A good pattern hack always starts with a good pattern and the Apple Tree Pattern hooded dress is perfect in so many ways! The oversized hood is our absolute favorite and the grow with me features make it so versatile. You can buy the pattern here (affiliate link): Hooded Grow With Me Dress
This hack is so simple and I can’t promise exact measurements or pattern pieces, but I’ve had many people ask for a tutorial, so here you go!
I first took the front bodice piece and traced the pattern as a whole bodice front instead of being cut on the fold. I then took the front curve at the bottom left corner and curved it up to the right underarm. I liked it near the top for a more dramatic cross over, but the seams can get a little bulky when putting on the sleeve if you aren’t working with a serger. Cut 2, to be mirrored.
I cut out all remaining pattern pieces, hacked front bodice x 2, back bodice, sleeves, hood (and lining hood), and cuffs. I cut the band at 4.5 inches down the grain by the width of my ribbing.
From there I attached the two front bodice pieces to the back at the bottom 1.5 inches of the long side on each side. You’ll need to later cross over the bodice pieces to finish the sides, but for now you just want enough to be able to put the band at the bottom. I folded my band, pinned it and was ready to serge it on to the bodice.
When I attached the band I didn’t measure, but pulled the ribbing a bit was I went around the entire bottom (two front pieces attached to the back). I cut off the extra. The example here is a size 6-9 year and the ribbing is 110 Centimeters for reference. I didn't give measurements because it really depends on what fabric you're using for the band. I'm using ribbing here which I would stretch more than cotton lycra (it has a different recovery and stretch).
Once the band was on I found it best to turn the top inside out and cross over the two front pieces to finish sewing the sides and the shoulders. Learn from me, if there is a print placement you were going for, double check which side crosses over the front (I always get this wrong! – but happy mistakes right?!?).
I then finished the sides. I found going from the top to the bottom is most helpful and with a little practice am able to go to the bottom, but be careful with this. You can also top stitch this seam if desired.
From there you finish as per the directions on the pattern! As I said before – this pattern (and all of the Apple Tree PatternCo patterns are great, solid, patterns that make doing a hack like this easy!
You can buy the pattern here (affiliate link): Hooded Grow With Me Dress
It’s perfect for layering, especially with a tank top dress (below) – which is the SAME pattern!