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Hack attack with Heather

Updated: Jun 3, 2021

I do enjoy blending patterns together to make my own personalized style. Hacking a pattern can be just a simple change like a pocket, sleeve or collar to suit your needs or body type.

The pattern I am going to hack is the Kaste Cocktail Dress Pattern from the book "Breaking The Pattern" by Laura and Saara Huhta of the company Named Clothing.

I love the bodice of this dress but don't like the fitted skirt for me, mainly due to living in a warm climate I like a looser skirt. My plan is to add a gathered skirt under the bodice to make a curved empire waist with small gathers.

Looking at the line drawing, I have 2 options:

a) Cut the skirt in corresponding lengths to the shape of the bodice which would make a straight edged hem

b) cut rectangles for the skirt which would give a wavy hem adding some interest.

I'm going to go with b) as I think this will be a nice effect.

The Kaste dress on the model has been made from a medium weight cotton as there is structure in the style. I am after a much softer look so have chosen a soft rayon that has a good drape and plenty of movement. I already had the pretty daisy rayon in my stash and as I only have 2 metres so will make a tunic length that can be worn with trousers.

I only needed to use the top part of the pattern, so traced out all the bodice pieces and cut out those and 1 larger rectangle for the front and 2 smaller for the back. There is a zip closure at the back, so the skirt at the back had to be joined with a seam.


Use spray starch on the edges of your cut out pattern pieces on soft floaty fabrics. It certainly temporarily stops a lot of movement whilst sewing.

I overlocked the seam edges of the bodice pieces and then joined the pieces together

Four pieces make up the front of the bodice.

A princess seam line and darts were added at the base of the bodice to add shape.

Back and front stitched together and then a facing added using the all in one method

The front facing is sewn around the armholes and neckline.

The back facing also sewn around the arms and neck and once the zip was added it was hand stitched to the zip. The sides of the bodice were then sewn together.

Once the skirt had been added the zip was put in and a hook and eye added at the top of the zip

This is the dress before doing the hem.

I made a small double folded hem all around the base.

I'm really happy with the flow of the dress.

I did have some fitting issues with the bodice that took a few attempts to get right. I wasn't too keen to make a sleeveless version at first but as I was limited with the amount of fabric I had there wasn't an option.

I actually like it now.

Quite a flattering shape on the empire waist.

I will be wear this tunic for casual days or on holiday.

I will make this again and next time try with a short added on sleeve, pockets and make even smaller gathers, or possible, use the dress pattern skirt to fit at the bodice but then flare out cut on the bias.

Plenty of options here.

I hope this review makes you want to hack a pattern too.

Dare to be different is a saying I love.

Thanks for reading!!

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