Last week I told y’all about how I was a pattern tester for the Branson Top by Lily Sage & Co. Today I’m showing you the steps I took to make the pattern into a dress and also how I changed the pattern into a bigger sizes since it only goes up to an 18, size 31″ waist, 39.8″ bust. I made it fit my 37″ waist and 44 1/2″ bust. I haven’t finished sewing the dress yet but I thought I’d show you what adjustments I did to make it into a dress first, in a few posts, and then show you the finished product to avoid a very long blog post.
I chose to test pattern size 18, which is a size 31″ waist. When I made it in this size it fit okay but it was snug, thanks to the extra baby weight I still have from baby number two, so I decided that I wanted a bigger top and also I wanted to make it into a dress afterwards. In order to make it a bigger top I added 1″ to the side seam of the pattern and then 1/2″ to the neckline, shoulder, and the armhole. I didn’t do the long-sleeve versions so I didn’t have to worry about adjusting those. I sewed the top and it came out great! It fits me perfect now and I know that once I lose the baby weight I can always go back to the regular size 18. Until then I also have the first size 18 Branson Top I made hanging in my closet motivating me to lose the baby weight. ha!
After seeing that the top fit great I placed my front pattern on a long piece of pattern making paper. I buy it by the roll HERE. If you know where I can get it for cheaper, please let me know! I placed the pattern front on the edge of the paper to get a straight front edge and then traced the neckline, and shoulder only. I then measured how much longer I wanted the front to be. I decided that 13″ would be perfect and would be a bit above my knee. So I measured 13″ down from the hemline and marked. This would be my new hem.
I wanted my hemline to be straight, not asymmetrical like the top. If you look at the top sideways, the front is longer than the back, I didn’t want that for the dress so I made sure the hem was straight by drawing the hemline 90 degrees from where I placed the 13″ mark. I also wanted to make sure that the dress fit in my fabric because the fabric I wanted to use was only 26″ wide. So I marked at 24″ and decided that would be the end of the side seam. I then grabbed my measuring tape and put it at the top of the side seam (where the pencil is at) and brought it straight down to where that 24″ mark was and saw it only took off about 1/2″ on the tip of the original bottom side seam. I moved the original pattern over a bit and made the new side seam. It ended up being 35″ long. This also straightened out my asymmetrical hemline.
Next I worked on the armhole. I have bigger arms so when the sleeve ends at the top of my arm it makes my arms look wider so I decided I wanted to drop that shoulder a good 3″ to make it look like a mini-sleeve and also slim the top of my arms. I added 3″ to the end of the shoulder and raised it 1″ to keep the measurement the same. My original armhole measurement was 10″ but when I lowered it 3″ to add that mini-sleeve it made it 9″. This is how I knew to raise it 1″. I then just grabbed a ruler and made a new shoulder point, keeping the inside of the shoulder (near the neckline) the same. I used a curved ruler to make the new top of the armhole and kept the bottom the same by just tracing it.
Here is the way it looked once that was done. As you’ll notice it still has a sharp point and we don’t want that. Once I finished the front and back adjustments (I’ll do back on my next post) I placed them on top of each other and then made a straight line from the shoulder down to the armhole the length of my seam allowance. Since my seam allowance is 1/2″, I made my line where it would make the edge point 1/2″. Look at picture to understand it better. I’ve moved down the pattern in the photo so you can see how they are on top of each other, but when you cut it or mark it you would line them up by placing them exactly on top of each other to do this. This gets rid of that sharp point we used to have.
and then you are done with the front piece. Here it is finished with all the markings, except buttonholes (which I did after) transferred on the pattern. I hope you guys enjoyed this tutorial. I will post part 2 next week because I have tons of work to do on some custom orders this week. Don’t forget to check out my podcast on iTunes and look out for the third one coming out this weekend! Also, make sure you subscribe to my newsletter so that you can get all the latest RLD posts and news.
Until next time ,stay creative,
ღ Reyna Lay ღ