Hacking the Swan Sweater into a Wrap Dress

Hi, it’s Josie here! I absolutely fell in love with the Swan Wrap Sweater the first (and second…and third…) time I sewed it up.  The beautiful silhouette and wrap style construction inspired me to sew it into a wrap dress and today I am going to show how you can too!


Before sewing your wrap dress, you will need to prepare your fabric pieces.  Cut the following pieces exactly as instructed in the Swan Pattern:

  • Cut 2 Front Bodice A (Simple Bodice), mirrored
  • Cut 1 Back Bodice on the fold
  • Cut 2 Sleeves on the fold (your choice of sleeve)
  • Cut 1 Neckband

You will also need to cut 4 sash pieces and 1 skirt piece using the cut chart below (using the same fabric type as recommended in the Swan Pattern).  Choose your sash size based on the model’s waist measurement.  You should choose your skirt width based on your model’s waist measurement and the length based on your model’s height measurement.

Next, you will sew the Swan pattern using the instructions for the Asymmetrical Bodice up until step number 20 (note, you will be using the Simple Bodice pattern pieces, but following the instructions for the Asymmetrical Bodice).

From there, you will follow the below steps.

Sewing the Bodice and Sash

Step 1
Place two of your sash pieces RIGHT sides together, matching the short ends.  Pin/clip and sew.  Repeat with your other two sash pieces.  You will end up with two long sash pieces.

Step 2
With your bodice facing RIGHT side up, place one of the sash pieces on top, RIGHT sides together, matching the center seam of the sash with the center back of your back bodice.  Pin/clip (do NOT sew yet).

Step 3
Flip your bodice and sash piece over, so the WRONG side of your bodice is facing up.  Place the second sash piece on top of the first sash piece, matching the center seams and edges.  The RIGHT side of your sash pieces will be touching.  Your bodice will be sandwiched in between your sash pieces.  Pin/clip along the bottom and side edges of the sash pieces, on both sides. Do NOT sew yet.

Step 4
Pin along the top edge of your sash pieces, stopping when you get to the point where your bodice piece begins.  Starting at one top edge of the sash (where the bodice piece starts), sew/serge along the top edge, along the side, all the way across the bottom edge, up the other side and along the other side top until you reach the other side of where the bodice starts.

Step 5
Turn the sash pieces right side out and press well.

Sewing the Skirt

Step 6
With your skirt piece facing WRONG side up, fold one of the side edges of the piece over by ½” (1.3 cm).  Stitch along the inner raw edge.  Repeat with the other side edge of the skirt.

Step 7
Fold the bottom edge of the skirt up ½” (1.3cm) and stitch along the inner raw edge.

Step 8
Sew two rows of gathering stitches along the top of the skirt (the unhemmed side)

Step 9
Gather the skirt to be the same width as the unsewn part of your sash.  It should be the same width as the bodice width.

Step 10
Separate your sash main and lining where it has not yet been sewn together.  With the skirt facing RIGHT side up, place the RIGHT side of your sash main on top of the RIGHT side of your skirt.  You will see the WRONG side of your bodice facing up. Pin/clip and sew/serge. Make sure you are only sewing the main layer of your sash, and leave the second, lining layer, loose. 

Step 11
Flip your dress so the WRONG side is facing up.  Press the skirt seam up towards the neckline of the dress.

Step 12
Fold the raw edge of your lining side of your waistband down by 3/8” (1cm) and press.  You can use a glue stick or basting tape to help keep this edge down.

Step 13
Flip the waistband down, so the folded edge covers your stitch line made in step 10.  Use basting tape, glue or pins, secure the edge down and top stitch along the folded edge.

Next, continue to follow the Swan pattern to attach your chosen sleeves.

You are finished!

I hope you love Swan as a wrap dress as much as I do! If you try this hack we would love to see it! Tag us on instagram at @booandlupatterns or share in our facebook group!

Xoxo, Josie

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