Betty Bodice Dress A-Line

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I have so many ideas for projects flowing through my head, I had to create a spread sheet to keep them under control!  While creating this spread sheet I saw my note to make an A-Line version of the Betty Bodice Dress.  While I was making another dress I thought I’d better add a couple of collar options too!

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This dress uses the same pattern as the original Betty Bodice Dress, you can download the free pdf pattern by clicking that link!

What you will need

  • Fabric 1 metre (a yard will be enough too) – I used a woven cotton but you can use what ever you like!
  • Contrast Fabric for the Collar  – And the Pattern Click Here
  • Button and small piece of elastic (I used 3mm), or you can use bias ties as in the original Betty Bodice Dress.
  • Pattern – Link in paragraph above!
  • Ruler and Pen/Pencil
  • Extra Paper

Step 1 – Prepare Pattern

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Print, tape and cut pattern as normal, then mark 2.5cm (1”) from the side of the pattern.  Using your ruler draw a line from the armpit to this mark.  In the photo I have shown two lines, for a regular A-Line and a wider option.  I made the line closest to the pattern piece.

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Tape extra pieces of paper to the bottom of your pattern so you can extend the angled line.  I made mine 62cm (24.5”) from the armpit down the angled line.  Extend the straight centre line, and draw straight across the bottom for the hem line.

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Now you are ready to cut out.  I didn’t round the bottom of the hem this time, I like the square look but you can if you like!

Step 2 – Cut Fabric

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With your pattern piece on the fold cut out the back piece first.

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Then trim the pattern to the front neckline and cut another piece just like you did for the back.

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And there you have a front and back piece.  Don’t forget to cut the opening out of the back piece.

Step 3 – Sew Side Seams

I have sewn mine using French Seams as my overlocker is out being serviced.  So I pinned mine right side facing out.  Use any seam you like, usually you would pin right sides facing each other.  I’ll show you the steps for a French Seam just in case you want to do those!

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Sew the sides with a small 1/4” seam allowance, with the right sides facing out.

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Turn inside out and press the seam so it looks like the photo above.  Then sew again with a 3/8” seam allowance.  This hides the original seam and raw edge inside the new one!

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Here it is inside and out.  I just love the neat finish!  Sometimes it is nice to be missing the overlocker to try other ways to finish items.

Step 4 – Hem Bottom

To prevent fraying and to get the big parts done before the fiddly pieces, I hemmed before finishing the top.

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Iron the hem over by 1/2” (1.25cm)

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Then fold over and press in a 1” (2.54cm) hem.

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Pin the hem in place.

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Sew with a just under 1” (2.54cm) allowance.  I use the guides on my machine for this.

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And there you have a finished hem, that you won’t have to do at the end!

Step 5 – Attach Shoulders

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Next you need to attach the shoulders.  I have chosen a bias seam for this one.  I did not have enough seam allowance for a French seam and without an overlocker this is a nice tidy way to finish it.

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Open out your binding and pin in place, make sure that both layers of the dress line up.

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Sew in the fold closest to the raw edge.

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Fold the bias over and sew close the edge of the bias on the same side as the original seam.  For more details check out my Struggling with Bias? post.

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Trim off the excess and press.  The seam will naturally fold one way so go with it!  There you have your neat finish!

Step 6 – Arm Holes

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Time to finish the arm holes.  Again I am using bias but this time it is single fold only.  Pin an sew the edge just like you did for the shoulders.  This time you will need to join the ends.  You fold over the underneath layer and sew the top layer over it a little.  See photo above!!!  (Or this Finishing an unlined dress post).

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Fold the bias in  and pin in place.

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Sew in place using the guides on your machine.  And your get to have another turn on the other side!

Step 7 – Finish Back Opening

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Again I used single fold bias, pinned in place, sewn in the fold closest to the raw edge, and folded over and sewn in place.  This time you will need to add a piece of elastic for the button loop, or add the bias ties mentioned at the start.

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You can see the piece on the left of the bias will end up on the right side of the dress, so if using ties the long end should be on the same side.

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Fold over and sew as before.  You may need to trim off any excess elastic before doing this.

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All done!  Nearly there!

Step 8 – Collar

You will need to download the collar pattern.

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Might as well cut out the other one and keep it for later too!

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Cut out four pieces (2 mirror), I do this by cutting with the fabric folded so I only have to cut twice!

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Sew the larger curved edge (highlighted in pink) right to the edges.

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Clip the curve (NOT the stitching) so it will sit flat when turned right way around.

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Topstitch the seam to secure it (optional).  And you have two finished collar pieces!

Step 9 – Attach Collar and Finish Neckline

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Pin collar in place, you can adjust the gap at the front to your liking!

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Finish the neckline in the same way as the other single fold bias seams.  Start on one edge of the opening with the bias folded over at the start and end.

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Pin over the collar pieces in the same way.

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Here it is once the bias has been sewed on.

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Trim away any pieces that are too large for the bias to fold over.

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Fold the bias over and pin in place.  Fold the collar up and out of the way.  Sew just the same as the others, BUT go slowly over the thicker parts where the seams fold over.

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Now you can topstitch the collar pieces to keep them sitting flat.  You could do it all in one step when sewing the bias on, but I think that seam allowance is too large and looks better done separately.

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Step 10 – Attach Button (Last Step!!)

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Add a cute little button of your choice and you are finished!!

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Hannah was a little cold on a rather chilly spring morning getting a quick picture before school, mean Mum!  But she loves the dress ♥

I hope you liked this style, I think it is very cute!

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