I’ve been itching to make a new dress lately, but hesitated because my favorite is the California Dress and its sleeveless-ness doesn’t mesh well for me with the colder weather. Personally, I prefer having sleeves on a dress rather than layering. After mulling it over, I decided the solution would be to mash the California Dress pattern with the Four Seasons Cardigan. Voila! Problem solved!
Want to know how I did it? Yes? Lucky for you, I drew out the approximate bodices so I could give you a quick run-down of my process. Unluckily, however, I’m not as technologically savvy as Kymy and only have a scanned-in hand drawing for you rather than a fancy digitized version. Hopefully you won’t mind too much. 😉
I started by tracing my size of the upper part of the California’s scoop neck bodice (orange/red solid lines). In order for the sleeves to lay well when worn, I wanted the top of the armscyes to land at the outer edge of my shoulder. To do that, since the California is a tank dress, I lengthened the shoulder seams by about an inch (dotted orange/red line) to bring the point out to the edge of my shoulder.
I laid my newly traced bodice(s) over the top of the Four Seasons pattern (because the front and back armscyes on the cardigan are different, I made a California tracing for each). I matched the outer corner of the shoulder seams of the two patterns, then rotated the tracing until the cardigan’s underarm seam point met the tracing’s side seam. I traced the Four Seasons armscye (green lines) so the curve on my pattern would be right for the sleeve to fit well. To give you an idea of how the cardigan pattern fit, I’ve used dashed green lines to represent where the Four Seasons shoulder seam and side seam were in relation to the California’s seams.
When I cut the traced pattern, I followed the California’s (orange) neckline, shoulder, and side seam and the green armscye curve from the Four Seasons Cardigan. My new mashed-up bodice pattern was ready!
**Tip: To save paper, I only redrew the upper bodice of my California pattern and then lined up the neckline, shoulder, and center front with the old pattern and taped it on top. Then I simply folded back the “old” upper bodice when I cut the fabric for my new dress.
I chose to use the 3/4 length Four Seasons sleeve for my first California Cardi Sleeve Mash. The only other change I made was to use a band to hem the neckline rather than binding like the pattern calls for. This was an aesthetic choice as I like the banded look, but I realized in retrospect that it made the neckline a touch higher than following the original directions.
I am thrilled with the results of my pattern mash-up. I can’t wait to make more!
Happy Sewing!! ~ Joelle