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Valentine's pattern hack: the Georgia Dress boudoir babydoll!

Do we have a serious Valentine's treat for you guys! And with just one week to go before the Big Day... OK fine, in all honesty, we don't really give that much of a damn about V Day, but any excuse, any excuse, to make a pretty dress will do. And we do love a theme, we do. And when it comes to making pretty dresses, themes don't get a whole lot better than those based on Love/Sex/Romance. Silk? Check. Red silk?? Check check. The Georgia Dress pattern? Super check. Time to make a frock Mr Valentino himself would be proud of.

Valentine's Georgia babydoll - by hand london

For today's pattern hack, as you might have guessed, you will need:

For this pattern hack, we're going to be making the Georgia Dress bodice with the skinny straps and joining it to a half circle skirt to create an empire line babydoll dress. What's more, we're going to be omitting the zipper and instead extending the bodice back pieces so they tie in a big bow in back. This shape is not only good for a Valentine's themed dress/nightie, but also perfect for those of you who may have been put off the Georgia Dress's figure hugging nature. This way you get all the sexy bombshell-boobie-bodice action without having to show off the rest!

Valentine's Georgia babydoll - by hand london

Altering the pattern

All we need to do is simply extend the bodice back piece so it can be tied up in a bow:

  • Take your bodice back piece and place it securely onto another piece of pattern paper.
  • Extend the lines from the 'place on fold' side by up to an extra 30". At this point you can choose to make the ends flare out a little for an extra pretty bow.
  • Cut out your new bodice back pattern piece.
  • Cut out 1 pair of bodice back pieces from your main fabric, and 1 pair from your lining fabric. Mark the centre back waistline (where the original pattern piece would have been cut on the fold) with a little notch.


The bodice

Make up the bodice with the skinny straps as normal, referring to yesterday's post in the Georgia Dress Sewalong. Just make sure that you join the bodice back pieces to both side seams of the bodice shell and lining!

Valentine's Georgia babydoll - by hand londonValentine's Georgia babydoll - by hand londonValentine's Georgia babydoll - by hand london

When you get to joining the lining, pin the shell and lining together all along the neckline, continuing along and around the ties, stopping at the centre back notch. This leaves the waistline open ready to attach the skirt, and making it easy to turn the bodice out to the right side.

Valentine's Georgia babydoll - by hand londonValentine's Georgia babydoll - by hand londonValentine's Georgia babydoll - by hand londonValentine's Georgia babydoll - by hand london

The skirt

The skirt portion of the dress is basically just a half circle, based on your underbust measurement as opposed to your waist. Use our app to input your underbust measurement, select your chosen skirt (we opted for a half circle) and chosen length (bear in mind that your length measurement will start at your underbust not your waist as assumed in the app) to find your radius and cutting diagram. When you come to cutting your skirt, try your best to keep the centre back seam edges on the selvedges - this will minimise the amount of pesky finishing to do later!

app screenshot - by hand london

Take your skirt piece and, with right sides together, close the back seam from the hemline, leaving 8" from the top open. Press the seam open. If you managed to get your back seam on the selvedges, this back seam will be lovely and neat and require no finishing at all. If however, your back seam has raw edges, these will need to be finished now.

Valentine's Georgia babydoll - by hand london

We're now going to join the skirt to the bodice at the waistline (or underbust line, more accurately!).

Keeping the lining free, pin your bodice shell to the skirt's waistline, right sides together. The open centre back of the skirt should match up with the centre back notches on the bodice - or close enough! Stitch into place and press the seam up into the bodice.

Valentine's Georgia babydoll - by hand london

Now fold in and press the seam allowance at the waistline of the lining and pin into place, ready to be hand stitched. If the skirt doesn't quite meet the point at which you stopped your stitching on the bodice back ties (which our didn't - better this way than the skirt's waistline being too long - and if that's the case, you can simply trim away the excess), you'll see that you can just continue to pin the open seam along the ties. Finish of by hand using a blind slipstitch.

Valentine's Georgia babydoll - by hand london

Ideally, you need to let a circle skirt hang overnight, or for a few hours at least, in order to let the fibres 'drop' before hemming. Then, you can try on your dress to make sure you're happy with the length and that the hemline is straight. Hemming a curve can be a little tricky, but no fear! Please see here for our favourite curve hemming techniques, or if you're feeling brave, click here for our rolled hem tutorial.

Valentine's Georgia babydoll - by hand london

And there you have it! A super sexy, super cute Georgia babydoll dress!

Valentine's Georgia babydoll - by hand londonValentine's Georgia babydoll - by hand london

We see many more Georgia hacks in our future... With such a knockout bodice as the building block for endless skirt possibilities, Georgia has gone from a vampy, figure hugging number to a sweet and flattering empire line beauty! Someone, please, get pregnant and make this as a maternity dress!!

Comments on this post (5)

  • Jul 03, 2020

    OMG! I loved the look of the dress before but this hack just does it for me…the tie back and the empire waist is just awesome. Do you, wise folk of BHL, think that one could make the skirt floor length and it look nice?



    — Susan

  • Jul 30, 2018

    Just made the babydoll variation and love it!. I made mine about shirt length, so now its a fancy top I like to pair with some nice black pants.

    — Siobhan Lim

  • Mar 14, 2014

    Is it weird to buy a pattern because you prefer the hack to the original pattern?! Actually, I do love the original dress, but i’m not sure the figure hugging will suit me…but i’m all over this hack! :) it’s lovely :)

    — jo

  • Feb 24, 2014

    I’m looking forward to trying this. Beautiful.


  • Feb 20, 2014

    i love the ties on the back!! so cute.

    — Devon

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