The Ogden Cami is a great template for hacks, and I am especially loving the idea of dress hacks right now for summer. I did a babydoll hack last year that you can find here. Today I am going to show you how to create a super simple elastic waist dress using the Mini Ogden cami. You can of coarse use basically the same steps to create a version in the women’s size as well. I ended up making two of these dresses in order to get the steps right. The top one is made from a thrifted table cloth and the bottom one is some really pretty cotton that I ordered from My Fabric Designs (I didn’t design it though). I love the handpainted design so much. Both dresses are lined with some cheap light pink gingham from JoAnns.
For this project you are going to need your main dress fabric, lining fabric, and extra elastic (in addition to the elastic for the back of the cami) for the waistline.
First print off your pattern and assemble pattern pieces 1 (front cami), 2 (back cami), 4 (strap), and the elastic cutting guide. You will not be needing the pattern piece for the front lining as the entire dress will be lined instead.
For for the front and back cami we need to add length for the bottom of the dress. Take your front pattern piece and tape the bottom along a large piece of paper. Your center front fold line should line up with the left edge of the paper as shown below. Determine how long you want your dress to be. After comparing to other dresses, I decided that I wanted it to be about 24″ along the center front line. This allows for a couple of inches of wiggle room in case I need to adjust the hem at the end. To get the desired length I figured out that I would need to add about 10.5 inches to the bottom of the cami.
Simply mark your desired length around the entire hem so that your new hem mimicks the shape of the bottom of the cami. For the side seam of the dress, draw a straight line extending down from the last few inches of the cami. The side seam and hem need to meet up at a 90 degree angle at the CF and side seam. Repeat these steps for the back as well, adding the exact same amount to the bottom of the back cami as you did for the front.
Line up the notches on the side of your front and back pattern pieces. Trim off the extra height on the back piece (since we are assembling the dress a bit differently than the cami we don’t need the extra height).
Cut out a front, back, and straps from your main fabric. Cut out a front and back from your lining. The lining pieces should be identical to your main pieces, except trim 1/2″ off of the bottom of both of your lining pieces. Having your lining pieces slightly shorter will assure that it does not peek out once the dress is finished.
Go ahead and assemble according to steps 1-3 of the Mini Ogden instructions.
Sew up the side seams of the main dress and also the dress lining. Finish the seam allowances in your desired manner (I serged them) and press them either open or to one side depending on the finish you choose. Pin the lining to the main dress along the entire neckline, with right sides touching. Stitch together, trim and snip the seam allowance.
Flip the lining to the inside of the dress so that the wrong side of the dress is now touching the wrong side of the lining. Press along the neckline with the straps extending upwards in the front.
To create the casing for the elastic in the back, make a line of stitching through both the dress and lining 1/2″ below the top edge from one side seam to another, backstitching on both ends.
Take your elastic, cut to the specified length, attach one end to a safety pin and insert it into the casing you just created between the lining and dress.
With a bit of elastic extending past each side seam, stitch through all layers (including the elastic) to secure.
Attach the back end of the shoulder straps as described in the instructions in steps 13-14.
Figure out where you want the waistband to hit. The easiest way to do this is to try the dress on recipient, and wrap the elastic around the the child’s waist where it seems most comfortable. Using a disappearing marker or chalk, mark the top edge of where you want to have the elastic on all sides.
Make a row of stitching around the entire dress through both the dress and lining where you marked it.
Make another row of stitching 1/2″ below the first row, leaving a 2 inch gap at center back to insert the waistband elastic.
Cut your elastic to the appropriate length plus a bit extra for seam allowance. You will need to figure out the appropriate length by measuring it on the child you are making it for.
Attach one end to a safety pin and insert the elastic in between the lining and dress thru the opening at center back and around the entire waistband casing you created. Sew the elastic ends together and sew up the opening you left at center back.
Hem the dress like instructed to in Step 15. Hem the lining in the same way.
Give the dress a final press and you are done!
I love how this turned out so much, that I want to do the same hack on a summer Ogden dress for myself. I am thinking black for something that I will wear all of the time. I hope I can find the time to do it.
Let me know if you have any questions.