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Banksia Variation : drop waist dress

how to make a drop waist dress from the Banksia Blouse // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design DiaryYou guys, this is my favorite Banksia eveeeeeeer. Well, I’ve only made two versions myself so far, but I don’t think it could get any better than this. A drop waist Banksia dress. Sleeveless. In bright red.  I didn’t want to take it off, it’s so fun.

We’ve shown you how to extend the Banksia top into a dress before, but adding a gathered skirt really adds a fun element.

Let’s go!

how to make a drop waist dress from the Banksia Blouse // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary how to make a drop waist dress from the Banksia Blouse // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary 1. During the Banksia sewalong, we showed you how to turn the Banksia top into a dress, and this is the same exact concept. Start by slashing your front and back bodice pieces at the ‘shorten or lengthen’ line Place paper underneath, line up the center from/back edge, and add however much you need to make it tunic length. You probably want it to land right around your bum area. Don’t forget your seam allowance! For reference, I added a total of 5 inches. Tape the two pieces in place.

Re-draw your side seams with a straight ruler, and cut.

how to make a drop waist dress from the Banksia Blouse // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary2. Next you’ll need to create a rectangular pattern piece for for the skirt portion. Again, how long depends how long you want your dress (plus seam and hem allowance), and width depends on how gathered you want it to be. I made mine 11” x 20”. When cutting out your fabric, you will cut out TWO pieces, on the fold. (or just two two 11″ x 40″ pieces of fabric.)

Sew your Banksia  top portion as directed by your booklet. 

how to make a drop waist dress from the Banksia Blouse // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

3. Once the top portion is completed, it’s time to add the skirt. Start by sewing the two rectangular pieces together at the side seams (I used french seams so it had a clean finish. Totally up to you). I also chose to hem the bottom edge next, but you can also save this until the very end.

4. Sew a long basting stitch along the upper edge of your skirt, not backstitching, and leaving long threads at the end. Pull the thread to gather.

5. Gather until your skirt matches up with the hem of the top half. Pin and stitch.

how to make a drop waist dress from the Banksia Blouse // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diaryhow to make a drop waist dress from the Banksia Blouse // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

That’s it! A drop waist Banskia dress! This same concept would apply if you wanted to make a dress with a gathered skirt at the natural waist too. For that, you would trim the top shorter instead of extend it, and just make a longer skirt.

Simple simple!

About Author

Holly writes part time for the Megan Nielsen blog– sewing like crazy, creating tutorials and sewalongs. She has been sewing since she was a little girl, and has her degree in apparel design. Now she’s a stay at home mama, and spends all her free nap times at her sewing machine.

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Kate @ KateSews /Sewing For Sanity

How cute is this dress! Love the colour too! This pattern is seriously going to the top of my “want” pile ;)

Kathryn
9 years ago

This just gave me instant flashback to one of my favourite dresses when I was a wee girl – a jersey pastel-striped, drop-waisted dress from Clothkits. and you know what? I’m tempted to try this out in jersey and recreate my childhood favourite! Thanks for the inspiration!

Flavie
9 years ago

Really cute this red dress :)

Kelly
9 years ago

So cute and fun! The color is gorgeous too.

Stephanie
9 years ago

I absolutely love this! So cute and fun. I think I’ll have to make one of these :)

Kirsty
9 years ago

Definitely going on my sewing ‘to do’.

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[…] Nielsen posted on her blog this week about the Banksia Drop Waist Dress. A fabulous pattern hack to the Banksia Top by Holly Dolly. I think I’ll definitely be giving […]