Carissa is the PERFECT elevated basic for your wardrobe. Carissa is a fitted faux corset, intended for knit fabrics. The front features a square neckline with panels that mimic the look of a corset. For the back, you can choose between a solid back, or a lace-up back. Both bodice options are fully lined. Choose between a shaped crop, top length, OR you can add a 1/2 circle skirt. There are plenty of skirt options – to start with, choose between paneled or simple skirt. The paneled skirt has three different slit options – extra high, high, or low slit. Both the paneled option and the simple skirt option include multiple lengths – mini, dress, midi, or maxi lengths. On top of all the skirt options, Carissa also includes FIVE sleep options! Choose between sleeveless, short puff sleeve, fitted 3/4 sleeve, fitted long sleeve, or bishop sleeve.
Whether you’re using Carissa to stock your closet with basic tops, or you’ve pulled out more formal fabrics for a special occasion dress, we hope you love Carissa as much as we do! Need a little something extra from your Carissa pattern? Megan has a few hacks for you, and they’re even tween-approved!
Florence Skirt Mash
My daughter fell in love with this photo on Pinterest and asked me to recreate it. I knew that Carissa would be perfect! For the bodycon skirt, I used the Florence pattern. You’ll need to note that the waist of Carissa finishes smaller than Florence, so you can compare the finished waists of both patterns and use the Florence size that matches the finished waist of Carissa! Alternatively, you can use elastic to gather the skirt to fit the bodice.
Create your Carissa bodice per the tutorial. Then sew the Florence skirt per the tutorial. Find the quarter points of both the skirt and bodice. Then place them right sides together, aligning the raw edges and quarter points. Stitch together with a 1/2″ seam allowance.
Press the seam, and tada, you’re done! I’ve actually made this one into a double hack, but you could simply hem the bottom instead of adding the ruffle.
Ruffle Hem Hack
Of course, the dress my daughter wanted requires two hacks, but this could be added to any hemline of Carissa, not just the bodycon hack. This one is simple. First, measure the hemline of where you’re adding the ruffle. Multiply the hem by 1.75 (if you want it less ruffle, 1.5 or more ruffle 2). Then cut a piece 3″ wide by that length. You may want to split that number in half and have side seams on the ruffle it’s it’s very long. Fold the piece in half width-wise, right sides together, and stitch the pieces together with a 1/2″ seam.
Fold the piece in half, wrong sides together. Run 2 gathering stitches 1/4″ and 5/8″ from the raw edge.
Find the quarter points of your hemline and the ruffle piece. With the right sides together, match quarter points. Then gather the ruffle to fit the hemline. Stitch together with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Remove the gathering stitches, then press the ruffle and hem. You can topstitch the seam if you’d like.
Such a fun hack and really easy to do on any pattern. My daughter was thrilled with how her dress turned out, and well, mama was questioning her sanity on making it because she looked too old for her 12-year-old self!
Shelf bra hack
This hack will work with the solid back option only but is perfect for anyone who loves a shelf bra! I used the Florence shelf bra piece to help me with this hack. You’ll need the front bodice LINING, and solid back pice (you’ll be using the it for the LINING), plus the Florence shelf bra pieces (front, back and band).
Align the Florence shelf bra pieces up with the Carissa pieces at the armsyce.
Trace your new pieces, using the Carissa neckline, armsyce, and side seam, but with the Florence shelf bra bottom/hemline.
Use your new pieces to cut out the Carissa lining pieces, plus the Florence shelf bra band/elastic piece. Construct the Carissa using the new pieces. Finish the shelf bra per the Florence tutorial.
Another easy hack would be to add a pocket to the skirt. You could take any pattern with pockets, like the Bryce pattern, then use the blog tutorial here!
We can’t wait to see what you sew up! Are you looking for the perfect fabric pairing for your Carissa? Check out our Fabric listings here.
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