Laurence Top Dress Hack

wearing Laurence top dress hack back view

This dress became my most worn dress over the summer so I thought I needed to share how I made it! It’s such a simple hack and actually these same techniques can be applied to a bodice of pretty much any pattern to turn it into a dress. This bodice of this dress is the Laurence Top by Vivian Shao Chen which also happens to be one of my favorite tried and true patterns!

wearing Laurence top dress hack front view

How I made it

I actually used two patterns to make the dress – the Laurence Top and the Orchards Dress both by Vivian Shao Chen. I started with the top and followed the pattern instructions as written but instead cut a bodice about at the lengthen/shorten line – but really you can choose to make it as long or short as you want.

The Laurence Top is designed with an a-line shape, so I cut the bodice straight from the base of the armscye (aka armpit) so that it wouldn’t be too wide where the skirt is attached. I also used the v-neck shape from the front piece to cut a v-neck in the back. And added inseam pockets – of course 🙂

wearing floral Laurence top dress front view

For the skirt I used the View A skirt from the Orchards Dress pattern and attached it following the pattern instructions. However you don’t need to have a specific pattern in order to add the skirt! I just cut two rectangles to the width and length I wanted.

A good rule of thumb for figuring out how wide to make a gathered skirt for a dress, is 1.5 or 2 times the total width of the bodice. So if the circumference of your finished bodice is 44″ and you want your skirt 1.5 times full, then you would two rectangle pieces 33″ wide each (33 + 33 = 66, which is 44 x 1.5). You can of course make your fabric wider if you want a fuller skirt.

wearing floral Laurence top back view

I Hope that this was helpful to read! Maybe now you will want to try your own Laurence Top Dress Hack or make a dress using a different pattern you love. I’ve also used these same techniques to make my Agustina Top dress hack. I haven’t tried this yet but you could also shorten the skirt pieces to make a cute peplum top!

Thanks for reading, and happy sewing!

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