Subtle Circus – Hattie Dress Pattern Flip

It’s been three months since I competed in Frances Suzanne’s Flip This Pattern series. I didn’t win, and E only wore the outfit I made a couple times (the reason: 1 part growth spurt, 1 part “it’s too itchy, mom” #keepinitreal). This is not one of my favorite makes of 2014. In fact, it’s probably one of my least favorite. It turns out that I can’t flip a pattern well when it’s part of a checklist. Live and learn. Anyway, the following is what I wrote for my FTP entry, with some bonus photos tacked onto the end. xo


My name is Tasha, and I blog at Glitter+Wit. I’m no stranger to flipping patterns, but I guess I’m out of practice–this Hattie dress pattern threw me for  loop! I originally wanted to sew the obvious (a coat), but after making a muslin I backpedaled and ended up with…a dress. Even more un-flippy; my dress has fewer details than the original Hattie! It’s like a…. back flip. A really fun and simple back flip. :)
My Subtle Circus look combines circus fashion with Hattie details (ruffled collar, inverted pleat, and bell shaped sleeves). I used the Hattie pattern to make the dress, but shortened the sleeves, exaggerated the collar, and eliminated the pleat. One of my favorite ways to ‘flip’ a pattern is to use a different type of fabric than you would expect. I decided to use material with more drape than that of the pattern’s recommended fabrics–a green rayon-blend and an upcycled black and white polka dot print.
Next I had to add the missing Hattie dress pattern elements back into my look. I drafted the vest and incorporated the inverted pleat at the center back (it’s really difficult to see in these photos. Oops), and used fold over elastic to pull in the hemline as a nod to the bell-shaped Hattie sleeves. If I could do anything differently about this look, I’d add more width to the vest hemline to create a more dramatic bell shape. The upper bodice of the vest is some sort of felted wool, and is cut in one piece. The lower part of the vest is a vintage floral knit, finished with french seams and bound with fold over elastic. The hat really has nothing to do with anything–E just wanted to wear it. I’m surprised she didn’t grab a handbag, too!
I’ve been itching to make a circus-inspired outfit for a while now, and I love how this one turned out. When I think of circus fashion, I imagine a neck ruff (of course), bright colors, and mixed prints. Check, check, and check! Perhaps not the most inventive pattern flip, but sometimes a few small changes can produce big results. The end. WAIT–you didn’t think I’d forget to share E’s usual “angry face” pose, did you?
Subtle Circus, not-so-subtle attitude.


Before I spam you with even more photos, I just had to mention that recently F has started crossing his fingers whenever he’s feeling anxious (I think?). I’d never noticed E doing that, but scroll up three photos and there it is! I have got to share some more recent photos–they’re changing so quickly!

subtle-circus-dress-24 subtle-circus-dress-23 subtle-circus-dress-22 subtle-circus-dress-17 subtle-circus-dress-5 subtle-circus-dress-4 subtle-circus-dress-3 subtle-circus-dress-2 subtle-circus-dress-1Behold, the whole-body-smile. Say cheese!

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