October 2, 2017

Not quite a Disney princess Upton Dress


Ah, princess seams! The closest I ever come to princesses, unless you count having memorized pretty much all the words to most Disney musicals (current fave: Moana, technically not a princess, I know). A while ago I wrote a tutorial on how to convert darts to princess seams, which I used to make my dirndl, around this time last year.

Alas, the dirndl doesn’t actually make that many outings from my closet, so I thought I would princessify another Upton Dress. And here we have it!

Dress by me, amazing shoes by M.Gemi! (get $50 off a pair here).

I bought this gorgeous weighty stretch cotton from EmmaOneSock *ages* ago – at least 5 years, I’d guess. It was in the early days of my sewing career, when I already had pretty decent taste (if I say so myself), but not the sewing skills to go with it. Somewhat wisely (well done past Jenny!) I decided to keep it for a future time when I’d be less likely to mash it all up.

I did, of course, follow my own tutorial, and the joy of the original, darted Upton Dress fitting me meant that the princess seams fit straight away. Hurray for no fitting! For reference, I made the 20 G/H and I’m 5’6″ tall.

Turns out, it was the perfect pairing of pattern to fabric, because I just love the final dress. It’s definitely on the dressier side, but not so fancy you couldn’t wear it out for a nice dinner. Or, indeed, to pose in front of someone’s door in Chelsea (I live in fear that someone’s going to throw a bucket of water over my head from an upstairs window. Or too much Disney watching there?)

I’m glad to add another comfortable dress to my stable – the stretch in the cotton provides just enough give to make it fit well when I’m standing up, but expand a touch when I sit down. If you use a stretch cotton for the Upton, just remember that if you use a non-stretch woven for the lining, it will lose the stretchiness – the safest thing to do (which is what I did here) is to use the same fabric for the lining and the shell.

Have you tried to convert a pattern from darts to princess seams? Was it successful or did it end up in the bin? I was convinced this process would be hard, but once I gave it a go I surprised myself!

6 thoughts on “Not quite a Disney princess Upton Dress

  1. 2paw says:

    Your new dress is lovely. I want to Princess-ify an Upton as well. I am making a standard one at the moment, but when my cold is gone and my brain can think again, I shall give it a go!

  2. Emykero says:

    Oui, j’ai aussi transformé la Upton dress avec des découpes princesses. Mais c’est moins réussi que la votre! (https://www.threadandneedles.fr/projets-couture/83408-upton-couleur-saphir/) Mes découpes gondolent un peu avec le satin de coton.
    Sorry for the french language but my english is very bad…

  3. Alessa says:

    Ooh, that’s beautiful! What a lovely fabric! I actually used your tutorial last week to convert a bodice with pleats and gathers into princess seams. It took me a bit of thinking, because the pleats were on the neckline, but it was the only woven bodice pattern that I had already adapted to my pregnancy size… >_< 😉 And it worked out beaitifully, so thanks for the tutorial!

  4. Felicity says:

    Love the dress!!
    Thank you for the advise on stretch fabric! I have Cotten sateen aside to make my next Upton, I will be going to buy some extra fabric for lining now! May just get a block colour though.

  5. Cate says:

    I love how you have made so many dresses from the Upton pattern! I am about to make my second and I’d really like to have a smaller neckline that is 2″ closer to my neck. Any tips? The front seems easy but I’m having less luck with the back and I wonder if I need to do something with the darts.

    1. What is the issue that you are having in the back?

Let me know what you think!