Mellow Yellow – Auditioning Bodice Patterns

I am planning to make a new dress to wear when attending a family wedding on 2nd July. I have just two weeks to decide on the style, make a wearable muslin/toile and also the dress in the fabric of my choice. My chosen fabric is a border print cotton with a little stretch that has been languishing in my stash for far too long. I have an idea of the style which will have a gathered skirt to showcase the border print but to date have not identified the bodice pattern. As I have several long lengths of cotton print fabric ready laundered in my stash, now is the ideal time to get stitching up a wearable muslin/toile before I cut into the border print. For this version I chose a Bright Yellow background printed with clusters of roses that was purchased from Fabricland some time last year – or maybe even the year before!

To start with I decided to try the princess-seamed bodice that I used for the Yellow roses printed dress (posted back on April 10th) and combine with a 4-gore circular skirt (hack from the Betty dress by Sew Over It). I know that for the border print I will be using a gathered skirt but as I had over 4 yards of the this Yellow background print it would be a shame not to use the circular skirt pattern. As I was uncertain of the finished width of the bodice at the waistline seam, I cut the skirt panels with an additional 2 inches in width to allow for any adjustment that may be required.

I placed the centre bodice pattern centre line on the fold of the fabric thus doing away with the button front, then cut the back bodice with a 1 inch centre back seam so that I could insert a zip. As the short cap sleeves have a curved hem, I cut a lining from plain White poly/cotton.

First I made up the sleeves as they are so simple and straightforward. Then I constructed the bodice. Where the previous version had a button front, this time by cutting the centre panel on the fold it necessitated some adjustment in respect of dart shaping and the side seams. Once I had made up the bodice back and attached the back skirt panels, I used a lap insertion for the zip fastening. I set the zip a couple of inches down from the neckline as I prefer to leave the neckline clear of any interruption. I knew that with the width and scoop of the shaping, I would easily be able to put the bodice on over my head. The zip was required so that the waistline could open up and would go easily over my bust when putting on the dress. I added the front bodice and skirt panels before stitching the entire sides of the skirt and bodice in one seam. The neckline facing has an interfacing of plain white poly/cotton. I set in the sleeves which required a little gathering at the shoulder point as there was too much to be eased into the armscye. I have adjusted the pattern so that next time no gathering should be needed.

Finally the hem of the skirt was overlocked and a narrow hem machined in place.

I have a new dress and completed the auditioning of this style of bodice. Next step is to ‘trial’ my old favourite style bodice that has bust darts and body darts at the front and back. Again I will use the full circle skirt pattern as the fabric I have selected is another length of 4 metres purchased last Summer.