As I’ve mentioned, I’m working on making a knit and woven dress slopers/blocks to fit my new shape. I’m pretty happy with my knit sloper, so it’s time to work on the woven version. There are not many commercial woven dress patterns that don’t have a bust dart, but I found Simplicity 1878, a Lisette pattern, that looked like it could work. I took it to my sewing teacher and we were able to make a few pretty simple adjustments to make this work for me. I’d like to show you how, because this looks different from other SBA’s, but it’s not.
First, here’s the line drawing of the pattern from the instruction sheet. I’ll be adjusting the front to eliminate the horizontal seam at the yoke/bodice. You can use this same process and leave the seam if you want.
You can see that the top/yoke and the bottom are very similar shapes at the seamline, but there is actually a 5/8″ dart put in that seam. So, how do you eliminate it if you don’t need it? There are probably several approaches, but I’ll show you the one we used.
Here’s our end result.
Here are the steps for how we got there.
Draw lines from the middle of the arm scythe to the bust point (where it would be if you had one), and from the side seam to the bust point. The line from the side seam should be perpendicular to the straight of grain. Draw a third line parallel to the straight of grain that connects to the bust point.
Carefully cut – first cut up the vertical line to the bust point and over to the arm scythe, BUT leave a hinge at the seam allowance (usually 5/8″). Cut from the arm scythe in to the hinge. Next cut from the side seam to the bust point, leaving a hinge there, too.
Overlap the pattern pieces to remove the bust dart. In this case, it’s 5/8″. So the overlap of 5/8″ is at the side seam, and then adjust so the rest of the pattern is lying flat. Once everything is flat, tape the pieces together. You will lose some length on the side panel. That’s ok (that length was to go over the bust, but I don’t need it any more.)
True up the pattern. You will likely need to do this to the bottom/skirt piece as well.
Now I have a pattern that fits! I will probably not use this pattern as-is. First I’ll trace it and modify the neckline because it doesn’t work well for me. (I’ve tried it several times in the past.) I’ll change it to a nice V-curve – my combination of a v-neck with a curved bottom. Second, I’ll add shoulder princess seams and some flare to the skirt. And I’ll add side seam pockets.
I’m thinking of using Tessuti’s Bella dress for inspiration. Stay tuned.