Darling Ranges sewalong: how to lengthen the bodice

The Darling Ranges dress is a high waisted dress – this means that the waistline of the dress sits above your natural waistline. On most people it should sit somewhere just under the ribcage.

If you prefer to have a lower waistband (probably helpful if you like belting your clothing!), here’s how you to lengthen the bodice. (also a little note on lower the bust dart, if that is helpful to you)

Ready? lets do this!

Like all our alterations – get out a pen or pencil, a ruler, and a pair of scissors

Draw a line across the front bodice piece that is perpendicular to the grainline and the placket fold lines. It’s not a big deal where exactly you draw the line – but I like to make sure it’s below the dart and somewhere halfway down the placket. (BUT if you are one of those people who find the dart a little high, you may want to draw the slash line above the dart, and then carry on, that should be the simplest way to lower the dart. Just make sure you leave the neckline as it was otherwise your dress will be super low cut. Just sayin hehe)

Cut along the line you just drew – then spread the pattern by how much longer you wish the bodice to be. In this example I lengthened the bodice by 1″. Make sure you keep those lines parallel! Add some more pattern paper to the back and tape in place. Then true the side seamline.

Trim the excess pattern paper on the side, and your front bodice piece is done!

Lastly, don’t forget that if you lengthen the front bodice piece, you need to lengthen the back by the same amount! Once again, draw a line through the middle perpendicular to the grainline and centre fold line.

Slash along that line, spread the pieces by the amount you are lengthening the bodice (for this example 1″), then tape it all together, true the side seamline, Β and trim the excess paper.


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  1. Mandy says

    This is a completely different pattern piece than what I downloaded. The dart comes from the bottom, not the side on pattern piece #1. Can you show how to adjust it with that pattern piece?

    • MegMeg says

      Hi Mandy! Yes you have the updated Darling Ranges dress which includes an additional variation than the original pattern :)
      The method for lengthening the updated pattern with the waist dart, is pretty much the same. Just slash horizontally through the pattern (you will be cutting through the dart) – then when you spread the pattern pieces to make the bodice longer, you will have to redraw the dart legs. All this involves is drawing from the dart apex down to where each dart leg meets the waistline.
      I hope that helps!!