Uniform Tunic Modification 02: Uniform Dress

Uniform Dress | Grainline StudioToday we’re sharing our next Uniform Tunic Modification post, how to turn your tunic into a dress! We’ve been wanting to do this modification for a while and I finally got the chance to take a break from developing new patterns a few weeks ago and make one to wear to the Knit 1 Brooklyn Tweed Weekend here in Chicago. As soon as I made my Uniform dresses I couldn’t believe I hadn’t made one earlier! Seriously these are my new favorite garments. They’re dressy enough to wear to work, yet comfortable enough to wear…to work? I never realized how odd that saying is until right now.

Uniform Dress | Grainline Studio

In addition to the style modification I love how the choice of fabric affects the look of these two dresses. The black Uniform dress was made using a linen/viscose blend from Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics and it has a slouchy, cool vibe and feels like secret pajamas. On the other hand, the paprika Uniform dress was made with a crisp, lightweight linen from The Fabric Store which holds the shape of the dress well.

Uniform Dress | Grainline Studio
Uniform Dress | Grainline Studio

Altering your Uniform to make a dress is very straightforward as you’ll see below. It’s also a great way to get more mileage out of a pattern you already own!

Uniform Dress | Grainline Studio

To begin, trace out the size you need; we’ll be starting with the bodice. I’ll be using the round neck for my versions but you can also use the v-neck, the choice is totally up to you. Next decide how much you want to lengthen your dress. Keep in mind that the Uniform is already has a dropped waist bodice so you may not need to lengthen this part at all. I lengthened mine by 1″ just to keep the dress proportions slightly closer to the proportions of the original tunic.

If you are going to lengthen your bodice, slash across the lengthen/shorten line marked on the pattern and spread the two pieces the amount you intend to lengthen your pattern. Redraw the side seam and these are your new bodice pattern pieces.

Uniform Dress | Grainline Studio

To adjust the skirt, we’re simply going to add onto the hem. I added 8″ to my hem which hits just above my knee. Extend the side seam and center front & back lines down, then measure down from the hem line the amount you’ve chosen to lengthen. That’s all there is to it!

Uniform Dress | Grainline Studio
Uniform Dress | Grainline Studio

After that, cut your pattern pieces and sew according to the instructions in your pattern booklet! This is such an easy modification and takes almost no time at all, but really changes the look and function of the Uniform. Hope you enjoy this modification and if you make one definitely tag us in social media using our IG handle @grainlinestudio and the hashtag #uniformtunic.

You also might notice that the sleeve on the paprika isn’t standard for the pattern. We’ll be back soon with a tutorial for that as well!

Patterns Used in this Tutorial

22 replies on “Uniform Tunic Modification 02: Uniform Dress

  • Nancy Werner

    I need to make a dressy dress for attending a wedding. Do you think this would work in a double gauze or linen/cotton for a formal gathering?

    Reply
    • Aimee

      The fabrics will absolutely work, but we’re not sure this style dress would be considered formal. I think the Felix in a drapier fabric might present a more formal silhouette.

      Reply
    • Aimee

      Thank you! It will depend on the length of the dress you choose to make. Jen lengthened this by 15 inches (38.1 cm) and needed an extra 1/2 yard (0.45 meter).

      Reply
  • Monica Powell

    I would love to buy this pattern but I need the pattern for a sleeve – cannot wear sleeveless dresses at my age.

    Reply
  • Sally

    I need to add bust darts to tops and dresses like this. Are there instructions on how to do this in the pattern or anywhere on the site? Thank you.

    Reply
  • Vivian Farrar

    After seeing this simple modification to the dress ( for which I’m cutting the pattern out right now!), I realize I have a piece of linen already in my stash that’s going to be perfect! Cant believe I’m now hoping for a rainy weekend. Such a great dress – tailored just enough but depending on fabric choice, can also be nice and fluid. So excited. I also have the Farrow dress pattern I have yet to sew, and it’s much fuller if I recall.

    Reply
  • Winnie

    This is a really nice look. Do we just use the sleeve piece included with the pattern but shorten it for the look you did?

    Reply
  • Daniela

    I‘ve just sewn the dress, I‘ve added 38cm to the hem, the dress is way to long, I‘m 168cm tall and on your pictures, for me it looks not as long as mine?

    Reply
    • Aimee

      Hi Daniela! Everyone has a different body – for Jen, adding 15 inches or 38 cm to the hem of the original pattern piece resulted in a dress that hit right above the knee after hemming. To determine the length needed in the future, you’ll either need to know where the hem of the original pattern ends so that you can measure the distance between that hem and your desired length or determine the length of the pattern from the pattern pieces so that you can determine how much length to add in comparison to your body. We always recommend making a muslin so that you can troubleshoot and make any necessary adjustments. It sounds like you have enough length to shorten the dress in order to get your desired length!

      Reply
      • Debbie

        Of course everyone has a different body and the adjustment may not work for everyone but, with all due respect, I believe there MUST be an error in the blog. If I added 15 inches to the hem my tunic would fall mid-shin and I am almost average height. Any chance the author meant to write that the skirt piece was lengthened to a TOTAL of 15 inches? For me that would bring it to about where my knee is. This would be great to clarify. Thanks!

        Reply
        • Jen

          Hi, Jen here! I did originally add 15″ but ended up shortening it about a week later before I took photos and completely forgot to update the tutorial, I’m so sorry! In the end the skirt was lengthened by 8″ and the bodice by 1″. The total length of my skirt is 17″, I have a short torso and long legs. <3

          Reply
    • jdiettrich

      You’re not alone! I also lengthened mine 15” and my dress comes to mid-calf. I think 7” might be my sweet spot next time… I’ll definitely be shortening this one!

      Reply
      • Jen

        Just replied above, but yep, I made a mistake! I originally lengthened the skirt by 15″ and decided a week after it was done to shorten it, then forgot to update the tutorial. My final skirt was lengthened by 8″ and the total length of the skirt is 17″. I’m 5’6″ and have long legs which is probably why it’s longer than your 15″ total. Sorry about that!

        Reply

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