A lot about loving a dress comes down whether you like the neckline! And with that in mind I have a couple of ABSOLUTELY FREE pattern hacks here for you to make the most out of your Everyday Chic Dress pattern.

My original design for the Everyday Chic Dress  has a split neckline. But you don’t have to put this split in if you don’t want to. You will see that the implementing of this detail comes halfway through the instructions, rather than being in the initial cutting. So, it is quite simple to ignore the parts of step 9 that refer to the split and to leave the dress with a round neck.

The only change you will have to make is to the facing which you can simply cut to a smooth curve to echo the neckline (shown in the diagram here). You then continue to apply your facing as you usually would.


The other major change I have made to this dress is that I have not added any of the smocking. The original dress has smocking under the bust and at the centre back. It pulls the dress in nicely at the empire line point which is great for accentuating shape. However, sometimes you want something a little more loose fitting – especially for hot weather. The smocking is actually the final step on the instructions (and the under bust feature is marked as optional anyway) so, all you have to do to achieve this more relaxed fit is to leave out the final step.


I have tried to show the dress from lots of different angles so that you can see how the omission of the smocking changes the shape and fit.

The fabric I have used for my version here is a really delicious double gauze by Nani Iro. I bought it from the Drapers Daughter, who stocks a lot of other very beautiful up-market fabrics as well as the Nani Iro range.


The second little hack comes courtesy of Catherine Lingard who made this lovely version of the Everyday Chic Dress. The natural drapey quality of this single crepe gives the dress a whole different look to the one above. However, one problem that came with the drapey nature of crepe is that the split wouldn’t stay upright – it just flopped open to create a V-neck. So Catherine’s solution was to  use a striking button to keep the neckline round without loosing the feature of the split.

The crepe Catherine has used is called Hot House Flowers and you can find it on the Fabworks website for £6 / metre.