As I have been mentioning, this month is Indie Pattern Month. I had the opportunity to try out the super-cute Malvarosa dress, designed and drafted by Pauline Alice. My post below showed up on her blog last week, but just in case you missed it I wanted to share how you can make a drop waist dress petite-friendly.
I am always drawn to drop-waist dresses. Maybe I was a tall, 1920’s Flapper in a previous life, sporting the chic elongated looks that hit gracefully at the hip level. Well, in this lifetime, Flapper I am not with my 5 ft 1″/1.55m petite stature. Waistlines that hit below the natural waist tend to be hard to pull of for petites- it takes the right proportions.
The Malvarosa dress had me hook, line, and sinker. I knew I had to make it, as it is a silhouette that I gravitate towards lately and also an easy style to modify for petites. With the right heels I could pull it off as is, but I like my flats and needed to make some petite modifications.
I always start out with a muslin to get a baseline idea of what changes I may need to make. I made up the first version as per Pauline’s original dress. It turned out really cute, but a touch too long for me. So then I made the second muslin with the following alterations:
- I shortened the bottom skirt 3″/7,5cm. Since drop waists elongate the torso my philosophy is that it is best for petites to keep the hem above the knee so short legs don’t look shorter. (I went a little too short on the 2nd muslin and it was a full on show when I bent over- whoa!). Revised the skirt again and only reduced 2”/5cm in length which was a bit more modest.
- Then I reduced the bodice length 1″/2.5 cm at the armhole, both front and back to bring the armhole up.
- I shortened the midsection of the bodice 1/2″/1,25 cm
- The sleeves were a touch too long for my narrow shoulders so I shaved off 1/4″/3mm
- Now this one is just personal preference, but I raised the neckline 1/4″/3mm in the front and reduced the total neck width 1/2″/1,25cm. For me this kept the proportions of the Malvarosa same as the original, but just a bit smaller.
Alright, enough with the muslins! I cut into a printed silk that I picked up in Paris and have been saving for the perfect project, such as this. The Malvarosa dress is a great style for trim and embellishment, so I did a little beading and lace at the neck and lace at the waist seam. Voila! I have a new summer dress that I can’t wait to wear!
Regardless of your height this is an easy to sew summer dress that you can whip up in no time! If you are a taller gal and worried that the regular length will be short, you can use the same modifications as illustrated, just in reverse by adding instead of reducing.
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