Monday, March 21, 2011

More progress on the summer sheer.......

Last time I talked about it, I was trying to decide to use a pattern I already had or draft my own to make this summer dress. I decided to go ahead and draft my own from an existing custom pattern that I had already fitted to my friend and knew would need little alterations. This is how I did it.

Here we have the original pattern. It is a darted bodice with a flat back.

To make the front of the bodice open with no hooks and eyes, start at the edge where the neckline and shoulder meet and draw a straight line down.

Cut that off. Where the darts are, draw several lines going all the way up to the shoulder.

Measure your pattern with the darts closed. Mine happened to be 9 inches.

Cut up those lines that you drew and spread them out. You can do either a 1.5 to 1 or 2.1 gather ration. A 1.5 ration is shown but I prefer a 2.1 gather ration for this style. I multiplied 9" x 1.5 getting 13.5" for a 1 to 1.5 gather ratio. This is the measurement i want when I spread out my pieces.

Tape down the pieces and trace around the entire shape to get your new modified bodice pattern.

Label the pattern with what it is and the date so you don't forget anything. I added the gathering lines also. My pattern already had seam allowances. If yours does not, you can add that now.

For the back, I wanted a simple gathered back. This is my pattern to start out with.

Again, make a series of lines. Cut up them.

The back of the bodice on the fold is about 6".

Again I want a 1.5 ration for gathers so I spread to get 9" (1.5 x 6").

Tape it down and trace. Please ignore that second straight line at the bottom. I made a mistake. Yours should only have that curved line at the very bottom.

Again label and add markings.

I really like this style with a waistband. I wanted a 2" waist band so marked two inches up and then added a 1/2" seam allowance. In the end marking up 1.5".

Here are both finished patterns with marking for waistband. I later added another line with the seam allowance added to make it clear where I should cut for a bodice that has a waistband. I don't have a picture of that.

From here you can cut out your bodice along with a waistband to make a mock up. Make adjustments as needed and then mark those on your pattern. I needed to shorten the front a little and make the arm hole more roomy. Let me know if this can be clearer in anyway.

Just for clarification, your front shoulder will need to be gathered into the back shoulder. It should look like this.

Bethany Lynn


  1. I can't wait to see the finished product! Your work is always so lovely.

  2. Ooh, I can't wait to see it! I love that style. I have a light blue cotton lawn print I want to make up with this style but it's been packed away over the winter. I'm inspired to pull it out and do something with it now! You should post regular updates so I can sew my dress up along with you! :)


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