Amelia Hack Day 1 of 2: Raising the Back Neckline

My favorite silhouette to sew for myself is a fitted bodice and full skirt. Amelia fits the bill perfectly. It has a front crossover bodice and unique deep back v-neck. Amelia is topped off with a gathered waistband and gathered skirt. Amelia is a really enjoyable pattern sewn "as is" but I’ll show you a few "hacks" to get even more mileage without a lot of effort.

Let's Hack!

Today, let's work on raising the back neckline. The amount you raise is up to you. We will talk more about that below.

For this hack, you will need:
  • The Amelia has two back pieces:
    • Back Bodice
    • Back Bodice Lining
  • Fabric, main and whatever you want to use for the lining, I had enough of my main and just used that.
  • Ruler
  • Paper
  • Writing tool
  • Adhesive: tape, glue, etc.
Behind the Scenes Tip: Ever wonder why all the BSD patterns with lined bodices have a lining and exterior pattern piece? The lining is slightly smaller so it rolls inside and the seam isn’t prominent. So, because there are two different back pieces, we want to raise them by the same amount.

Back Bodice and Back Bodice Lining

Let’s start by attaching the Back Bodice piece to your paper. I used tracing paper and tape here:

Then, extend the back center up in a straight line user your straight edge. I also drew red dots where the neckline currently begins and ends on the pattern piece.

We're Almost Done Now

Now, we need to determine how much we want to raise the back neckline. I started with 5 inches (shown on this paper), did a muslin, and then settled on liking 3 inches, reflected in this garment.

Now, draw another dot at the top inside edge of the shoulder seam 3/8 inch down. This is to account for our seam allowance. Don’t worry if you forget the first time like I did, you can simply trim it later and remember for the next time. Now, use the straight edge again to connect the two marks (green line). 

This your new pattern piece. Cut around to remove the excess.

Then, repeat for the second piece, raising it by the same amount.

Fabric Time!

Now, you’re ready to use your new back pattern pieces to cut into your fabric:
  • Back Main (we will need to cut QTY 2, mirrored, from the main fabric)
  • Back Lining (we will need to cut QTY 2, mirrored, from our lining fabric)
Follow the standard assembly instructions.

Tadah – you did it!

Can you spot the other two things I did to make this Amelia different? I’ll be back later this week to tell you about removing the gathers around the waist and replacing the gathered skirt with a circle one.

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