Ogden Tier Dress Hack

Allow me to parade for you in this high level of swooshy-ness with a twirl enticing dress! I made this Ogden hack early in the summer.

I briefly aimed to post about it in August, as True Bias declared it Ogden month so I thought I would grab the opportunity to be accidentally in stride with an Organised Thing in the sewing community at the eleventh hour. However, I have been somewhat lacking in enthusiasm to be massively present in any of my online spaces, so the finished post stayed in my drafts. The ongoing… well, everything that 2020 has been and continues to be, has started to dilute the meaning and usefulness of the things I would ordinary want to share on there. Save from yelling at nazi’s and yelling into a void respectively I haven’t been able to muster much motivation for other things. I recognize where such thought patterns can lead to though, and I don’t think it’s all together that helpful way of being either. So here I am, still tired and in a mood to yell, but ready to post. A bit later than intended but perhaps that suits me better anyway…let’s call it brand consistency.

So about that dress…

I used the Ogden cami as a base to hack this gathered tier dress. This is actually the second time I’m hacking the Ogden into a dress, although I have never just made the top as it is. My first go at it was last year in the summer when I hacked it into a slip dress. If you can’t remember that particular project, well, you are correct as it never made it onto the blog or any of my other social media channels. I went through a couple of months where I wasn’t very much feeling like posting photos of myself online, and additionally I wasn’t 100% happy with the neckline which I felt I had to tackle that before posting. The neckline has since been fixed – albeit without resulting in a blogpost, as you may have noticed. I am mentioning that first go at sewing this pattern anyhow, because it made me aware of some of the things I wanted to change in future use.

First among those changes was the neckline construction. The pattern as written lets you finish it with a neckline facing. I stitched it down in the ditch of the side seams on the advise of several bloggers when I first tackled this pattern, but still it didn’t drape as cleanly as I hoped. I haven’t read about too many people having issues with it so I think this is not a community shared problem, but the method doesn’t have my favour. I’m not usually against facings, so that was surprising. I think part of the issue is my bust size, and the facing being not super short but also not long enough to cover my entire bust, so just pushes it upwards. So for this version I had already decided to line the entire bodice, which I think also helps the bodice carry so much skirt. I actually think that if I ever just make the top I would either line it as well, or considerably lengthen the facing.

The second, and most visually obvious change is that I hacked it into a gathered tier dress. It is a pretty straightforward hack, but I later saw that True Bias has written a tutorial on how to hack the cami into a gathered dress on their website which makes it even more easy to do. The first step is to shorten the bodice. To decide the length I wanted, I held the pattern piece on a gathered dress I liked, aligned at the armholes, added seam allowance and went with that. Cutting it I tried to mimic the curve of the cami, but honestly eyeballed that part. I lined the bodice and could just about squeeze it out of the same fabric. I couldn’t do it on the fold so both lining pieces have a seam in the middle, but for the inside of the garment that doesn’t bother me the slightest.

I decided I wanted to turn this into a tier dress to make my pirouettes extra impressive. I took a few minutes to go online and look at some tier dresses before I cut the fabric for mine to decide how I wanted them to look and which proportions to go for. I’m glad that I did, because my initial idea was to go with one big piece and a small frilly second tier, but looking at some dresses I realised I preferred two bigger pieces, about equal-ish in length. So that’s what I did; I cut out two rectangles, with one wider than the other. Finally, I added in-seam pockets

The fit is quite loose, meaning I can comfortably wear it over a t-shirt like in the photos, but it also the perfect loose, lightweight thing to wear on its own in heatwave weather when you don’t really want anything to touch you body (We’ve had a lot of those in August!). On chillier summer days I enjoyed wearing it with my driftless and other longer cardigans to really crank up the maxiness and cozyness of the outfit.

The fabric is a lightweight viscose that I had in my stash for some time. I had a little under 2.5 meter and I pretty much used the entire length that I had to make this maxi dress happen.

While the dress has many qualities, being bike friendly is not one of them. Since that is my main manner of transportation, I quickly needed a way to get around that. Simply tying a bit of the dress in a knot with a hair tie does the trick. In that way, the dress doesn’t hang so low and I can freely ride my bike wearing it. The fabric is lightweight enough and not prone to wrinkling, so when you untie it, it just looks normal and you can go about your business.

I’m happy with this make, and the adjustments I made from my previous go at it really improved it’s wearability for me. I could regularly be spotted swooshing around in it this summer. Layered over a tee it inevitably oozes some 90’s vibes, meets Laura Ashley, meets witchy vibes, meets the early 2000 folk scene. Lots of things a younger, closer-to-teenage me was really into, but current me doesn’t mind that textile-based trip down memory lane.

I hope you and yours are well, and handling all of this as well as can be expected and if not, I hope you are able to catch some softness soon. Until next time.

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