Bimaa Hoodie Hack: A DIY Little Girl’s Dress

by Meghan Fowler

Loubee clothing has a fabulous hoodie pattern that I bought a few years back. The first thing I made with the pattern was a little hoodie for Ethan using thrifted shirts with patterns I liked. Ethan wore it a couple times but I do find the sizing runs pretty small/narrow with this pattern (which is saying something considering how incredibly narrow my son is), so it didn’t fit for long.

Next I wanted to use the pattern to make Ella cute little “tomboy” hoodie so she could be JUST LIKE I WAS as a kid, delightedly sporting distressed jeans and spurning dresses and all-things-pink as she tore through the forest/snow/field playing some wild-child game. But this was not to be. At least, the “spurning dresses and all-things-pink” part wasn’t (she is delightfully wild and active, only often in dresses and tutus 💃).

This girl loves dresses. They are probably the number 1 currency in her life at the moment. She loves them, she loves pink, she loves princesses. So I adapted. Inspired by another Bimaa hack where the seamstress cut the bodice down and added a gathered skirt, I decided to make this sweet hoodie pattern work for a dress. Only I decided I wanted more of an A-line look, with a nice big drape, with the front all in one piece.

Earlier this spring I was fabric shopping online (which is a terrible idea) when I came upon an adorable 4-way stretch knit called “It’s a Plus” that I was able to snag on sale (mentioning this makes me feel better). And in a not-so-covert nod to my tomboy side, I found a coordinating blue fabric at our local MCC store to use as hood liner. It’s also one of my favourite tones of my favourite colour, which makes me happy.

I don’t have an intricate tutorial to give you here, but I will explain briefly how I adapted the pattern for her. I promise you, this was not a very hard adaptation, and the original Loubee Bimaa pattern is really well made and easy to follow, so if this is a project that interests you, don’t be intimidated! You can do it!

For Ella, I used the size 6 pattern, cut just a bit wider than the pattern suggests. I didn’t bother cutting out the hem pattern pieces as I knew I would not need those, but I cut out everything else the hoodie requires.

The only thing I altered was the bodice width and length,  so I laid the front and back bodice pieces out and taped a big piece of paper underneath each so I could draw an extension on. Then I found a dress with a drape that I love to use as a prototype and laid it out on the pattern. I used the inspiration-dress as a rough guide for what angle and width I wanted the additional fabric to be. As you can see, I drew my pattern extension quite a bit longer to account for hem and the length I ultimately wanted. See? This is a really forgiving project! You do not have to particularly patient or precise to pull it off. Really.

In true overly-optimistic form, I only ordered 1 yard of the main fabric because I thought that would be enough, but to get a nice drape you actually need A LOT more fabric than you think, so I had to cut down my original drawing a wee bit, and I had to be super careful and clever about how to cut out my pattern pieces. Phew! The things I put myself through! (Just kidding.)

I followed the Bimaa pattern completely, sewing down the bodice-now-dress sides all the way when the pattern called for it. The only thing I did not do was the hoodie hem, as mentioned before. To hem the dress, I just pinned it up an inch all the way around and sewed it with a shallow zig-zag stitch. That’s it!!

AND ELLA LOVES IT!! Phewwwwww.

All you crafters crafting for kids know how bad it feels when you make something cute and the kid hates it. But she promptly dawned this cute litte number and did some twirls to initiate it into her wardrobe. This was a TOTAL win.

So go buy yourself a Bimaa pattern and get sewing! And make sure to tag me on Instagram (@undertheelms) or share with me on facebook or via email when you show off your finished creation. I want to see it!


You may also like