Sunday, April 27, 2014

Yes, I am crazy.... Making a sweet heart bodice pattern

So I volunteered to make my 13 year old cousin a dress for her upcoming dance. She and her mom sent me several pictures and then we went to the store and chose McCall's pattern M6893.

The next weekend we went to Joann's. She decided she wanted the dress with the 3/4 length sleeved lace overlay and without the ruffles on the skirt. We searched through fabric for two hours until she decided she wanted it in navy kind of like this.

When we got home I decided to go ahead and test out the bodice pattern. The results about made me want to puke almost. What had I gotten myself into? She was so tiny the pattern didn't fit at ALLLLLLLL.

So I jumped online looking for ways to shrink the pattern. Of course there is nothing so I realize I must make my own pattern. I'm going to try to go over how I made it, mostly so I can remember if I ever need it again and maybe it will help someone else.

How I made a sweetheart bodice pattern:

What you will need-

  • Normal sewing stuffs (Sewing machine, scissors, coordinating thread)
  • Lots of cheap fabric to test your pattern with. A yard or two will work. Maybe you will be luckier and not need as much as I did. Cotton is easiest to sew. Do NOT use your dress fabric.
  • Hem gauge
  • Some kind of paper to draw your patterns on. I use freezer paper so you can iron the wax side onto the fabric and don't need to pin it. (You're welcome for that tip!)
  • Pencil. Don't use a pen like I did.
  • The bra you will be wearing with your finished dress.
I'm not going to really tell you how to make a finished garment, this is just how I made my pattern. You can use this pattern to make whatever you like, maybe even a corset.

I found this nifty post on Anny Clark's blog. I put in all the measurements it asks for (make sure to click away from the input box after each entry) and started drawing it out. Your bra needs to be on for these measurements.

After a bit I decided I didn't barely understand a thing with this without pictures to go off of. I started to go searching for a YouTube video. I found this one. I used it in conjunction with the measurements from the spreadsheet. 

Somehow it worked mostly... The front I got on the first try, just about. The sides I had to redo a few times. Just added a little here and there, holding it up against her and looking. I made about 3 samples of the sides before I got it right.

I actually ended up using part of the back from the original pattern to make the back of my pattern. This is one way you can do it. Sew the front and sides together from your pattern that you have made. Measure from the top corner of the side to the middle of you/her back on the top. That's your top measurement. Then, measure from the bottom corner of your side piece. Finally, measure from the top measurement to the bottom. Take your side piece edge measurements and make it your blue measurement. Now you should have an odd shaped rectangle.

Sew it all together. Front, sides, back. Might want to use basting stitches (Your longest straight stitch on you machine and don't back stitch at all) because you're going to be pulling it apart a lot. Add a little here and there. Take some away. One you get it perfect, take it all apart. Trace very carefully around your pattern pieces. Then add a seam allowance. This video will help tell you how. Standard seam allowance is 1/2 in but check your specific pattern. This lady works in cm.

After this is done and you've gotten your pattern cut out you need to test your pattern once last time. Use the video to know how to sew them together.

Sew it all together and try it all on. Remember you need to have on the bra you're planning to wear with the dress this pattern is for. It should overlap about a half an inch or a little more on the back. If it all looks good, you're done! If it isn't... go tweak it just a little. You're almost there!

Congrats! You made a pattern! I hope I didn't muddle that up too much. If you have any questions you can comment and I'll do my best to answer it. I'm no magician. I'm just figuring it out as I go too.  :-)  Will post more as I get the actual dress made for my cousin.


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