Friday, December 7, 2012

Tutorial: Crossover Dress (PR&P Guest Post)

I'm bringing home the tutorial published at Project Run and Play a month ago. It was so exciting to be featured over there!

Thanks for inviting me to share today!

I'll be showing you how to modify a basic bodice into a crossover back, one of my favorite designs for little dresses. My first submission to the PR&P Flikr pool was this design, and I've completed another version recently.

I start with an existing dress pattern for the bodice front, and then use it as a guide for the modified back. Let's get started!

Cut two Front Bodices - one Main Fabric and one Lining Fabric. If you've got your own bodice block, that'll work. I prefer a shorter bodice, but this style will work with any basic bodice.

For the back bodice:
Trace the shoulder, armhole, and bottom of the back bodice pattern piece onto your new pattern paper. Then sketch out a very gentle curve (or straight line if you prefer) down from the shoulder. Cut four Back Bodices - two Main Fabric and two Lining Fabric.

Cut one Skirt Front and two Skirt Backs. Mine were 30x12 for the skirt front and 15 1/2 x 12 for the two backs.

(1 - 2) Sew shoulder seams right sides together
(3) Finish seam allowance, press
(4) Repeat for lining
(5) Finish sides of Back Skirt pieces
(6) Fold under left side of one Back Skirt piece and right side of the other piece 1/4". Fold under 1/4" again and press.
(7) Stitch narrow hem on left side of one back piece and right side of the other back piece.
(8) Gather tops of skirts.
(9) Pin Front Skirt to Front Bodice, right sides together.
(10) Pin Back Skirts to Back Bodices, leaving 5/8" seam allowance free on the Back Bodice pieces.
(11) Stitch skirts to bodices.
(12) Finish seam allowances and press.
(13) Here's what you've got so far.
(14) Finish bottoms of Bodice Lining pieces
(15) Pin neck and back openings of Bodice and Bodice Lining, right sides together. Stitch around neck and back.
(16 - 18) When stitching short sides of Back Bodice pieces, stitch as close to skirt side hems as possible, being careful not to catch them in the stitching.
(19) Understitch seam allowance to lining. Turn right side out and press.
(20) Turn wrong side out again and stitch armholes, right sides together. Clip curves.
(21 - 24) Pull skirt back under Back Bodice lining and through shoulder.
(25) Turn dress right side out.
(26) Open out facings and sew sides. Turn facing back down and slip stitch facing down, paying special attention to exposed back side hems. You should be able to easily tuck the raw edges under the lining and stitch.
(27) Fold back pieces over to desired spot. Mark button holes and sew.
(28) Attach buttons.

Lastly, hem it up. 

There you have it! Press it all and find a willing model -- preferably one who doesn't mind matching bows.


  1. Cute idea, I think your color choices as well!

  2. This is adorable! Love the back - so cute. Thanks for linking it up to our Basic Bodice Design Series Linky Party! :)

  3. I love Yellow and blue, I made a similar design a couple years ago, but instead of gathering on the skirt I made pleats on each side front and back and on the back I use 4 bottoms it was made of linen blue and white it was very cute!!!


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