April is the next pattern release! It’s the perfect dress for spring! April is drafted for knits with at least 40% stretch, and good drape – think fabrics like double brushed poly, cotton lycra (custom is not recommended), rib knit, cupro, modal, bamboo spandex, rayon spandex, etc.
Options for Youth April include a scoop or v neck, multiple sleeve options (traditional short or long, flounced short, 3/4 bishop, long bishop), multiple dress lengths, and optional pockets.
Baby April also includes an optional attached bodysuit option, and it is SO cute!!
Women’s April includes many of the same options as youth, with an additional lower v neck neckline.
Of course, our team can never resist adding a few hacks! How cute are Rachel, Nicole, and Jess?? Check out their hacks below!
Adding a coordinating belt is one of the simplest ways to dress up your new April pattern!
Start by cutting a fabric strip that is 5” tall by your desired length.
To determine the length of your belt, take your waist measurement and add at least 24”. This will give you enough length to tie a short bow. Want longer tails? Go for it! Just add length to your fabric strip. You may wish to cut two fabric strips and stitch together.
Optional… give your tie an angle. Fold your wrong sides together and cut your desired angle. Mine is cut at 45-degrees.
Fold your right sides together and sew a ¼” seam along your raw edges, leaving at least 2” open in the middle of your belt so that you can turn it right side out.
Topstitch around the entirety of your belt and… voila! You’re done!
Tip! I added a small piece of fusible hem tape to my 2” opening before topstitching – just to ensure the opening was neatly closed.
It’s that simple!
Cuffed Sleeve Hack
The new April dress pattern has so many options, but I’m here to offer you one more. If you love the cuffed look of the Pepper Puff Sleeve Top and Sweater but want that in a dress, this hack is definitely for you. I will walk you through how to add a cuff to your long bishop sleeve to achieve a similar look.
Alter your sleeve piece
Measure 3″ from the bottom of your sleeve pattern piece. You will note that the edge is curved. So, determine where to position your ruler 3″ at each of the two corners.
Now that you have taken your measurement and appropriately positioned your ruler, cut on that line 3″ up from the bottom of your sleeve. If you don’t have a rotary cutter, you can draw a line and then cut it with scissors. I like to keep a dull rotary cutter around for when I cut my pattern pieces.
In order to maintain that curved edge, you are going to want to measure again, 3″ from the bottom of your sleeve pattern piece and draw a line.
Now glue your loose piece you cut from the bottom just below the line you drew.
You may notice a little bit of pesky overhang from when you pasted your piece. Just take a straight edge and draw a line (or use a rotary cutter) and slice that right off.
Create a cuff piece
Now that you have completed your new sleeve pattern piece, you need to create a cuff piece. Here is a measurement table that will tell you what size to cut your cuff:
You can make a pattern piece by measuring and marking a piece of paper or just cut straight into the cuff fabric with a ruler. You will note that in the table above, all cuff pieces are all 7″ long. However, ensure you determine how wide to cut using the table above.
Fold the sleeve cuff in half lengthwise with wrong sides together and press. I like to also press it widthwise and place a mark or pin so I know where the middle is because this is where we’ll attach to our sleeve.
Attach our cuff to your sleeve
Place a mark or pin in middle of the bottom of the sleeve. Gather the bottom of each sleeve until it is the same width as your cuff. You can use the method in the pattern instructions or whatever method you find most successful.
Then, match the raw edge of the bottom of the sleeve to the raw end of the cuff right sides together. You can start by pinning/clipping at the middle marks you made. The photos below show what this will look like from both sides of the sleeve.
Then, stitch together with a 1/2” seam allowance. I get best results with sewing this on my sewing machine. Next, I remove any gathering stitches. Then, finish the edge without cutting any fabric off on my serger, if you choose to finish the edge with a serger. With this approach, your gathers will have a more distinct gathered look than if you cut the piece off with your serger.
Now, follow the remaining instructions in your pattern. Please remember to carefully match up the cuff and press the seam allowance up away from the cuff as you sew together the sleeve.
Wondering about the difference between the April sleeve as-is and the cuffed sleeve hack? Check out the comparison photos below:
Heyyyyy, everyone! Jess here with a SUPER easy, quick (yet so sassy and cute) hack for the April dress!
Do you love the April dress as much as I do, but wanna show a lil’ more leg? Or maybe rock it more like a tunic? Or you just prefer shorter dresses! Whatever the reason, here’s a super simple way to hack the April dress into a mini dress length!
Step one! Grab your April dress skirt pattern piece.
Step two! Locate the FLOUNCED DRESS LENGTH cut line.
Step three! Cut on that cut line.
Step four! Style as you wish!
Now, everyone’s definition of “mini” length is different. What is mini on one person might be too long/short on another. Adjust to your preference, of course! You can always baste your hem, try it on and decide if you need to remove length or maybe let the hem out slightly.
We hope you love your new April at a cute, sassy length! Would love to see your makes in the M4M fan group, too!
Jess is a homeschooling mom of many who lives on the East Coast with her hubby and 8 kiddos. She loves coffee, sewing and reading werewolf stories til wayyyy too late at night–and having a blast in any and every opportunity life throws at her! You can catch her on her Facebook page, What Jess Does, or on Instagram @jessawilcox .
We hope you love your new April pattern, and can’t wait to see what you make and how you style it! Happy sewing!