ES Georgia Dress Hack

I’ve been slow sewing this summer, gravitating toward straightforward makes that I can tackle in 5-10 minute chunks. This Elizabeth Suzann Georgia tee hack is my latest project. I started with the ES Georgia tee, cropped it, and added a gathered skirt for a breezy summer dress. Of course I added some fancy pockets at the last minute, so this dress was not as simple to construct as it could have been, but I do love the results.

Planning my ES Georgia dress

The ES Georgia tee is a boxy top, which means that the front and back pieces are almost identical. The front piece has 1/4 inch extra width in the center front compared to the back, which I think is intentional to create some room for the bust when the shoulder seams are joined.

I like the boxy top style, but I’ve found they don’t fit me very well. My biggest fit issue is that these patterns always pull to the back, so that the front collar migrates up and chokes me. This happens because I have a forward shoulder, and the shoulder seams on boxy tops always fall behind the peak of my shoulder when worn. To solve this, I made a 1/2 inch forward shoulder adjustment using the same method as I did for my Agnes PJs. Now the shoulder seam naturally falls along the peak of my shoulder, creating a balanced garment on my body when worn. No more choking!

ES Georgia tee pattern. The pink shaded areas are my pattern alterations.
My forward shoulder adjustment aligns the shoulder seam with the peak of my shoulder cap. Without this adjustment, the shoulder seam falls behind my shoulder and the whole garment pulls to the back.

In addition to the forward shoulder adjustment, I also added 1/2 inch of length to the front bodice (see diagram above), tapering to nothing at the side seam. This extra fabric acts like a full bust adjustment, and gives me enough to cover my D+ cup chest while keeping the waist seam straight. Without this extra bit in front, the waist seam would be slightly curved like a frown because I need extra length in the front to accommodate my chest.

I also sized down for this pattern because it is quite roomy. I used size OS as my base for the hack, one size down from where the size chart puts me.

I could have stopped there, and this would have been a very straightforward project. But of course I had to complicate things. I decided to add waist-anchored, French seamed, inseam pockets to this dress (the perfect pocket trifecta). I used this tutorial from Irena Paukshte, which I’ve used many times before and is far superior to the more common method to add French seamed inseam pockets. I added a waist anchor because I cannot stand floppy pockets. This topic deserves an entire post unto itself so stay tuned for a deep dive on pocket construction in the future.

My favorite: waist anchored, French-seamed, inseam pockets

Irena Paukshte’s method for French-seamed inseam pockets gives you the cleanest seam finish and doesn’t force you to sew a French seam around a sharp corner like the more popular method for French-seam inseam pockets. Instead, you French seam the pocket first and incorporate it into the straight side seam of the skirt. It requires VERY precise sewing but is worth the extra effort.

Nearly invisible pocket opening
Could not resist a fun pocket facing

I made this dress out of a rayon/linen blend and it’s deliciously drapey, perfect for this pattern. If anyone needs me, I’ll be swishing around my house in this dress for the next month or so. Happy summer sewing, everyone!

7 thoughts on “ES Georgia Dress Hack”

  1. I’m very interested in the forward shoulder adjustment you made here! You describe that you’ve done the same as you did on the Agnes PJs, but it looks a little different, and I’m wondering if you could say more about it. That is, on the Agnes PJs, you moved the seam line forward 1/2″ at the shoulder point. On the Georgia mods you show here, it looks like you moved the seam line forward the 1/2″ at the neck line. I’ve done the mod at the shoulder point before with mixed results. I’m now eager to try the mod at the neck line! Do you have any more thoughts on the two approaches or when you’ve found one more successful than the other for the shirt-falling-back-and-choking-me problem?? I always appreciate your thoughtful analysis, so I suspect this is intentional, and I am so curious!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is a great question! I went back to look at my Agnes PJ post, and turns out I was mis-remembering how I did that forward shoulder adjustment, so yes, this one is a little different. There are a few reasons why I decided to move the shoulder seam forward at the neckline on the Georgia. The biggest reason is that if I make this top straight out of the envelope with no modifications, the entire shoulder seam from shoulder to neckline falls to my back. If you imagine looking at this garment from the side view when worn, this means that the location of the shoulder seam at the neckline points somewhere behind my ear, closer to the back of the neck rather than the middle. This is a good indication that the shoulder seam needs to be moved forward along the peak of the shoulder AND at the neckline, like I did here. On Agnes, the shoulder seam was only falling behind my shoulder around the shoulder joint, so I only moved it forward there.

      Another question you might ask is: why did I pivot the shoulder seam on Georgia forward instead of just moving the entire seam forward by 1/2 inch and parallel to the original seam? The answer is because the location of the shoulder seam at the sleeve cuff seemed like it was hitting me in the right spot in the middle of my arm. If I moved the shoulder seam forward at the sleeve cuff, it might become more visible when viewing the garment from the front. But this can also be an option when considering how to move a shoulder seam forward in a garment with a grown-on sleeve.

      Let me know what follow up questions you have!


      1. Ah! Brilliant – this make sense! It’s super helpful to understand these nuances. Now for a closer look at my neck and shoulder 😉 Thank you!!


  2. This is just beautiful, I love all the finishing details and your lovely planning notebook. I would definitely enjoy a pocket deep dive post!


  3. Absolutely beautiful dress – inside and out 🙂 I would also love the pocket deep dive. I’m trying to perfect my anchored in seam pockets, and trying to wrap my head around the nearest way to add to a gathered skirt without gathering the pocket.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: