Pattern altering question

kathieloAugust 10, 2010

Can anyone tell me how I can adjust the bodice of a child's pattern that calls for a back zipper into a button/velcro back opening? I am making dressup clothes and think a velcro opening would work better for a small child. Also is there a way to put elastic in the waist to allow for growth and ease. The main fabric is tafetta so there is no give to it. I would like to make the dresses a little bigger so she can haave them a little longer.


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Yes you can put velcro in place of a zipper. All you have to do is add a button placket on both backs. Add 1 1/4 inches to both backs measuring from the seam line. Turn under 1/4 inch on the edge, and then fold back so the seam line is in the middle. To allow for the width of the velcro move the velcro sewing line over a bit towards the edge Use 1/2 inch velcro.

If it were me though I would not put anything in the back for dressup clothes. I'd make the bodice big enough that she could get it on over her head and put elastic in the waist. I'd do this by making the bodice 1 inch longer. Sew in the waist seam and then fold it back the extra inch and sew on the seam line making a casing. Leave a space to thread the elastic through

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 7:37AM
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I got that wrong. I should have said add 1 inch measuring from the cutting line. What you want is a 1 inch placket which overlaps at the seam line. In other words you want 1 inch turned back, with 1/2 inch on either side of the seam line on both sides.You also need 1/4 inch to turn under. This puts the velcro on the seam line.

It would be much easier to show you but I hope you got the gist of it

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 9:00AM
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oilpainter, thanks for the info. How does the elastic waist process work if you have a gathered skirt? You did mean sew the bodice to the skirt first, right?

I think I got the bodice adjustment. Thanks, again Kathie

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 10:30AM
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OK revision of how to add elastic at the waist.

Sew the waist. Then make a casing-- sew in a piece of single fold 1/2 inch bias tape. Put the bottom edge on the waist seam and the top edge on the bodice. Start at the side or back seam and sew it all around the seam. Leave a bit open at the end and cut the tape leaving enough to cover the remaining seam and overlap the beginning by 1/2 inch. Thread through 1/4 inch elastic and go back and finish off the casing

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 2:47PM
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Tht sounds easier I think. How much bigger would you cut your pattern for a child to pull a dress over her head. It seems like it would have to be a lot because the shoulders would have to go through as well.

Oh, on the bodice question....what do you do with the skirt part. Do you add the 1 1/4 inches to the center back seam as well for maybe 3-4 inches....just for ease of getting it on.?

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 2:56PM
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I think 1 size bigger would do. No you don't have to allow for the shoulders. Think of the way you put on a t-shirt or nightgown. I know I put my arms in the sleeves and then slip it over my head.

No need to add to the skirt for a placket on the bodice. The placket is just to have a place to put the velcro and it Overlaps right where the zipper would be so nothing is added to the overall dimensions of the bodice.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 4:37PM
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If it is a tight fitting bodice you might want to forgo the elastic waist and continue the velcro past the waist line on the skirt.

Better yet get a pattern with a loose fitting bodice and use the elastic waist.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 4:49PM
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Since it's just for a child's "Dress-up" why not just put tie-backs on them like is on a hospital gown.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 4:00PM
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RE: tiebacks - I know from personal experience that when little kids are involved, anything that can be tied will likely wind up in a impossible knot = J

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 11:02AM
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I agree with carolb on the ties. Also my thinking is hopefully they would be able to put on and take off these clothes without mommy's help. They can do this with the readymade dress ups but they are so ill made and never hold up to the abuse.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 12:37PM
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