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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 www.jenhogg.co.uk

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Introducing our new pattern – The Joy Dress

Say hello to Joy!

We are so happy to share a little Joy with you!

Our newest pattern Joy is the perfect easy-to-wear dress.
She’s a lovely versatile addition to your summer wardrobe, comfortable and yet smart enough for any occasion.

Style Joy with flip flops for the beach, trainers for sight-seeing or heels for cocktails on the terrace.
Your choice of fabric will mean Joy can be casual and fun or choose a luxurious silky fabric in a fabulous print to make a chic statement dress.

Joy has a scoop neckline and the option of a plain back or why not make Version B that has this delightful gathered back detail.

Joy is a slim A-line shape with a relaxed fit through the waist, frilled hem, and tie strap and, of course, I included in-seam pockets.

Version B has a little more ease at the waist and hips due to the gathering detail on the back bodice.

As always, we’ve made this pattern with the idea you may want to pattern hack!

Joy is midi-length, finishing comfortably past the knee, but it’s easy to lengthen using the adjustment lines on the pattern should you fancy a bit of swishy ankle length drama. Or you could easily make her slip dress style without the frill if you are short of fabric.

We have kept the neckline the same as The Simone Set, so it will be easy to interchange the straps. And keep an eye out for our upcoming joyful blog post from Jen Hogg with all the details on how she made her dresses (3 of them!) with a fixed strap instead of the tie option and added extra fullness.

| DESIGN FEATURES |

• Version A – plain back
• Version B – gathered back detail
• Adjustable tie straps
• Bust darts
• Scoop neckline
• In-seam pockets
• Frill hem

The Joy Dress is and Advanced Beginner pattern and is available in UK sizes 8-22 (see listing photos for more detailed info).

The Joy Dress is currently available in PDF only, but we hope to print her soon.


FABRIC DETAILS | Floral silk from Selvedge & Bolts // Linen from Ikea bargain corner stitched with Celofil Tencel thread from James Tailoring and machine dyed orange with Dylon dye.


As always, we will be donating 20% of the profit from our launch weekend. The charity we have chosen for The Joy Dress is Coram.org

Every day Coram offers direct, practical help and emotional support to vulnerable children, young people, and their families. They extend support through the Coram Group Charities to help children and young people access their legal rights and school children avoid harm by making safe and healthy choices.

I want to just make it clear we are not in any way linked to Coram.org but coincidentally my maiden name is Coram and Mr M and I have recently joined our business together and are officially called The Coram Group Limited!

Happy Sewing from Maven HQ