Sew Over It Estelle Dress with Boatneck alteration

Sew Over It Estelle Dress with Boatneck alteration

What a great party/evening dress pattern. This has a lot of positives - stretch fabric makes for easy fitting and an on trend interesting knot detail that is flattering as well as much easier to construct than it looks! I adapted my version to incorporate a boatneck instead of the rounder, lower neckline and shortened it to a cocktail length. This would be perfect in a sparkly fabric or velvet for parties.


I used a 1.5m remnant of Ocean Blue Viscose Ponte Roma Double Knit fabric, £14 per metre, from Lamazi Fabrics. It is a medium weight knit which means that it hold some structure, which is how I prefer knit garments to sit. It was very easy to cut and sew and though it is medium weight, is able to knot without too much bulk. I would recommend this fabric for tops as well as t-shirt style dresses too. 

Pattern and Instructions

The Sew Over It Estelle Dress pattern is available as a pdf pattern for £11.50. It features a range of sleeve lengths (I went for the short sleeve) and is aimed at a midaxi length, with or without a slit at the side leg. I shortened mine to knee length by measuring from the waist line to where I wanted it to finish, factoring in seam and hem allowances. 

I now get my pdf patterns printed by Net Printer or Dotty Print which makes life a lot easier. What also makes life easier is that there are only a couple of pieces for this sewing pattern. They do look a little odd because of the knot, but it is very easy to follow the instructions and construct. Instructions in the download are a separate document and are clearly written with helpful diagrams. One of the reasons I like Sew Over It patterns is because they have enough detail in them to reduce error and show you what to do precisely, which you don't always get with commercial patterns. If you have made a t-shirt before, this would be a good next step.

Sew Over It Estelle Dress with Boatneck alteration


The main thing I did was to alter the neckline. I find the straighter boatneck works better for me. In order to do this I compared with some of my t-shirts and dresses to check how much I wanted to raise it by - you can just extend horizontally from the shoulder to create the new neckline, which is simpler but not always the best.

For the front neckline, I raised the neckline by 2 inches at the centre front. This still includes a small curve from the shoulders, so it isn't a straight neckline - I find this sits a little better. You cans ee from my notes on the pattern pieces that it wasn't my original aim; I write these when cutting out pattern pieces to remind me I have a job to do before cutting out fabric, as this isn't necessarily on the same day.

Sew Over It Estelle Dress with Boatneck alteration

The back neckline didn't need as much alteration as it already sits higher. Again, not straight across but dipping about 1cm. I also attached iron on seam tape interfacing to the neckline to provide stability as I was only planning on turning under the neckline and securing with a stretch stitch, rather than attaching a neckband or facing. (if you are looking closely at the photo you will see that I haven't lined up the centre of the bodice to the edge of the pattern - I did when cutting out, this was just to illustrate the neckline alteration).

Sew Over It Estelle Dress with Boatneck alteration

In construction I turned under and pressed the neckline, using the seam on the interfacing as a guide. I then joined the shoulders together and pressed open, then topstitched all the way from the shoulder , across the neckline to secure the seam allowance in place, to the other shoulder on the front and the back.


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Welcome to Sewing and Other Stories; my journeys with sewing and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm also the designer behind West Beach Knits knitting patterns and I host a Knitting and Sewing channel on YouTube where you can see all of this in person. Come have a look!

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