Hack the Mercer Top into a dress
Maybe it’s the warm weather or maybe it’s my new emerging style coming out of quarantine…but I’ve been all about the dress this month! The thought of putting jeans or even shorts on just sounds too constricting, but my everyday dress wardrobe was not enough to get me through the week. I’ve been wanting to hack the Mercer top into a dress for awhile, so now was a perfect time!
I used a lightweight chambray and used a DIY bleach technique for a one of a kind print.
It’s a simple hack to do…but requires a bit of measuring since we can’t always just add length to the shirt – we must consider the hip measurement. Here’s how to do it:
First, you’ll want to take your hip measurement. Measure around your hip at the fullest point. For me, this is at my lower buttocks.
Then, you’ll need to measure your pattern pieces along the lower hem (front and back) minus seam allowances. This will give us the finished hem width of the top.
This is what this looks like for me:
My hip measurement: 38″
Lower width of pattern: 37.5″
You can see that if I just added length to my pattern, it wouldn’t fit over my hip! So I need to add width to the hip area as I lengthen my pattern. I’m going to add 2″ of hip width to give me enough wearing ease. My finished width around the hip will be 39.5″.
We have a front and a back, with seams at the side. I’m going to divide my 2″ into 4 parts, which tells me I need to add 1/2″ to each of my pattern side seams.
Here’s how we add the 2″:
First, I take my extra pattern paper (make sure you have enough length) and tape a large piece to the front and back pieces.
Measure out 1/2″ past the cutting line at the lower side seam.
Next I measured down 10″ from the lower hem of the shirt pattern. That’s the length I wanted for my dress, this makes it a mid-thigh length on me….you may wish to add a bit more and then hem on your body as you like it!
Then, I connect all the lines. On the side seams, I took a gradual curve from the armseye to the hip to add the 1/2″ smoothly all the way down to the new hemline.
That’s it for the hack! If you have any questions about it, drop a comment below – happy to help. Oh, don’t forget to think about adding a pocket to your Mercer dress! I include a pocket pattern along with 7 other pattern hacks in my Hack It course.