Altering a basic bodice can be easy!
I can’t always find just the right pattern for the doll outfit I’m planning to make, so. I make almost all of my own patterns. It’s a lot of trial and error, but it’s also fun. I feel like a real fashion designer 🙂
This photo shows Josefina’s nightgown with a narrow a-line shape.
This photo shows Caroline’s nightgown with a wider a-line shape.
Once you have the basic pieces, you can use those as a foundation to make anything you want.
Here I will show you how to take a bodice and use it to make an a-line dress. This is one of the first dresses I ever learned to sew – I mean when I was in school when they used to teach sewing (do they still?)
For purposes of this tutorial, I am using a Liberty Jane Trendy T-Shirt bodice back. Use any basic bodice that you already have.
First, trace around the neck line, shoulder and armscye (arm hole) of your bodice.
Determine the angle you want your dress to be. The closer to the bodice, the narrower, like Josefina’s in the photo above. Alternately, the further away from the bodice you draw your line, the fuller the dress will be (see Caroline’s photo).
Draw a line from the arm across the bodice (solid purple line seen here)
Determine the length of the dress and draw another line at that point (solid line at the bottom shown here). Measure the distance between the two solid lines; this will be your new side seam. The lines here show a narrower width at 7-1/2″ and a fuller width at 8″. You will use this same measurement for the front of the bodice.