Now We Are Here in a Dress-length Xanadu Dolman

The Xanadu Dolman is a lovely staple in the Meyraki pattern catalog, with its signature gathered yoke collar and relaxed-fit comfort and style. It was begging to be lengthened into a dress for a new twist on a classic favorite! 

In order to lengthen a top that is already a relaxed-fit garment, you can use a few approaches to alter your pattern. I will go over a couple of these, and show pictures of the one that I chose.

Dress Hack: You can outline the pattern in your desired size layer(s) on tracing paper (I love using Swedish medical paper). Mark where the waist is, taking into account where the pattern would hit your hips, and continue drawing your length down to the measurements of where you would like the hem to end. Make sure that you take into account how wide you want the hips' finished measurement and how flowy you want the skirt to be overall, as well as add in your seam allowance.

This approach allows for so much freedom to design whatever type of dress that you want, be it a mini, midi, maxi, handkerchief, or asymmetrical dress, with or without pockets, just to name a few options.

Mash: You could do what I did, which was to mash 2 patterns together. This saved me so much time and so much math. Haha I chose to grab the skirt of the All Seasons pattern, as it has that swing dress flow that was my vision for this dress. (**Note, please make sure that your very current measurements dictate which size(s) you print out and assemble, as these 2 patterns have very different measurements that determine the size. Also, make any grading or other adjustments (e.g.-FBA, SBA, FSA, Full bicep adjustment, Sway back, etc)  on the Xanadu before you mash it with the All Seasons. It will be easier if you do).

First, I printed out both the Xanadu Dolman and the All Seasons patterns and assembled each. Then, I noted where the skirt started on each of the Front and Back pieces for the All Seasons. This mashup was made easier by the fact that the patterns are both cut on the fold and the the waistline is clearly marked on the All Seasons pattern, allowing my to orient myself and line up the 2 patterns at the waist (but this can be done just about anywhere on the pattern). 

Next, I combined the patterns and made sure that the measurements would still work with my body when trimming the excess from the waist (established in the Xanadu top's waist) to grade to the All Season's hip. Since it worked for my measurements, I didn't need to grade out the waist on the Xanadu top instead, and I was able to just trim the excess. 

As a side note, this process is far neater if you trace it all when you are done, so that it is a smooth pattern that you can hold onto and use again and again. To save time or paper products, you can just trace from the taped and trimmed patterns that you have been working with.

When you have finished doing this same procedure with your Back pieces from both patterns, you are ready to cut out your fabric and sew, sew, sew!!

All of the other procedures for assembling the Xanadu are to be followed so that you end up with a good front gather at the neckline and a beautiful yoke collar. Since your new dress is all one piece, it is easy to just hem the bottom, press, and you are done! 

One side note that I felt that I should mention: when wanting to do a banded short sleeve, cut the top of the sleeve piece off that says, "Short Sleeve". Cut out 2 mirrored pieces of your fabric. Sew together your short ends, forming 2 loops, one for each sleeve. Attach by matching up quartered pins/clips/markings and sewing these bands onto your dolman sleeves. I prefer to serge them on, but a good zig zag or stretch stitch works, too. Since it is a Dolman sleeve, you don't need this extra step, but it is a cute option.

🎵And now, open your eyes and see, what we have made is real. We are in Xanadu🎵 (Copyright, Sony /ATV Music Publishing LLC)

Your Xanadu Dolman top is now a wonderful dress!! (or maybe we should call it an Xana-seasons? haha) This mash is so comfortable and stylish! 

If you would like to try one of your own, you can get these 2 patterns for 25% off with code XANASEASONS at checkout.  All Seasons can be found here.    Xanadu can be found here.