We have a fun Eucalypt variation tutorial for you today – a gathered waist hack! You can make a babydoll dress, maxi dress, peplum top, or anything you can think of! This is my favourite Eucalypt hack, and such an easy one to do. Just crop the bodice and add some gathered rectangles for the skirt. Done and done! So simple!
Still need some help, though? Don’t worry, I’m going to walk you through every single step to help you make one of your own.
On the front pattern piece, mark along the side seam where you want the top to meet the gathered skirt or peplum. You could make it right at your natural waist, or maybe below your navel closer to your hip for a drop-waist look, or even above your natural waist/below your bust for a babydoll or maternity dress!
To figure this out, I simply held the pattern up to my body and put my finger at the spot I liked.
Using an L ruler (or regular ruler if you don’t have one), square out a line from the centre front, extending over to your mark on the side seam. You are connecting to your side seam mark, but you want to keep the line perpendicular to the centre front.
Now draw a parallel line 5/8″ below that for your seam allowance.
Cut along that second (dotted) line. The top half is your new Front Bodice Pattern.
Place your back bodice pattern down upside down and line up the side seam with the front side seam starting at the underarm. Mark the spot where the front bodice ends.
Again, square out a line from the centre front, extending over to your mark on the side seam. You are connecting to your side seam mark, but you want to keep the line perpendicular to the centre front.
Cut out along that line, and now you have your new front and back bodice patterns.
For the skirt or peplum pattern, you will literally need two rectangles.
For the width, measure the bottom edge of one of your new bodice patterns and multiple that by 4.
Length is up to you. Just remember to add 1 5/8″ to your desired length (5/8″ seam allowance and 1″ for the hem. For example – for my dress with the seam just below my natural waist, I went with 23 5/8″ for the skirt for this knee length dress. I also made a peplum (see the last photo in this post) where I cut the length of the rectangle to only 8 5/8″”.
Construct the top half of your dress or peplum top following the instructions exactly, right up until the hem. Sew the side and shoulder seams, and attach your bias facing or binding.
Mark the centre front and centre back on your bodice.
Put your two rectangles together with right sides together, lining up the side raw edges. Sew together, 5/8″ from the raw edges, and finish the raw edges with your preferred method. (If you used french seams for your bodice like in the instructions, you can also do french seams here as well!)
Mark the centre front and centre back on the upper edge of your skirt/peplum.
Set your machine to a long straight stitch, and sew two rows of gathering stitches along the top edge, leaving long threads at each end. The first one is 5/8″ from the raw edge, and another 1/4″ in from that. Stitch from side seam to side seam, for both the front and the back separately.
With right sides together, slide the bodice inside the skirt (upside down), until the waist edges line up. Again the right sides of the fabrics should be facing each other. Match up the side seams, centre fronts, and centre backs, pinning at those spots.
Starting at one side seam, gently pull on the thread tails and use your fingers to move and gather up the fabric up until the centre mark pin. Gather until the section lines up with the bodice, and pin it in place.
Do the same thing from the other side.
And then again with the other two sections, until the entire skirt is gathered, matched up to the bodice waistline, and pinned.
Sew together 5/8″ from the raw edge, and finish the raw edge with your preferred method. Press the seam up towards the bodice.
Finish the hem by pressing under 1/2″, and then again another 1/2″ to enclose the raw edge. Stitch close to the inner edge.
And here is a peplum top version, created exactly the same way, just with a shorter rectangle.
LOOKING FOR MORE EUCALYPT POSTS?
- Inspiration and ideas for the Eucalypt top & dress
- Blogger Round Up
- How to Sew French Seams
- Six Seam Finishes (and when to use them)
- How to Make Bias Tape
- 3 Ways to Sew a Rolled Hem
- Raising the Eucalypt Armsyce
- Eucalypt Variation: Faux Leather Collar and Patch Pockets
- Eucalypt Variation: Colourblocked Button Front
- Three Ways to Sew a Bias Facing Neckline
- Eucalypt Variation: How to Sew a Gathered Waist Variation (this post!)