Our easy-peasy Dominique skirt has had a makeover and now comes with two extra sizes – yippee!
The pattern now comes in sizes 1-10, which translates to UK 6-24, US 2-20 and EUR 34-52. It’s available as a printed pattern on durable paper sheets or as a PDF pattern for immediate download in both print-at-home (A4 or US letter) and copyshop formats (A0).
Tilly designed this pattern with complete novices in mind as it’s so simple to sew. If you’re a more confident stitcher, Dominique makes the perfect blank canvas for hacking and adding your own design touches. It actually includes not one but two skirts – a straight skirt and a bias-cut flared skirt, each in two lengths. The patch pocket is also one of our favourite details and you can use that pattern piece to add cute pockets to many more me-mades.
I started working on pattern hack ideas for Dominique last year when the ideas came flooding into my head (and Pinterest board), and I am very pleased to see that the first one I’m going to show you couldn’t be more on-trend at the mo’. I can also see some of these ideas pairing really well with a handmade top in matching fabric – that way you can wear the co-ordinating pieces together or separately to get even more wear out of them!
Most of these ideas would be pretty simple to do, but if you’re using particularly precious cloth it would be worth making a toile first to check the measurements on you. I have linked a couple of TATB videos from our YouTube channel that might help with some of the techniques you would use.
So, let’s get into it… ten design hack ideas for Dominique coming right up!
Images: Top row – 1 / 2 / 3 Middle row – 1 / 2 / 3 / Bottom row – 1 / 2 / 3
My favourite idea of the bunch is to hack the Dominique skirt into a wonderfully floaty tiered summer skirt. Three is the magic number, so I think that number of tiers is just right for me. You could whip up a mini, midi, or maxi skirt – you probably won’t stop at one!
To do this you can use the straight skirt pattern piece and create a new cutting line for your second tier to attach to. I think somewhere around your hip line would be nice for the second tier to join the main skirt, and don’t forget to add 1.5cm (5/8in) for your seam allowance to join the next tier. The skirt has a seam down the centre front and centre back, but you could eliminate this if you like by making it 1.5cm (5/8in) narrower.
You will need to draft rectangles for the second and third tiers. I would make each tier approximately 30% wider than the bottom hem of the skirt above. Bear in mind how wide your fabric is when working out your tier measurements – if you’ve eliminated the centre seams, your fabric will need to be on the wider side for the lower tier if you’re making one of the larger sizes.
That decides the width, but the length will vary depending on your height and whether you want to make a mini, midi or maxi skirt. Sewing a vertical strip of your tiers to test out whether you are happy with where the length hits is a good idea before gathering all the fabric. And/or try the skirt on before adding each tier.
Once you have your pieces cut out, you will need to gather them to make them fit the above tier – this video on how to sew gathers is a handy tool for getting them nice and even. Then hem your skirt and you’re ready to swish, swish, swish around in me-made style!
The Dominque skirt has an elasticated waistline, with an optional sash belt. Want to try something a bit different? I love a drawstring waist as it looks modern with a slightly sporty twist. I particularly love the idea of sewing a floaty Dominque skirt with a tassel drawstring tie like on this pink one!
To add a drawstring, you will need to add two small buttonholes. After pressing the waist channel under, unfold it temporarily and mark the buttonholes at the centre front, just below the lower pressed fold. Fuse a little interfacing on the wrong side of the fabric underneath the markings to strengthen the holes. Then stitch the buttonholes and open them up.
Once you have finished sewing the waist channel, you can attach a large safety pin to your chosen drawstring and use it to thread the drawstring through one buttonhole, around the channel and out the other buttonhole. Simple!
Garments with flounce details have a very ethereal, light feel to them – almost like you are floating on air! I think this would be such a lovely detail to add to the Dominique skirt sew up in something equally cloud-like, such as double gauze. I am also completely obsessed with the organza skirt that holds the shape but looks incredibly delicate all at once.
To create the flounce, you could follow similar steps as you would for creating the tiered skirt, but “slash and spread” the rectangle – cut a few vertical lines up it, leaving a hinge at the top of each one, then open them up at the bottom to create curved top and bottom edges. Smooth out the curves and trace onto a new sheet of paper to create your flounce pattern. You can find tutorials for this on Pinterest if you search “flounce pattern”.
You can play with the placement of the panel – as you can see from the pictures, it looks just as good sitting up high as it does low. You could even create a curved front hem like the top right image. I really love all of these ideas!
If you want to make your Dominique skirt even more breezy, you could add a slit. You can choose where you want your split and opt for either one deep side split on a lengthened straight skirt or a double split on the gorgeous midi flared version.
You could even try for a double hack and go for a tiered skirt with a side split like the bottom left checked beauty!
A simple way to make the split would be to add a seam line down the length of the skirt where you want it to go. Finish the seam allowances, stitch from the top of the skirt down to the split opening point (how high or low is up to you!), press open the seam allowances and topstitch them down if they look like they want to peep out.
Like cakes, skirts can be made 100% more edible with layers. This hack would work really nicely with lighter weight fabrics, maybe even something semi-sheer to give the skirt a sugar plum fairy vibe. It looks really good across different lengths and I think the short version would make such a pretty summer skirt.
To create the “inner” skirt that your layers will be attached to, I would start with the straight skirt and slightly flare out the hem. Then add tiered or flounce panels at your will. You could either stitch your layers onto the inner skirt with a good overlap so you don’t see them or make the seam a visible feature like the top right image.
Buttons, buttons, I love buttons! This detail always works to tug at my heartstrings.
You could recreate this look with either the straight or flared skirt, but it would be easiest to cut the flared skirt on the straight grain rather than the bias grain of fabric to make that centre front opening easier to sew. Add some extra width at the centre front of the skirt to create a grown-on button stand that you can fold under, and interface it to strengthen the buttonholes.
A super simple hack would be to add a little ruffle trim to the bottom of your skirt. You could use a similar ratio to the three-tier hack idea – making your ruffle around 30-40% wider than the hem width.
You could even sew pretty exposed frill seams like the one on the Indigo smock sewing pattern. I think this would look really lovely on either the flared midi skirt or the straight skirt, again with the centre seams eliminated.
Do you need a project to use up all those remnants leftover from some previous me-mades? This could be the one you are looking for! You could create a cool mix and match Dominique using a few prints pieced together to make a showstopping skirt.
I added a ruffle to an elasticated waistband recently and now I want to add it to everything! It adds something sweet to the skirt and is perfect for people who love tucking their t-shirt in.
To create a ruffle at the top of your Dominique waistband, you need to add around 3cm (1 1/8in) to the top of the skirt (or more if you want a more dramatic effect). Sew the waistband channel as normal, but then sew a second line of stitches 3cm (1 1/8 inch) from the top edge to create a channel that you can then insert your elastic into.
And there you have it – a pretty ruffled waistband!
I hope you have found these hack ideas inspire you to get more out of this wonderful pattern. I feel like it will be hard to stop at just one hack, even on the same make. The opportunities are endless!
Tag us in your makes on Instagram using #SewingDominique as we would love to see what you come up with : )
PS. If you liked this post, you might also like 10 Design Hack Ideas for the Seren Dress.
Author: Louise Carmichael