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How to Lengthen Bodice Pattern – Best Way

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Do you know that you can lengthen a bodice pattern before you cut and sew the garment? Whether you are beginner or intermediate sewer, being able to lengthen or shorten top pattern is quite easy to do. 

As a result, lengthening a bodice pattern helps to make the finished garment fit your body perfectly. Make adjustments to your bodice pattern before you begin the sew process so that your garment fits you like a glove.

How do you lengthen a bodice pattern? In order to lengthen a bodice length, know the desired finished garment length to make the proper adjustments to the sewing pattern. 

Trace the original pattern on a separate dotted tracing paper including all pattern markings and darts, however exclude the seam allowance. Draw a straight line perpendicular to the gain line through the bodice.

Ensure that the line is halfway across the dart. Cut through the straight line and spread the pattern to the length you measured previously. 

Make sure the spread out pattern pieces are parallel and equal distance to each other. 

Tape on a separate tracing paper and re-draw the side seam and extend the center front line to complete. Add seam allowance if needed, cut off the excess paper and check your new bodice pattern length. 

Manipulating basic patterns to make your own clothes is rewarding and satisfying. But you need to make it so the basic bodice fits you properly to make changes and add on design elements.

Altering a bodice pattern can be complex, however lengthening the bodice pattern is basic and easy to do.

The rule of thumb is to lengthen bodice pattern by changing the length at the back waist. To understand the perfect bodice length, use up-to-date body measurement to get it right. 

After adjusting the pattern with accurate body measurement, make a mock-up bodice with muslin to evaluate the fit.

Keep adjusting the length, dart position, neckline or armhole opening to make a perfect fit. Adjusting pattern does require patience and time to continuously update and revise. 

In this article, we are going to teach you how to lengthen the bodice sewing pattern so that you can adjust your Fashion Wanderer sewing patterns when necessary. Answered below are frequently asked questions about lengthen a sewing pattern the best way so that you can avoid potential mishaps. 

How Do I Lengthen My Top Pattern?

When lengthening a top pattern, start by cutting along the bottom line horizontally to have your complete design in two separate pieces.

Take a piece of paper with more width than the pattern piece you want to lengthen and make two parallel lines. The space between the lines is equal to the extra length you want to add to the top pattern.

Put the paper below the top part of the pattern and align the newly cut edge with the full horizontal line. Using tape, stick it to each pattern pieces with equal space apart.

Draw a straight line from the top downwards to align it with the bottom piece. Use a sewing ruler to extend the center front edge and line to the lower part of the paper across the piece that you attached.

Lengthen the line on the lower piece with the bottom horizontal line to match the vertical lines. Now fill in the missing part of the side seam line and get rid of the excess paper.

How Do You Lengthen a Blouse Pattern?

Not all top sewing patterns are treated equally. Therefore, it is safe to assume that modifying the length of a blouse pattern is different from altering a t-shirt pattern.

Blouses have different shapes and silhouettes compared to fitted generic bodices. In order to lengthen a blouse pattern, apply this slash method to add a little length to the hem. 

Generally, from high point of shoulder to waist is 15” to 16” long. To lengthen a blouse pattern in this example, we are going to set the upper torso length as 16” long.

You will want to use your body measurements for an accurate fit. If your high point shoulder measurement is a bit different, than be sure to substitute with your sizing.

Here are the step by step tutorial on how to lengthen a blouse pattern: 

  • Start by pinning a paper pattern at the shoulder seams, then try it on your shoulders. Doing this will provide you with an indication of how long it will fit you.
  • Placing a large piece of paper, draw a straight line at the center. Tape the back and front pattern parallel to this line.
  • Now attach the tape only to the bust part.
  • Take measurements of your pattern from the edge to the bust line. Then, trace a horizontal line that will end up being the cutting line.
  • To get the additional length, after slicing the pattern pieces in half, move the bottom part of the pattern down on both the back and front sides of the design.
  • Retrace the half top of the pattern on your paper.
  • Lift the lower part of the pattern while tracing the new sidelines.

As a result, you created a longer blouse that fits you comfortably. 

Before cutting out the pattern pieces, mark all the appropriate notations, cut number, grain line and label them correctly. By doing so, it will help you to begin sewing smoothly without putting the wrong pieces together.

Tips to Lengthen Bodice Pattern

Whether you are tall or short, adjusting length of top is quite important when it comes to sewing. It has to be done correctly before cutting the fabric and sewing the pattern pieces together. 

Other than adjusting a pattern to match your measurement by height, here are additional tips for you to use when lengthening a bodice sewing pattern.

  • Take your body measurements. To acquire an accurate size of your body, use a flexible tape measure while standing and keeping your head up in the natural position.
  • To lengthen your bodice, measure torso length, total bust, upper bust, and hip. Also inquire the size of your biceps width and the distance between the shoulder and waist for any bodice pattern that have sleeve patterns.
  • When making alterations, remember to trace your pattern on paper to refer to the original at anytime you want.
  • Use matte tape on the surface to write and draw lines for notation.
  • Always ensure to adjust both the front and back pattern pieces. However, both are lengthened slightly differently as one is cut on the fold and the other is not.

When lengthening the bodice pattern, the rule of thumb is stick with less than 3” long. Also, it is good to divide the difference into more than one horizontal line to evenly distribute the length in overall bodice. 

Best Way to Lengthen Bodice Pattern

Be able to lengthen a bodice pattern can be beneficial not only for tops, but also in dresses where the top torso separates from the dress skirt. 

It can help you to adjust based on your torso length. Whether you have short or long torso, the best way to lengthen a bodice pattern is by using the slashing method. 

  • Take your bodice front piece and use a ruler to make a straight horizontal line through the bodice pattern from the waistline upwards, cutting across the dart.
  • Now, cut through the horizontal line.
  • Put the upper part of your bodice front on an extra piece of paper and tape it down. Next, position the lower part of your bodice front on the lower side to make the bodice longer. Ensure to keep the middle front line flush. If you are pleased with the new length of the bodice, then tape the lower piece down.
  • Next, redraw the seam on the side and dart. Using a ruler, reconnect the upper part of the dart with notches at the waistline. Then, redraw the stitching on the side connecting the waistline edge and underarm using a straight line.
  • Use the same process to lengthen the back part of the bodice and ensure you add the same length as the front piece.

Now your bodice has a new length according to the recent body measurement adjustments. 

First, confirm you are happy with the new size before starting to sew with your favorite fabric. Remeasure the paper pattern or make a mockup piece with muslin or scrape fabric to double check the overall fit.

How to lengthen bodice pattern

Lengthening Bodice Sewing Pattern: Conclusion

Fashion Wanderer sewing patterns come in a standard torso length for all tops. Alterations can be made to the sewing patters to lengthen the bodice for a longer torso.

Depending on the body type and torso length, you may have a difficult time if the top or blouse is too short on you. In this case, lengthening the bodice pattern before cutting will save time and be able to enjoy your new DIY clothes immediately.

When lengthening a bodice pattern is needed, start by using a tape measure to take measurements around the body from torso length and waist width. This will help you find true top length that you will be comfortable wearing. 

The design and style will ultimately determine whether you may need more or less to adjust the length of the top.

Always redraw the pattern on a separate tracing paper and avoid working on the original bodice pattern. 

Transfer all the darts, notches, and pattern markings, but disregard seam allowance. Then, draw a straight line perpendicular to the grain line in the waist.

Cut along the marked line and use the body measurement difference to evenly space out between the two pieces. Make sure they are in equal distance from each other and tape the pieces on a separate tracing paper. 

Connect the side seam and draw a center front if needed to complete the new lengthened bodice pattern. Measure the new bodice pattern length and evaluate with your body measurement, or cut out the fabric to do fit testing.

Adjusting pattern length prior to cutting and sewing is very important step to avoid from having fit issues later on. With finished garments, you may shorten the length by cutting and hemming, however adding length is quite impossible. 

Use these method to adjust your bodice pattern to get the perfect fit. Follow the tips to alter the sewing pattern to increase the length based on your needs.

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