Mad Men Sew-Along : Adjusting the Bodice

Sorry I have been a little MIA lately. It was my husband's 30th birthday this week and so although I found time to sew I never could find time to actually blog about it.

So, let's get this bodice muslin done.

After trying on the muslin there were three things that I needed to do.
1 - lower the neckline another inch
2 - take in the sideseam just under the armpit 1/2"
3 - drop the waistline by another inch

Once I made the first two changes by basting and cutting my muslin fit like this :

I was really happy with the fit at this point so I decided to transfer my adjustments to my pattern pieces. (You could just use your muslin pieces as your pattern pieces, but since I needed to lengthen my bodice I decided it would be easier to just change the actual pattern pieces to match my fitted muslin.)

The first thing I did was lengthen my bodice. I wanted the bodice to hit at my belly button, but it hit 1" above (minus the seam allowance). To make the bodice the correct length I first cut a horizontal line through the bottom section of my pattern piece.

Next I added a bit of tissue paper in between the pieces and taped them leaving a 1" gap.

I then redrew my darts so that they still ended at the same point (so that they lined up with the skirt darts).

Next I took in the side seams. I needed to take in 1/2" at the top and then graded it down to 1/4" and then 0" by the end. This was a little tricky on the front bodice because of the dart.

I closed the dart temporarily and then drew the desired line down the side seam.

Keeping the dart closed I cut the excess off of the side seam. Now reopen the dart.

Lastly, I needed to lower the neckline another inch. While trying it on I marked the bodice where I wanted it to hit on my neckline. I transfered these muslin markings to my pattern piece. I then added 5/8" for seam allowance and then cut off the excess.

I then, of coarse, repeated these steps for the back bodice pieces.


  1. Happy birthday to your husband!

    I will follow your guidelines to lengthen my bodice too. Also, I think my neckline needs to be lowered a bit more. Thank you!

  2. AAAhhh, you've already modified your bodice and my cut pieces are staring sadly at me from the floor each day waiting to be sewn together! I promise this week I'll catch up...hopefully!

    Oh, and Happy Birthday to the Mr.!

  3. Can you link to all of the Mad Men posts so that they're grouped? Thanks!

  4. I love reading about pattern adjustments , thanks for taking the time to photograph each step. I am not doing the sew along but your tutorial will help me enormously in my sewing.