Hi Sunshines! I’m a total dress lover and the BSD dress patterns are my favorites. I especially like that they can be mixed and matched to suit your unique aesthetic and mood. So, let’s explore my most recent hack/mash-athon. This dress is made completely from BSD elements:
- Hack the Clementine bodice from scoop to a v-neck
- Add in the Amelia waistband (and the Clementine bodice)
- Hack the Sahara skirt into a more a-line option
V-Neck hack for a lined bodice
Let’s start with the modifying Clementine to a v-neck. Clementine is a scooped neckline with a main bodice pattern piece and lining pattern piece. For this hack, we will need:
- Main bodice pattern piece
- Lining bodice pattern piece
I started by tracing out the pattern pieces and making my standard adjustments (blending sizes and removing length for height).
After this, draw a dot at the top of the shoulder and another at the bottom of the neckline scoop.
Next, connect the dots with your straight edge. You can also modify further by making the bottom dart higher or lower (this will make a deeper or more shallow V-neck) and moving the upper dot left or right will make a wider/more narrow neckline and shoulder straps. Don’t forget: whatever you do to the main bodice piece, you’ll need to replicate for the lining.
Now it is finally time to cut your new pattern pieces, cut the fabric, and sew! Follow the instructions in the Clementine pattern and attach the main bodice front and back together at the shoulder. Repeat for the lining pieces.
Now, its time to sew the neckline. Pin the lining to the main right sides together. Use lots of pins/clips.
You’ll sew it just as in the instructions but you’ll need to pay a little extra attention to the new “v” you’ve drawn. Instead of a smooth curve for the scooped neckline, you’ll need to pivot at a point. To make sure we do this in the right place, let’s go ahead and measure 3/8″ below the “v” and mark it with a dot so we know exactly where to pivot to get a nice clean “v”.
Once you’ve sewn the lining to the main bodice along the neck, we want the most crisp “v” we can get. So, let’s put a snip in the “v” just up to the dot. Be careful not to cut your stitching.
Continue on to understitch and follow the rest of the Clementine bodice instructions.
Put a band on it!
I wanted my dress to have a band to help break up the print so it would really pop. For this mini-tutorial, you’ll need:
- Amelia waistband lining pattern piece
- Clementine bodice (front main and lining, back main and lining)
- straight edge
I’ve shown you before how I hacked the Amelia to use the lining instead of the taller band that you then gather. You can check that blog out here. I want a similar look for this dress so I’ll be using the waistband lining as my starting point.
Go ahead and cut quantity four of the waistband lining as indicated here.
I measured the height of the band so I would know how much I would need to remove from the bottom of the four Clementine bodice pieces. I then drew a line on my bodice pieces to indicate the space that the band would be taking up now instead. I drew another line 3/8″ below my first line to indicate the extra seam allowance I’ll need to connect the bodice to the waistband.
Cut all 4 bodice pieces in this manner. Follow the instructions for piecing the Clementine bodice together. Then, follow the instructions here for adding the waistband.
Voila! It is finally time to add a skirt.
Hack the Sahara circle skirt into an A-line skirt
I am using a directional fabric so I initially printed the Sahara skirt pieces that have a side seam. Cutting the skirt in two pieces versus the more standard one piece for a circle skirt means you can position the fabric so your print is never upsidedown and also provides the option for in-seam pockets. However, I couldn’t quite fit the pattern piece on my fabric. An A-line skirt came to mind. This would still give me the full look I wanted but would help conserve fabric and fit in my limited yardage.
For the purposes of this tutorial I am using smaller off scale pieces of paper as the adult skirt is very large so difficult to photograph. For this tutorial, you will need:
- The Sahara skirt pattern with side seams
- Straight edge
My original pattern pieces just barely didn’t fit onto my fabric so I used the following “cheater” method to reduce the fullness of the skirt. I drew the red line from the edge of the waist at the side seam down to the hem. Then, I cut out my new pattern piece, cut two skirts on fold from the fabric, and pieced together.
This is considered the cheater method because you’re not removing the fullness in an even manner. The “correct” method is to spread and slash instead of drawing the single red line as above.
Take the original Sahara circle skirt piece and draw lines from the waist to the hem equadistant apart.
Next, cut along the lines from the hem line to the waist but not through the waist.
This would allow you to pivot the pattern pieces over one another to remove an equal amount of fullness from each line.
After you overlap the pieces, you will likely find you’ll need to smooth out the hem line too. Otherwise, you’re ready to go ahead and cut your front and back on fold.
Here is a comparison of the original skirt and the final, more a-line version: