Hi friends! Today, I’ve got a quick and simple Hack Your Pattern tutorial on how to modify a scoop neck peplum or dress bodice to a lined V-neck! I modified the Staycation Dress and Peplum from Ellie and Mac* to a lined v-neck a couple months ago and I love the way it looks on me so much, I made another one! That’s the beauty in keeping all of my pattern hacks on tissue paper–I’m able to revisit them again in the future without having to eyeball or guess what I did to modify a pattern previously. You’ll notice up above I specified lined v-neck. This tutorial does not teach you to do a V-neckband (that’ll come another day), and though you could achieve a similar look by creating a facing, I find that lining my bodice for this shape really sits so neatly on the body without gaping, and it produces a beautiful, very finished result.
What you’ll need is your bodice pattern piece, French curve, tracing paper, and something to write with. I did modify other things on this top–I added fullness to the peplum so there were more gathers than the pattern, and I drafted bell/flounce sleeves. That tutorial should be up in a day or two.
I tried on the dress I’d made directly according to the pattern to decide where I wanted the V to sit. I decided that the scoop neckline from the pattern was the perfect place for the point of my V. If you’d like it lower, you will need to decide how much to lower it. Vice versa, if you’d like it higher. I place tracing paper over the pattern and traced the outline of the front bodice, Instead of tracing the front neckline, I drew a gradual, slightly curved V from the shoulder seam to the point I’d decided on. Some like to create a sharper v with a straight edge, but I find the subtle curve more flattering.
Since the bodice will be lined, instead of cutting one of each like you would when adding a neckband, you will cut 1 main of each and 1 liner of each. I had plenty of this fabric available so I used the same for the lining. If you are using a different fabric for the lining, be certain it has the same stretch otherwise, one can become saggy later on when you’re wearing it. We don’t go through all the trouble of making nice garments for them not to be neatly done ;)! You will then join each set of bodices right sides together at the shoulder seams. Next, place both bodices right sides together with one another and sew together around the neckline only, making sure you take your time at the V shape when sewing. I personally sew 2″ from the V on each side with my sewing machine, then go back and join the rest of it with my serger.
After you have sewn the V, you will need to clip into the center of the V, getting very close to your stitches without cutting them. Next, press the seam allowances of the neckline toward the liner. If you are using the same fabric for both, now’s the time to decide which one you like the most to be on the outside.
This is a step that many skip or claim is unnecessary. I highly disagree and can tell a difference in the finished product on bodices I skipped this step before. In order to keep the liner neatly tucked into the bodice, we will understitch the neckline. This will ensure that that the liner stays inside the bodice, instead of riding up and peeking out. With the seam allowances still pressed toward the liner, sew a medium length straight stitch close to the seam, catching the seam allowances and liner together. I also put a little stress on the seam, making sure it’s spread very neatly open while doing this. These stitches will end up on the inside of the bodice only.
To finish the lined bodice and prepare it to attach to your peplum or dress skirt, you will match each of your bodice sets right sides together at the side seams (main front to main back, liner front to liner back). Once you’ve done that turn the pieces so that the wrong sides are together, and you should have two nice bodices with all seams enclosed between the two of them! Additionally, I like to baste the armscyes if using a slippery fabric (as I was in this photo) because they will be treated as one when attaching sleeves.
This last step may or may not be necessary depending on what pattern you started with. For some bodices that are intended to be lined, the pattern comes with a separate lining piece, which will be a slightly bit shorter and sometimes a slightly bit more narrow than the main (usually when sleeveless). For those where you are using one pattern piece to create your main and liner, you will notice after understitching, the liner is a touch longer than the bodice main. This is because the fabric is being pulled slightly down to the inside from the understitching to encourage the seam to roll inside the bodice, which wouldn’t occur if you didn’t understitch. I just press my bodices nice and even, to determine how much longer the liner is, and trim it even with the outer, using my straight ruler. You can also trim them even when you’re attaching with your serger, but I prefer to do it this way, because I also baste the bottom edge together to make it easier to treat as one for attaching the gathered peplum.
Your last steps would be attaching your sleeves and skirt! The sleeves I created for this pattern will be a separate post in the coming days, but I can explain how you’d attach any sleeve to this. Sew the side seam of each sleeve right sides together, then turn the sleeve right side out. Turn the bodice with the liner side out (remember, this’ll be the side with your understitching, if you’re using the same fabric). Insert the sleeves right sides together into the bodice and sew in the round. Turn the bodice with main right side out, and attach your skirt. All set!
Here’s another one I made using this same lined V-neck mod 🙂 . You can see how I created these sleeves in my Puff Top Sleeve Tutorial!
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