Pattern Hack | A Winter Warmer Helens Closet Reynolds Dress

Pattern Hacking | Helens Closet Reynolds Dress in pink corduroy

I have been umming and aahing for far too long when it comes to the Helen’s Closet Reynolds Dress. I honestly don’t know what took me to long. I have loved this pattern since it was released and this summer in particular have ‘thought’ about sewing it all summer long. 

We got all the way to the end of the summer here in the summer hemisphere, I finally sewed it and with a week of warm weather left to go, quickly fell in love. I knew I didn’t want to wait for the warmer weather to tick on round again and it dawned on me as a was wearing my light-linen version that it would make an amazing pinafore dress. In bright pink corduroy! 

And here she is. Except I couldn’t stop at one….

Helen describes the Reynolds dress as a summer go-to and I quite agree! The dress has a couple of views (neither short like mine) with one dress at just below the knee and another maxi lenght, both featuring a mitred side split. The pattern also has a top cut line. The Reynolds dress features wide shoulder straps, bust darts, inseam pockets, and a side slit with mitered corners at the hem. This is a pull-on-dress with no closures to sew based on the un-hacked pattern. 

When I was making my first linen version, despite having sewn mitred corners and side splits before, I just couldn’t work out the instructions. In the interest of saving my sanity, I chopped the skirt right up above the slits and made myself  a mini dress version. And actually, on my short body, I think this is actually much more flattering and gives the dress a bit more sass!

It made sense therefore that this change would roll over into the winter version I had been dreaming up. I pretty quickly sewed up my pink corduroy version…

Shocking Pink Corduroy

Pattern Hacking | Helens Closet Reynolds Dress in shocking pink corduroy

I’ve had my eye on this vibrant pink corduoroy for a while now but hadn’t been sure what to make with it. I think with it’s chunky wales and shocking shade, it’s made the perfect dress to give my winter wardrobe a jolt.

For this version of the Reynolds dress, I simply changed the fabric, kept the length short, cutting for the hem at just around the top of the side split. I sized down 1 size and  although at the time I thought I had cut it a little bit too short, I have no regrets!

One things I was quite conscious of though was the fit over my waist which I would have liked to have had a bit more shape, but I was very aware that with more shape, I wouldn’t have got it on as it was made.

So cue the next version…

I knew quite quickly after finishing the pink dress that I wanted to make another in a gorgeous peacock corduroy from the same range. I also knew that I wanted a slightly different fit and so planned to add an invisible zipper to the back. and some waist darts both front and back to bring the waist in a little and give me a way of altering the fit if my shape changed in this area.

 

Pattern Hacking | Helens Closet Reynolds Dress in peacock corduroy

This change was so very easy to make and I would completely recommend it to anyone who likes the look and wants to have a go. The back of the dress is already 2 pieces with a centre seam so cut the back facing as two pieces, adding 1 cm to the centre to give me some seam allowance and added to zipper to the centre back seam.

My darts were not made in any scientific or planned manner, Once I had the zip in, I tried the dress on and pinched out an equal amoutn on each side of my waist and on my back, With the dress off I measured the width, made these even on each side and turned them into sort-of-fish-eye darts.

The light shimmers off the fabric in the photo but the darts look much less obvious in real life. I am sure there is a proper way to do this, but if you’ve followed me for any time, you’ll know I don’t care too much for the sewing rules!

Since making these dresses they have had a lot of wear already and I can tell you that the Reynolds dress is now a very firm favourite for me. The neckline is flattering and it’s just a lovely dress to sew. Lots more hacks to come from this one when the warm weather comes around again!

 

 

Pattern Hacking | Helens Closet Reynolds Dress in corduroy
Pattern Hacking | Helens Closet Reynolds Dress in shocking pink corduroy
Pattern Hacking | Helens Closet Reynolds Dress in shocking pink corduroy
Pattern Hacking | Helens Closet Reynolds Dress in corduroy
Pattern Hacking | Helens Closet Reynolds Dress in corduroy

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1 Comment

  1. Lou-Ann

    My goodness – what a gorgeous dress. I need to try this too.

    Reply

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1 Comment

  1. Lou-Ann

    My goodness – what a gorgeous dress. I need to try this too.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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