I cannot emphasize enough googling the name of the pattern before proceeding to sew a garment. Find all the blog posts you can and read up on the desired alterations. After reading though a bunch of posts I knew I was going to…
- Alter the neckline so it wasn’t such a dramatic boat-neck. (I didn’t want my bra straps peeking out).
- Cut the front bodice piece on the fold of the fabric so it didn’t have a center-seam.
- Not do a zipper (the jersey would allow me to stretch the dress over my head).
- Lengthen the torso and the sleeves
- Adjust the ease on the shoulders.
- Adjust the sleeve pattern to avoid the elbow dart.
- Use stay tape on the neckline, skirt hem, and sleeve hems.
- Only line the bodice – not the sleeves or the skirt.
- Not do pockets.
Read on for tips on pursuing each of these alterations and for a general walk-though on the pattern!
Working with Jersey Fabric: Some people are intimidated by working with knits – I certainly was! After reading this GREAT blog post, I felt like I knew the supplies I needed in order to feel like I had the proper tools to use in order to get my desired results. For this dress, I used a stretch needle, my walking foot, and the “stretch” stitch on my machine. When it came time to hem my sleeves and the skirt, I used a stretch twin needle and a size 3 straight stitch.
Altering the pattern pieces:
Adjust the neckline by marking one-inch inside the shoulder toward the neck and re-drawing the scoop.
Subtract 5/8″ from the center seam and draw a line from neck to waist. This line should be matched onto the fold of your fabric when cutting your pattern pieces.
Add length to the bottom hem of the pattern piece. I only added one-inch. Now that the dress is done, I should have added three inches, but I am an abnormally long-torsoed person. This is what I get for not making a muslin.
Adjust the neckline by marking one-inch inside the shoulder toward the neck and re-drawing the angles to the center point.
Reduce the ease by dipping the center of the shoulder peak down one and half inches. (I figured this out by walking my original sleeve pattern piece along the edges of the front bodice and back bodice pattern pieces. This gave me a hint on how much I excess I had). Re-draw the slope of the shoulder line so that it matches to the notches. If you don’t do this step, the sleeve will have a gathered look at the shoulders, like a little bubbly shoulder-pad. Could work for a non-stretch fabric, but not what I was going for in this case.
Since I was using a stretch fabric, I wasn’t concerned about having enough elbow room in the sleeve. Therefore, I don’t need an elbow dart; so I adjusted my pattern using this tutorial. Very easy.
I added one-inch to the sleeve length, but I should have added two inches. This is what I get for not making a muslin.
Cutting out the fabric: I only wanted to line the bodice – so I needed 2 front units, cut on the fold. 4 back units. 2 skirt front pieces, 2 skirt back pieces, 4 sleeve pieces. No pockets : )
Sewing the pattern:
This really is an easy pattern to follow, although I certainly made it easier by avoiding doing a lining for the sleeves and skirt, and I didn’t do pockets or a zipper. So I’ll take you a “Very Easy” and raise you an “Even for Me” – Vogue.
Here are the points where I deviated from the pattern:
- After sewing the bodice darts, I reinforced the neckline (for both the front and back bodice pieces) by sewing in some bias-stay-tape.
- Since I didn’t do a zipper, I sewed the two back panels of the bodice together right away.
- After I sewed my lining to the dress top, right sides together and flipping right-side out, I sewed the two pieces together along the waist line. Making the bodice with the lining one complete unit; when I attached the skirt, I therefore sewed it to both the lining and the dress bodice.
- Since I wasn’t lining the sleeves, I hemmed the sleeve cuffs before I sewed the sleeve sides together. I used stay-tape, a twin stretch needle, and my walking foot. I used the same tools for hemming my skirt.
I’m really happy with this dress! Next time, I’d add another two inches to the torso, but it is really comfortable and I feel like it can be easily dressed up or down.
Thanks for reading!