Some of you may recognize this Mira Dress from a few years ago. I made it over 3 years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter. I love this fabric SO much, but there was just something about the dress that was really bothering me, so I didn’t reach for it very often. Since I only brought a handful of dresses with me to Portugal, it gave me to chance to be a little more mindful and figure out what I could do to fix this dress so that I would wear it more.
I finally realized that the shoulders on this pattern went out over the shoulder too much and it made the sleeves feel heavy. It also just felt too dressy and didn’t fit in with my lifestyle very well. I have a sleeveless dress that I thrifted a while back, and I love wearing it lately, so I’ve been craving making some other sleeveless dresses.
One day while I was looking at this dress, I was dreading unpicking and resewing these sleeves, but then I thought, ‘what if I just make it sleeveless?’ I actually have some dresses pinned on Pinterest (pictured below) just like this that are sleeveless, but I never allowed myself to wear sleeveless things before. Once I decided to take the sleeves off, I was so excited and got right to it.
First, I cut the sleeves off and then I put the dress on inside-out. Then I used some pins to mark how much I needed to cut from the shoulder and bring the underarm in a bit more. It took quite a bit of removing and taking it in since the dress is pretty loose and the shoulders came out way too far. I sewed an angled line from the underarm out to the first gathered tier so that I didn’t have to mess with it.
I eventually got it just right and then cut 1″ bias tape from some other cotton fabric. I always look up the tutorial by Helen’s Closet when I forget how thick to cut bias tape. She also has a tutorial on how to sew it onto your garment for a really nice, finished edge. I did the single fold method, so if you scroll down in Helen’s tutorial, it shows how to sew single fold bias tape. It worked perfectly and I finished just in time to wear this dress for the rest of the day!
I’ve worn this dress 2 more times since making it sleeveless, and I love it! It feels much more my style and goes perfectly with my black sandals.
This look would be really easy to recreate with a woven tank top patterns like the Miri Tank by Sew DIY or the Laurence Top by Vivian Shao Chen. This blog post by Sarah Kirsten shares 7 more woven tank top sewing patterns too! Or if you are more into drafting your own, In the Folds has a tutorial on exactly how to do that. So that gives you lots of options!
To add the gathered tiers, the most common thing to do is multiply the width of bottom of the top by 1.5 for the first tier. Then multiply the width of the first tier by 1.5 for the second tier. But you can adjust that to your preference or compare to other gathered patterns that you have.
I hope that is helpful, and I look forward to wearing this dress much more often. Let me know below if you have any question or comments. Happy sewing! xoxo