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MN2101 Eucalypt / MN4101 Mini Eucalypt / Sewalongs

Eucalypt Tutorial // how to sew a gathered waist variation

How to sew a gathered waist variation of the Eucalypt dress and op by Megan Nielsen patterns

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 favorite 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.

how to sew a gathered waist version of the Eucalypt tank and dress by Megan Nielsen PatternsOn 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 naval 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.

how to sew a gathered waist version of the Eucalypt tank and dress by Megan Nielsen PatternsUsing a L ruler (or regular ruler if you don’t have one), square out a line from the center 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 the center front.

how to sew a gathered waist version of the Eucalypt tank and dress by Megan Nielsen PatternsNow draw a parallel line 5/8″ below that for your seam allowance.

how to sew a gathered waist version of the Eucalypt tank and dress by Megan Nielsen PatternsCut along that second (dotted) line. The top half is your new Front Bodice Pattern.

how to sew a gathered waist version of the Eucalypt tank and dress by Megan Nielsen PatternsPlace 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.

how to sew a gathered waist version of the Eucalypt tank and dress by Megan Nielsen PatternsAgain, square out a line from the center 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 the center front.

how to sew a gathered waist version of the Eucalypt tank and dress by Megan Nielsen PatternsCut out along that line, and now you have your new front and back bodice patterns.

how to sew a gathered waist version of the Eucalypt tank and dress by Megan Nielsen Patternshow to sew a gathered waist version of the Eucalypt tank and dress by Megan Nielsen PatternsFor 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 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 only 8 5/8″”.

how to sew a gathered waist version of the Eucalypt tank and dress by Megan Nielsen PatternsConstruct 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.

how to sew a gathered waist version of the Eucalypt tank and dress by Megan Nielsen PatternsMark the center front and center back on your bodice.

how to sew a gathered waist version of the Eucalypt tank and dress by Megan Nielsen Patternshow to sew a gathered waist version of the Eucalypt tank and dress by Megan Nielsen PatternsPut your two rectangles together with right sides together, lining up the side raw edges. Sew together, 5/8″ from thew 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!)

how to sew a gathered waist version of the Eucalypt tank and dress by Megan Nielsen PatternsMark the center front and center back on the upper edge of your skirt/peplum.

how to sew a gathered waist version of the Eucalypt tank and dress by Megan Nielsen Patterns how to sew a gathered waist version of the Eucalypt tank and dress by Megan Nielsen PatternsSet 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 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.

how to sew a gathered waist version of the Eucalypt tank and dress by Megan Nielsen Patterns how to sew a gathered waist version of the Eucalypt tank and dress by Megan Nielsen PatternsWith 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, center fronts, and center backs, pinning at those spots.

how to sew a gathered waist version of the Eucalypt tank and dress by Megan Nielsen PatternsStarting at one side seam, gently pull on the thread tails  and use your fingers to move and gather up the fabric up until the center mark pin. Gather until the section lines up with the bodice, and pin in place.

how to sew a gathered waist version of the Eucalypt tank and dress by Megan Nielsen PatternsDo the same thing from the other side.

how to sew a gathered waist version of the Eucalypt tank and dress by Megan Nielsen PatternsAnd then again with the other two sections, until the entire skirt is gathered, matched up to the bodice waistline, and pinned.

how to sew a gathered waist version of the Eucalypt tank and dress by Megan Nielsen PatternsSew together 5/8″ from the raw edge, and finish the raw edge with your preferred method. Press the seam up towards the bodice.

how to sew a gathered waist version of the Eucalypt tank and dress by Megan Nielsen PatternsFinish the hem by pressing under 1/2″, and then again another 1/2″ to enclose the raw edge. Stitch close to the inner edge.

how to sew a gathered waist version of the Eucalypt tank and dress by Megan Nielsen Patterns

Voila!

how to sew a gathered waist version of the Eucalypt tank and dress by Megan Nielsen PatternsAnd here is a peplum top version, created exactly the same way, just with a shorter rectangle.

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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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