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Jersey Kauri Dress Hack

Transform your Kauri Dress pattern into a jersey knit masterpiece with this tutorial.

Thank you to Vicki Reid for creating this tutorial for our Below The Kōwhai community.

To see more of Vicki’s adorable sewing visit @whatvickimade on Instagram.

I’ve been wanting to make Iris (my almost 3 year old) a jersey dress with a gathered skirt for some time now. We’ve recently been on holiday where Iris spotted some dinosaur fabric in the local fabric shop, so it seemed like the perfect time to try hacking Kauri.

I made the size 3 for Iris, she is slightly smaller than the size 3 but I wanted to make something that would last if she suddenly has a growth spurt. With the dress being jersey I could have sized down for a more fitted dress. 

For this hack I’ve omitted the button band from the front bodice and added a neckband. 

Prepare the Pattern Pieces


The skirt, pockets (if using) and sleeves are traced as usual.

You do not need the back facing.

The front and back bodice pieces need to be adjusted.


For the front bodice piece you need to draw a straight line for where the pattern states the center front is

(thank you Sophie for creating such detailed patterns! It makes adjustments and hacking an awful lot easier!)

You will then trace the rest of the pattern that falls on the right hand side of this line.


Next you need to lower the neckline by 1.5cm (5/8″) to accommodate the neckband, otherwise the neck will become too small, tight and out of shape.

Measure 1.5cm (5/8”) down from the neckline.

Trim the pattern.


Repeat step 3 for the back bodice.


Cut your fabric.

Cut the front bodice with the center front on the fold, just like you do with the back bodice.



Sew the shoulder seams first.

Then sew the top of the sleeve into the arm hole of your bodice.

TIP: I have sewn my dress with a serger, but if you don’t have one use with a narrow zig zag stitch or the lightning bolt aka stretch stitch on your sewing machine.


Fold the sleeve in half right sides together, match the under arm seams, and bring the front and back bodice together to join the sleeve and side seam,

Sew the full seam and repeat for the second arm. 


Attach the skirt exactly how the pattern describes, with two rows of gathering stitches. 

Hem the sleeves and skirt.

For the skirt hem I turned up .5cm (1/4”) and then 1.5cm (5/8”), this is because I find with jersey you need a deeper hem otherwise it can roll up. I kept the sleeves the same as the pattern suggests.

You can use a zig zag stitch or twin needle for top stitching jersey. 



For the neckband you need to do a little bit of maths.

First measure the neckline of your dress.

If you’re using a ribbing for your neck band like me you will need to work out 80% of your measurement, for jersey with less stretch go with 90%. 

I did this by entering 18 (inches) – 20% on my phone calculator = 14.4″

I rounded up from 14.4 inches to 14 1/2” then added 6/8” (seam allowance)

This will give you your total length for the neckband.

Your neckband needs to be 2” high.


Sew the two short edges together.

Fold the neckband in half lengthways with wrong sides together.

Divide the neckband in 4 and mark.

Work out the center front and back of your dress.

Match the side seams and center front and back of the dress with each quarter of the neckband.

The neckband is smaller than the opening so stretch it slightly as you sew it to the neck opening, this is so the neck sits flat when it’s sewn. 


I then topstitched the seam allowance to the main fabric, you don’t need to do this but it does help the neckband sit flat.

I used a decorative stretch stitch but you can also use zig zag or twin needle.


Tah dah! Your jersey Kauri is complete!

Thanks for the Kauri Dress hack Vicki! Show us your jersey knit Kauri Dress hacks in our VIP Community on Facebook or tag us on Instagram!

Love and happy sewing,
Sophie x

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