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Forum > Pattern Modifications, Design Changes & Pattern Drafting > converting princess bodice to back bodice with darts

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converting princess bodice to back bodice with darts
princess back bodice to back bodice with darts
sewer859
sewer859
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Virginia USA
Member since 5/3/07
Posts: 16
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Date: 6/5/13 4:04 PM

I am trying to figure out how to convert a back bodice from a pattern that has a 2 piece princess line bodice (princess line from under arm scye to waist) to a one piece back bodice that has a waist dart, I can add a shoulder dart if I only have to. It is for a dress. I am quite petite - 5" no inches and 100 pounds so it is very hard to find any pattern that is narrow enough for me. I'm trying to do a sun dress, but have given up because by the time I've narrowed the shoulders the traditional way, I'm left with no shoulder straps. Now I'm trying to take the bodice from a dress that I have successfully made and use that bodice, the only problem is that it has is a princess bodice with the center back on the fold line so no back zipper. i'm trying to make new pattern pieces from those pieces into a back bodice that has a back zipper and darts. The front is ok because that does not have princess lines. I can find lots of dart articles going the other way around - darts to princess lines. When I pin the two pattern pieces together, there is quite a bit of rounding in the princess seam so the pattern pieces won't lay flat, so I'm sure if I just cut out the back as one piece without adding darts it won't fit properly. any help appreciated.

Nancy K
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Nancy K
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New York USA
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In reply to sewer859 <<


Date: 6/5/13 9:55 PM

The princess lines make it easier to reduce the width. Just add a seam allowance to the cb and you can put a zipper in it. You can take in your bodice at more than one point. For instance at the shoulder and split it at the neckline down or in this case just take off some at cb. The only thing to remember is that if you change the neck you have to change any facings or collars as well.
You can also easily grade your whole pattern down by running a line through the shoulder point from largest to smallest size and then continue it. Measure along the line either one or two sizes down finding the amount by measuring along the line. the same should be done at the match points as well.

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sewer859
sewer859
Advanced Beginner
Virginia USA
Member since 5/3/07
Posts: 16
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In reply to Nancy K <<


Date: 6/6/13 6:53 PM

I really really need help! I'm smaller than all of the printed lines on any pattern piece so that's why I'm floundering. I did add the seam allowance to the CB. The problem is, when I tape the 2 pieces that make up the bodice back along the princess seam line to draw a new bodice back, the new 1 piece back 'bows out' all along the former princess seam line. Do I just ignore that or do I need to add in darts somewhere? If I just slash the new one piece back at an angle, it lays flat. From the little that I know about pattern drafting, that means that there should be a dart or two somewhere to create the volume that wouldn't be there if I just ignored the curvature (3 D speaking) that I get when I match the seam line of the two princess seams. Am I overthinking this since it'll just be a sundress? Do I just pretend that the new 1 piece lays flat, and ignore trying to put in a dart somewhere? I've experimented with a neckline dart which I don't like the look of, but when I slash the legs it really enables a lot of the new one back piece to lay flat (I still have the two former back pieces taped along the princess seam line). I've also tried a really long long long waist dart, created from slashing, which also helps the new piece to lay flat. Help!
-- Edited on 6/6/13 6:58 PM --

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