New York Minute Dress | New York Minute Sew Along

New York Minute Sew Along Day 1 – Fit and Pattern Modifications

It’s finally here!  The New York Minute Sew Along!  Can you believe it’s almost been a year since the pattern was released?  We don’t know about you, but we’ve been anticipating this sew along for months, and we’re so happy to have you joining us.  Our next few days together (because this sew along is as quick as its namesake!) will be filled with lots of fun inspiration, tips, pattern hacks, and of course at the end lots of lovely New York Minute (NYM) creations!

If you don’t have the New York Minute Dress pattern already, you will need to pick up a copy to participate.  It’s on sale through the end of the sew along.  This pattern is available in sizes 12 months to 9/10 years and comes with a variety of options:  3 necklines, 2 sleeve lengths, 2 pocket variations, and 2 ways to finish the hem.  It even provides a tutorial to make it into a top!  The NYM pattern is also beginner friendly, and it’s the first Tie Dye Diva pattern to include layers, so you can simply print the size you need.

We love throwing in sew along options too, so there’s something new for those who have already made loads of these dresses!  You will have a variety of pockets to choose from, a cozy scrunch neck hack, and a fashionable hi low hem.

Scrunch neck and heart pocket in Raspberry Creek Fabrics’ Club French Terry knit.
Hi low hemline in Raspberry Creek Fabrics’ Club French terry knit.

Before we get into our activities for today though, let’s go over what you can expect over the next few days.

Our Sew-Along Timeline
  • Monday – Today we’ll go over how to select the right size and get the correct fit.  We’ll print our pattern, make our necessary changes to the pattern depending on size and sew-along options, finalize our fabric selections, and cut our fabric.
  • Tuesday – (Pattern steps 1-3) We will go over pocket variations, prepare our sleeves, and sew the front and back together.  Did I mention LOTS of pocket choices?!
  • Wednesday – (Pattern steps 4-5) We will be showing you how to create and add the scrunch neck if that’s one of the sew along options you’ve selected, and assemble the dress (or top).
  • Thursday – (Pattern step 6) Our last day together!  We are going over the hi low hem finish for those who have selected this sew along hack.  Everyone else will be finishing their hems according to the pattern.

Let’s not forget about those prizes!  You will have through Sunday, November 12th to enter your NYM dress/top in a sew along thread that will be posted in the Tie Dye Diva Patterns Facebook group.  Keep an eye out for this beginning Thursday in order to be eligible for prizes, and if you haven’t joined the group yet, now is the perfect time!  You can sew and enter more than one NYM dress/top, but you can only win once.

Now let’s get to work on our New York Minutes!

Selecting a Size and Printing Your Pattern

To achieve the right fit, you will need to choose a size based on your child’s chest measurement, not age, then make the length changes necessary following the pattern’s instructions on page 15.  If your child’s chest size is in between sizes, it’s recommended that you size down.  Also, the dress is designed to hit at the knee, and the finished length chart for each size can be located on page 2 of the pattern to help you.  If you have chosen to make your NYM using cotton/spandex or double brushed poly, refer back to our sew along kick-off post, Choosing Fabrics about whether or not you want to size down.

For example, if your child’s chest is size 4, but her height puts her in a size 5, use the size 5 finished length measurement to figure out how to lengthen your  size 4 dress pattern.  Subtract 22.5″ (finished length of size 4) from 24″ (finished length of size 5) to get a difference of 1.5″, and that is how much you will lengthen your dress pattern using the guidelines on page 15.

Remember you can use layers to print your NYM pattern in only the size(s) that you need.  Page 3 of the pattern covers printing and assembling, and includes a pattern layout for your convenience.  Once you have your pattern printed and assembled, you’re ready to make your modifications.

Sew Along Pattern Hacks

Hmmm…so many choices!  Our sew along also includes three hacks:  pocket variations, scrunch neck, and a hi low hem.  Each day we’ll cover a different hack, so your pattern modifications today will be very easy.  Really there’s just one you’ll need to make before cutting out your fabric, and that’s the hi low hem.  The remaining hacks are simply cut the day of the blog post, and an extra 1/3 – 1/2 yard of fabric should cover the fabric requirements.

Hi Low Pattern Modifications

If you have chosen to add the hi low hem to your sew along dress, you will need to make some modifications to your dress pattern.  We’ve chosen a modest hi low hemline, but of course yours can be as dramatic as you like.  This same pattern modification will work for both hem finishes that are included with the pattern, you simply need to make these changes to the cutting line you’ve chosen.

First grab your Dress Front pattern piece.  We’re going to do some super simple and painless math!  To calculate how high to raise/shorten your center front seam, measure the length of your center front pattern piece (in pink below).  You will take your measurement and plug it into this equation:

Using my girl as an example, I decided to make the hemmed version for her hi low dress, so I measured my Dress Front all the way down to the “a-line hem cut” line.  My center front measurement is 22″ long, so my equation will look like this:  22″x.089=1.958″, or rounding up to 2″ to make it easy.  This is how much I will shorten the front (shown in pink below).

Draw a line from this raised point to the side seam’s seam allowance (it’s a 3/8″ seam allowance), drawing an ever so slight curve, since we’re going for a modest hi-low look.  Now cut 1 on the fold using your new hem line.

Since we’re lengthening the back pattern piece, either do this modification before you cut your back pattern piece out, or place another piece of paper under the bottom of your pattern to make it longer.  Now to lengthen the back, draw a line down the same length you used to shorten the front and draw a slightly curved line up to the side seam’s seam allowance point.

Cut 1 back piece on the fold using your new hi low dress pattern.

We will create our pattern pieces for finishing the hi low hem on Day 4 of our sew along.

Cut the Fabric

You can use page 5 of the pattern for the cut list and ribbing measurements if you’re using those options.  Please note the following for the sew along hacks:

  • If you’re going to select one of the sew along pocket variations, simply cut your front dress piece without making any changes to it for pockets, just cut on the side seam line.
  • If you’re adding the scrunch neck, omit the hood, neck facing, and neck ribbing pieces.
  • If you’re hemming your NYM using the hi low option, you will do one of the following:  cut the ribbing for your hi low hem if you’ve chosen the ribbing version, or wait for Day 4 to cut your hem facings for the hemmed version.

That’s a wrap for today!  We are also so excited to be offering as prizes $50 gift certificates from our fabulous sew along sponsors, Cali Fabrics, Imagine Gnats, and Raspberry Creeks Fabrics!


Tomorrow we’ll begin sewing, and although it’s not required, go ahead and share your fabric and pattern options in the Tie Dye Diva Patterns Facebook group for inspiration, or just because we love seeing what you all are planning to make 😉  See you back here tomorrow!


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