Pattern hacks

7 Rhapsody tops & dresses (Love Notions). Hacks & a knit version.

The Rhapsody blouse & dress from Love Notions has been a firm favorite pattern of mine for a few years already and today it’s been re-released to include sizes 4XL and 5XL, as well as going through re-testing and re-drafting.

*Along with the re-release, the Rhapsody blouse & dress is the feature Friday pattern and it’s only $5 today Friday the 24th. Get yours HERE.* The pattern will be $9 from Saturday the 25th through Thursday the 30th. Regular price $12.

Features

The Rhapsody blouse & dress features include a yoke with gathers on the front and a pleat on the back. The yoke is lined and finished neatly inside. The V neckline is finished with bias binding and the fit is relaxed with some shaping. Before, there were lots of sleeve options, but now there are even more available! I’m especially excited about the dress version the most.

Fabrics

Recommended are fabrics I’ve always enjoyed: light weight woven fabric. Options can be: crepe, rayon challis, voile, lawn, peachskin, 100% rayon, gauze, silk and chiffon.

I have made 6 woven versions and have used chiffon and crepe with great results. I have also made a cheeky knit version too.

I have written a guest blog post for Love Notions full of tips and tricks to facilitate working with silky fabrics and feature the Rhapsody blouse. Delicate fabrics need a little extra steps and the results are floaty and stunning.

Sizing

The sizes included now are XS – XL catering up to a bust of 57.5″ and hips of 59.5″. My measurements are between L and XL. Love Notions recommends sizing down if between sizes. Also, choosing the size is recommended to be done based on the high bust. If the difference between the full and high bust is 4-6″, the Full bust option will provide a better fit without the need of an FBA (Full bust adjustment).

After considering carefully the finished garment measurements and the positive ease I prefer, I chose a straight Large for my dress versions and Size M for the blouses.

Love Notion patterns are drafted for a height of 5ft 5″, so I will always require diverse length adjustments.

Now lets see them all!

Rhapsody blouse 1: colorful crepe

This is made with a crinkle crepe that frays a lot. I love the colors, they are so bright. I chose the sleeveless version and used self bias tape to hem the blouse.

Turquoise print across the front
Bias bound armholes

Rhapsody blouse 2: Border print chiffon

This fabric took my breath away when I saw it and I was very careful with the placement of the pattern pieces.

I chose the 3/4 sleeves with a cuff and chose a darker part of the fabric to contrast the tones on the sleeve. The same with the bias binding ties.

Rhapsody dress 3: Crepe with metal threads

This was a precious fabric. I love the print that makes it seems like it’s been bias cut, but it’s not. The tones are neutral and I love the grey. I lengthened the blouse by 13.5″ while keeping the curved shape of the blouse. For this dress, I printed another copy of the pattern in size Large as I wanted a little more ease for this floaty dress.

Longer length to dress
Curved hem

You can see versions 1-3 in the following video on my channel, as well as a video review of the pattern.

Rhapsody dress 4: Heavy luxury crepe

This fabric was kindly gifted to me by Tami, the owner of Love Notions as part of the brand Ambassador’s secret sewist event. You can see more about this fun event in this blog post.

Because this fabric is heavy and more structured, I decided to change the neckline construction. The original bias bound neckline would not sit right with this fabric. So, I decided to draft a front interfaced facing to highlight the little V neckline in this design. The front facing was sewn to the lining yoke to form a complete facing for the neckline.

Dimensions of the facing. It needs to be interfaced.

Because the hem has a curved shape, the hem was done with bias tape and sewn by hand to keep the hem neat. From all the sleeve options, I chose the bishop sleeve and instead of sewing the casing with elastic, I drafted a cuff instead.

You can see the details on how the neckline was constructed with the facing in my video below.

Rhapsody dress 5: necktie hack

I chose a navy background bubble crepe with colorful flowers to make another dress. I used the same modified pattern I used for the dress above but added 14.5″ to the length instead of 13.5″. I wanted it a tad longer so I could have the option of wearing a belt. Using a belt can make dresses shorter.

I drafted a smaller facing just for the little V on the front and a long necktie to finish the neckline instead of the bias tape. Just for interest. I always love a necktie and I had enough fabric, so why not.

Dimensions of the small facing. It needs to be interfaced.
Necktie piece is 2 yards long and 4″ tall. I had to piece mine from scraps ๐Ÿ™‚

You can see how I modified the construction of the neckline and added the neckties in in my video below.

Rhapsody dress 6: Drawstring dress in chiffon

I chose the brand new dress length version available in the re-release. This option wasn’t available before and I really love it. You can see it in the line art below. The previous dresses I made where made just by lengthening the blouse version. I like that there is a separate skirt piece with a casing here.

I have had this fabric in my stash for YEARS and always pictured a light and floaty dress. This new version of the Rhapsody is perfect. I chose the sleeveless version, finished the armholes with self bias tape. All the seams are done with french seams.

The french seams are done by sewing 1/4″ wrong sides together and then again 1/4″ right sides together. To attach the skirt to the bodice, I also did french seams, but different. I sewed the first seam wrong sides together with 1/8″ and then the second seam (right sides together) at 3/8″. This still uses 1/2″ and allows for a casing. I used 1/4″ elastic inside.

I love the result! just as I’d envisioned.

Let’s say that there was a lot of hand basting done and every minute was worth it. Slippery sheer fabric needs extra care but the results are always satisfying.

Rhapsody dress 7: A stripe rayon spandex version

This pattern has definitely NOT been designed for knit fabrics! But, I could’t resist this challenge. I chose a white & black stripe rayon spandex. I chose to cut it all with the stripes going vertical because they are more flattering this way. This direction of the fabric is not the one with the greatest stretch, the horizontal direction is. This is why I sewed the same size I used for the woven versions. I cut the yokes with the stripes horizontal. The sewing was the same as for the woven versions with the exception of the neckline, armholes an the hem. I used a shallow zigzag stitch: width 0.5 and length 2.5.

Neckline: I cut a long piece that was 4.5cm tall along the greatest stretch of the fabric (horizontal stripes). The portion sewn to the neckline is 85% of the length and the remaining length turns into the front ties. I fussed and fiddled and sewed an actual small V shape binding on the small center V neckline. Patience patience. Lot’s of hand basting and this all took longer than my woven versions.

Armholes: I cut two long pieces at 85% of the armhole circumference, 4.5cm tall (same as the neckline binding) and sewed them on traditionally as armbands.

Hem: I used a twin needle and folded up the hem by 5/8″.

I would not recommend trying this pattern with a knit fabric UNLESS: you have patience and are willing to spend a lot of time getting the neckline to look precise. I will do it again for sure, but differing to other knit projects, this one will take longer than the woven ones! believe me ๐Ÿ™‚

I LOVE this dress so much and am glad to have taken this challenge. I now have perfected how to sew a cute little V neckline binding that is not the typical V neckband.

To see the sewing practicalities of these two dresses and how I adapted the sewing to work for a knit, see my video below.

This is one of my all time favorite patterns and that’s why I’ve made so many versions.

Along with the re-release, the Rhapsody blouse & dress is the feature Friday pattern and it’s only $5 today Friday the 24th. Get yours HERE.* The pattern will be $9 from Saturday the 25th through Thursday the 30th. Regular price $12.

DISCLAIMER: I was provided the pattern without cost, in order to be able to write a guest blog post for Love Notions in 2019.

I have affiliate links in this post to the pattern company and the pattern. If you click on these links, at no cost to you, I receive a small commission that helps finance my sewing, blog and Youtube channel.

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4 replies »

  1. I love ALL your versions! I don’t think I have the patience for the knit version, but I will be making up several tops and dresses in some rayon voile I just purchased. Can’t wait to get started!

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