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 lengthen the bodice. I’ve also added a bit at the end about shortening it even more / lengthening the skirt to create a cute maternity dress!
Ready? Let’s do this!
Draw a line across the front bodice piece that is perpendicular to the grainline and the placket fold lines. Make sure to draw it about halfway through the dart. You don’t want to go too high and fish messing with the apex.
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.
Re-draw your dart legs and trim the excess pattern paper on the side. And your front bodice piece is done!
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, and trim the excess paper.
SHORTENED BODICE / MATERNITY WEAR
Wouldn’t this dress be really cute over a bump? You can shorten the bodice the same way you lengthen it. Draw your perpendicular line through the middle of the dart and slash. This time, instead of spreading, overlap by the amount you want to shorten.
Don’t forget to do the same thing to the back!
Again, redraw your dart legs.
Now, to accommodate for the shortened bodice and growing bump, you’ll want to lengthen the skirt so the dress doesn’t end up being too short. Fortunately, the Skirt piece is just a big rectangle, so it’s really easy to length. Just add some paper to the bottom, making sure to keep everything even and straight.
Seriously, that’s it!
LOOKING FOR MORE TUTORIALS?
Here’s the full list of Darling Ranges tutorials:
- Project preparation
- Pattern alterations: full bust adjustment
- Pattern alterations: small bust adjustment
- Pattern alterations: lengthen the bodice
- Pattern alterations: raise the neckline
- Pattern alterations: rounded neckline
- Pattern alterations: fishtail hem
- Pattern alterations: add darts to the back bodice pattern piece
- Sewing & construction: Bodice & darts
- Sewing & construction: Skirt & pockets
- Sewing & construction: Attaching the skirt & bodice
- Sewing & construction: Placket & Neckline
- Sewing & construction: Sleeveless version
- Sewing & construction: Attaching the sleeves
- Sewing & construction: Hemming
- Sewing & construction: Ties & beltloops
- Sewing & construction: Closures
- Sewing and Construction: Sleeveless variation
- Sewing and Construction: Dartless Versions (V2 &V3)