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The Joy Dress | Adding elastic

I’m delighted to share with you this second part of the rather glorious pattern hack of The Joy Dress created by Jen Hogg for the version B with the gathered back detail. I just love the look of this wide elastic in the back of The Joy Dress.

You can find part one HERE, where Jen shares her tips for making a fixed strap version and a truly genius tip for using a silicone baking sheet to protect your ironing board from interfacing!

PAID POST | This article was  written by Jen Hogg. I have paid Jen for her time, skills and effort, but all opinions are her own. Many of you will know Jen as a semi-finalist from The Great British Sewing Bee in 2019 and from the Jenerates Sewing Ruler.

Over to Jen…

This is the second Joy dress made and is again in a linen, this time a gorgeous green which was a gift from my very good friend and fellow Sewing Bee, Mercedes.  It’s a little firmer than the checked linen, but my challenge this time was that Mercedes was envisaging a top, but I decided to squeeze a dress out of it, as you do!  The frill was sacrificed.

Adding the elastic detail to the back

I decided to try elastic in the back of the green version, it’s a really simple hack.

  • Attach and understitch the facings per the pattern instructions.
  • Cut a length of 1” (2.5cm) elastic to match the space between the strap notches on the back facing pattern, plus extra at either end to secure.  Mark the finished length you need on the elastic.

  • Stitch the back facing to the body 3.5cm from the top edge to form a casing
  • Thread the elastic through the casing, so that the marks on it line up with the inside edge of the straps
  • Secure the elastic at both ends with a vertical line of stitching from the strap to the bottom of the casing.

I’m sure these won’t be my only version of the Joy dress.  The fit at the neck is perfect, plus the space between the straps and the height of the back are spot on to cover underwear – love that attention to detail.  I can see that it’s going to be a go-to dress pattern for me to use as a foundation for other shapes.  Thank you Mrs M!

What a great pattern hack! Thank you so much Jen! 

Jen Hogg lives in Glasgow with her husband and dog, and has two children at university. She reached the semi-final of The Great British Sewing Bee Series 5 (2019) and now runs a small business selling self-designed sewing tools and writes for a variety of magazines and blogs. In addition to sewing, she enjoys knitting, crochet and many other textile crafts, as well as silversmithing, photography and generally making things. You can follow Jen on Instagram and Facebook @jenerates, and at