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Forum > Pattern Modifications, Design Changes & Pattern Drafting > Eliminate midriff panel and add princess seams

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Eliminate midriff panel and add princess seams
prostheticsgirl
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prostheticsgirl
Intermediate
Ohio USA
Member since 3/6/12
Posts: 59
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Date: 1/17/13 2:33 PM

One of my good friends is having a 1950s themed wedding this spring, and I purchased this dress just for the amazing fabric. It is vintage but the fit is so off (couple of inches too long in bodice, WAY to wide in the shoulder, back, bust, and hips) that it is a total redo. I'm in the process of carefully ripping the entire thing apart now to see what I have to work with.

I've made Butterick 5455 before and it fit me really well and it is the basic dress shape and neckline are close to what I'm looking for. I really love this vintage dress but probably won't open up the neckline and back quite so much.

I would like to make the following tweaks: eliminate the pockets, midriff panel, and neckline darts. I would also like to change the bodice to princess seams (even though they're not quite period correct) because this is a dress I'll plan to wear again.

The problem is, how do I remove the darts and midriff panel (which is contoured and not straight across) and change to princess seams? I've read my books on slash and spread to move the darts, which seems good in theory, but failed in execution. The lining offers little help. It still has the midriff piece but the neckline darts are converted to two super large darts at empire level
-- Edited on 1/17/13 3:05 PM --

jenleeC
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jenleeC  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Western Australia Australia
Member since 6/4/11
Posts: 1032
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In reply to prostheticsgirl <<


Date: 1/17/13 10:07 PM

If I am understanding you correctly, you want to take the front bodice from B5455, eliminate the neckline pleats and remove the front midriff panel, and then use princess line seams to give shaping?

I am not an expert, but this is how I would go about it:
- cut out the front bodice pieces in muslin as per the pattern, ignoring any facings. Mark all seam lines and grainlines.
- sew up the front bodice, joining all pieces as per the pattern, but sew the neckline pleats down flat as you want to eliminate these. You now have a shaped front bodice to work with. The next step is converting this shaped front into flat pattern pieces.
- if you have a dress form, pin the bodice to the dress form and mark in pen where you want the princess line seams to go. If you don't have a dress form, do your best without one, even pinning it onto a close fitting t-shirt on yourself!
- cut your muslin along the princess line seams and hopefully you now have three flat pieces (Rside, front, Lside) you can work with.
- use you muslin to trace out the new front pattern pieces. You will need to mark a new grainline on the side front panels. Don't forget to add seam allowance along the princess line seams!
- make a new muslin from your new pattern and check the fit.

This will leave you with a waist seam. If you want to eliminate this also, use the same process but extend you muslin to include the skirt part.
HTH's

-- Edited on 1/17/13 11:05 PM --

------
Jenny, Perth, WA

prostheticsgirl
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prostheticsgirl
Intermediate
Ohio USA
Member since 3/6/12
Posts: 59
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Date: 1/20/13 9:59 AM

I drafted 3 potential bodice options using various methods and started the muslin process to see what my ideal bodice shape would be, and then the dress threw me a massive curveball. The bodice front has french darts, which have been trimmed on the inside!! NOOOO!!! That pretty much nullifies all of my plans. This one is not going to be so easy to make it work. I made a copy of the bodice front and am going to start manipulating the copy to see what I can do. Princess seams are definitely out now and I have to find a way to make the massive cutouts in my fabric work

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