up the center back of the bodice and skirt, the side seams, and the front. Distribute the gathers evenly. Continue assembling the dress according to the pattern instructions! You’ll end up with a comfortable Tulip Skirt dress that ends up feeling very similar to a high-low dress.
So comfortable and fun!