Monday, 7 August 2017

How to hack a basic bodice into a halter style top - tutorial

A few people have asked how I created the bodice for my maxi halter dress. - it's relatively easy.

You will need:
A basic bodice pattern.
ruler/ french curve.

I used the basic bodice from Gertie's ultimate dress book but any basic bodice will do. Make sure it fits you well before beginning -make a toile.

I have drawn out the steps on regular paper with sharpie as you could not see the changes to my actual pattern as I'd used a thin light pencil and tissue paper. However the steps below should give you the right idea.

1. Trace your basic block, front and back onto the paper you are going to use and mark in the seam lines. I would also measure the neck edge before you start adapting the pattern. If you are going to make a collar piece this will make this step easier. (you could also apply a bias binding to the finished edge.

2. On the shoulder seams mark your new seam length. I made mine 1.5cm. Don't forget to allow for seam allowance on the neck edge.

3. Draw new cut away armhole to your new marked seams from the underarm.

4. Add seam allowance (1-1.5cm)

5. Cut away the excess paper from the shoulder area. The back piece should be finished now.

6. On the front cut up one leg of each dart.

7. Tape the darts closed. You will end up with a curved or pointy piece of paper. (you can also do this with patterns that only have one dart. the principle is the same)

8. Cut a straight line from the neck edge through the point of the bust dart, and one through the waist dart. The closer you are to the dart point the flatter your paper will lie.

9. Tape paper behind your pattern, spreading the neckline edge open - it will look quite wide.

10. Join the neck edge seam line with a smooth curve from the shoulder to the centre front - use a french curve to help - then add your seam allowance.

11. This is the edge that will be gathered into the collar or neck binding. My collar piece was approx 22cm (folded in half) before I added the seam allowances.
To gather the neckline either sew two rows of basting stitched into the seam allowances and pull the ends of the thread up to ease into the collar or sew a zigzag over dental floss or cord and pull that up to gather the neckline.

Order of construction:
Sew darts in back bodice and press towards centre back. Sew shoulder and side seams together, press. Gather neckline and sew into collar. Sew collar facing and finish CB seam. Buttons, a tie, or zip work well.

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