Gilbert Top / Reynolds Dress Hack from Helen's Closet

HelenGilbert Hacks, Gilbert Top, Helen's Makes, Reynolds Hacks, Reynolds Top and Dress3 Comments

Gilbert Top & Reynolds Dress Hack

I love a good pattern mashup! It’s nice when you can pair elements of one pattern with another for a whole new look. Sometimes you can even take your favourite elements of patterns and use only those to make the perfect combination! Pattern mashups are a form of pattern hacking that can be quite simple, but they often require a little fudging here and there. Pieces don’t always fit perfectly, but we can make do! This one I am sharing today uses the Gilbert Top pattern for the bodice and our Reynolds Dress pattern for the skirt. These two pair quite well together, making this a great mashup for a beginner pattern hacker! 

Gilbert Top / Reynolds Dress Hack from Helen's Closet
Gilbert Top and Reynolds Dress by Helen's Closet Patterns

You can grab the Gilbert Top for 25% off and the Reynolds Dress for 20% off this week during our anniversary sale! Sale ends midnight PST August 23rd, 2021. 

I made my Gilbert/Reynolds mashup in a rayon striped fabric I have had in my stash for years. It feels great to finally use this up! I have been referring to this project as my ‘ice cream dress’ because I had a vision of myself eating ice cream in it. Do you ever have a vision for your garments as you sew them? I like to daydream about where they will be worn and it helps me stay motivated while I sew. 

Gilbert Top / Reynolds Dress Hack from Helen's Closet
Gilbert Top / Reynolds Dress Hack from Helen's Closet
Gilbert Top / Reynolds Dress Hack from Helen's Closet
Gilbert Top / Reynolds Dress Hack from Helen's Closet

To make this mashup, I took my Gilbert Top pattern and placed it over top of my Reynolds Dress pattern, lining up the darts and underarms as best I could. You will have to flip the pattern pieces over to get them to match up. 

Gilbert Reynolds Dress Hack from Helen's Closet
Gilbert Top / Reynolds Dress Hack from Helen's Closet

I then trimmed off the top half of the Reynolds Dress, smoothed out the side seam, and extended the dress skirt out to match the center front of the Gilbert, since I wanted the button placket. I am using the Gilbert Top from the waist up, including the darts. 

I did the same on the back and I straightened out the center back seam so I could cut it on the fold like Gilbert. It will not have a shaped back seam like Reynolds. 

Gilbert Reynolds Dress Hack from Helen's Closet
Gilbert Top / Reynolds Dress Hack from Helen's Closet
Gilbert Top / Reynolds Dress Hack from Helen's Closet

I also lengthened the front facing for the Gilbert Top to make a front facing on this dress. I actually ran out of fabric for this super long pattern piece and so I decided to cut it on the cross-grain. I thought this would provide a nice visual detail on the exposed collar or on the facings if I decided to wear this dress open as more of a lightweight layering jacket. I won’t lie though, cutting out this long skinny pattern piece and corresponding interfacing was a challenge. I always dislike cutting out long skinny pieces, especially in shifty rayon fabrics. 

Gilbert Reynolds Dress Hack from Helen's Closet
Gilbert Top / Reynolds Dress Hack from Helen's Closet
Gilbert Top / Reynolds Dress Hack from Helen's Closet
Gilbert Top / Reynolds Dress Hack from Helen's Closet

I then sewed the garment as directed in the Gilbert instructions for the main pieces, and sewed the mitered corner and hem as directed in the Reynolds instructions. I attached the front facing at the hem as directed in the Gilbert instructions. I ended up serging the edges of my hem rather than turning them under as inidicated in the Reynolds instructions. I was feeling the shifty-fabric fatigue at this point so I took a shortcut! I also realized that my back ended up longer than my front. Oops! I decided to just go with it and have a bit of a high-low hem.

Gilbert Top / Reynolds Dress Hack from Helen's Closet
Gilbert Top / Reynolds Dress Hack from Helen's Closet

The only other change I added was a waist tie and belt loops! After I tried the dress on I felt like I wanted a little waist definition. It’s easy to add a tie like this, which I also cut on the cross-grain to match the front facings. I like the way it contrasts when it is hanging down but blends in around the waist. Stripes are so much fun to play with! 

Gilbert Top / Reynolds Dress Hack from Helen's Closet

This dress feels so summery and breezy! I look forward to wearing it for years to come, hopefully, while eating delicious ice cream! 

You can grab the Gilbert Top for 25% off and the Reynolds Dress for 20% off this week during our anniversary sale! Sale ends midnight PST August 23rd, 2021. 

Gilbert Top / Reynolds Dress Hack from Helen's Closet
About the author

Helen

Helen Wilkinson is the designer and founder of Helen's Closet Patterns. She also co-hosts the Love to Sew Podcast! Helen is obsessed with all things sewing and strives to share her passion and knowledge with the sewing community.

3 Comments on “Gilbert Top & Reynolds Dress Hack”

    1. Hi Angelee! It depends on how long you wish to make your dress. I would decide how much you want to add in length to the Gilbert and then add that length X2 to the fabric requirements for Gilbert.

  1. I really love this dress hack! Looks fabulous on you Helen. Thanks for creating this piece and sharing. 🙂

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