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Message Board > Pattern Modifications, Design Changes & Pattern Drafting > Changing Princess seamed bodice back to one piece

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Changing Princess seamed bodice back to one piece
Need darts for princess seam bodice to 1 piece back
sewer859
sewer859
Advanced Beginner
VA USA
Member since 5/3/07
Posts: 16
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Date: 6/6/13 7:22 PM

I am new at clothes sewing, very tiny, so I'm below the seam lines of any printed pattern so I have to guess. I'm trying to make a sundress. I'm using a dress bodice pattern which I know fits but it has princess seams and no zipper. I'm trying to take that bodice and use on my new sundress pattern and add a back zipper. The front I've worked out. The back bodice though when I tape the two princess back bodice pieces together ( the princess seam runs under the arm not at the neckline) the seam really bows out off of the table. I know that is to give it the dimension for the body. If I just add a seam allowance for the zipper and no darts, can I just treat the taped together bodice as one new piece or since it bows out so much do I need to slash the new one piece bodice back somewhere and add a dart, or even two? I'm on my fourth pattern trying to find something that is small enough. Everything else when I decrease the shoulder leaves me with no shoulder width because a sundress starts with about a 3 inch wide shoulder. If I move the neck in an inch I have a funny looking sliver left.

Marilly
Marilly
Advanced Beginner
OR USA
Member since 7/9/06
Posts: 696
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In reply to sewer859 <<


Date: 6/8/13 12:51 PM

Can you post or link photos of yourself ( ideal would be front, back and side) in this garment? It's easier to address a fit issue with a pic since we can see the exact style of dress and how it's fitting on you. < : )
Shel

sewer859
sewer859
Advanced Beginner
VA USA
Member since 5/3/07
Posts: 16
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In reply to Marilly <<


Date: 6/12/13 1:45 PM

I'm smaller than the smallest size on any pattern. I'm trying to 'draft' my pattern piece so that I can make a bodice. I know that the bodice from my other dress Simplicity 4220 fits so I'm trying to use that for my sundress. It doesn't have a back zipper because it was a very simple dress that was pulled over the head (made possible by a deep v neck). The original dress had small princess panels for the sides and back, with the center back bodice cut on the fold then a princess seam pattern piece for the side back. I want the sundress which is Burda 2933 to have a back zipper. The bodice that came with that pattern is at least several inches too wide across the back. I tried to adjust it but because the shoulder seam started out only about 3.5" wide, when I cut and moved the armhole in toward CB for a narrow back adjustment, I had very little shoulder seam left and a weird back neckline. The front pattern piece wasn't that far off in width so I couldn't follow any type of rule of 'make the same change to the front as the back' because if I were to do that then the front wouldn't fit. The front pattern piece has an extremely deep neckline which I'm also trying to raise. I've tried other patterns and always run into having the back too broad and a gaping neckline. Occasionally the front bodice isn't quite long enough because I have a bustline. Way too many problems for me to figure out.

PetitePear
PetitePear
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Member since 6/10/10
Posts: 255
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Date: 6/12/13 6:51 PM

How tiny are you? I typically sew size 4 in Big 4, which is the smallest they come. I notice Simplicity and McCalls has a lot of sz 4 patterns, Vogue and Butterick very few. Sometimes even size 4 is too big and I have to grade down to size 2. Or if the pattern I want only goes down to 6 or 8, I grade it down also. Size 4 is about equivalent to Burda size 32 (even though it's supposed to be 30) because Burda has less ease.

I recommend grading rather than simply increase the seam allowance to avoid the distortions like you mentioned. It's MUCH easier to grade a pattern down a few sizes (I don't usually grade down more than 2 sizes, because after that, distortions can be a problem as well) than to modify it like you're hoping to do. This is a good tutorial on Burdastyle.

If I have a pdf pattern, sometimes I print it at 90% or 95% depending on the current smallest size. This works well because I'm also short.

But if you really want to modify your current pattern, what I would do is line up the seamlines of the pattern pieces in the middle or at the shoulder seam. What's left where the two pieces don't line up is your dart (make sure to sew the dart on the seam line rather than the cutting line.) I'd try to line up the shoulder first and see if you can approximate a bodice with just the waist dart. If that's too distorted, then you have to line up the middle and have both shoulder and waist darts. Then you have decide whether you want to move some width from the waist dart to the center seam, and how much.

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