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.
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!
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.
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.
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!