Monday, May 02, 2016

Petite adjustment for the Siren Sundress by Decades of Style

The other day I posted about a lovely sundress I had sewn.  Like everything I make, I had to adjust for my lack of height, but in this case, where to shorten the bodice wasn't illustrated on the pattern, or even very obvious.  So, for the 0.1% of the sewing population that could use a tutorial for how to do a petite adjustment for the Siren Sundress, here's what I did:
I don't always trace my patterns, but when I have to cut up and manipulate pieces, it's a must!  Above, I've simply traced the bodice piece in my size (34, though I should have gone with 32).  My muslin indicated that I needed to lop off about 1 1/4" to raise the waistline, so I measured that out (dotted line along the bottom of the bodice, below) and trimmed it off.  

Then, I placed the trimmed piece on top of the new bodice bottom, aligning the pieces at the side seam.  Since the Center Front and other markings have shifted, I remarked them according to their position on the original piece.

At this point, I've reduced the length of the waist measurement slightly. So, to readjust the waist length, I repositioned the trimmed piece on top of the bodice, aligning the bottom and side seam (the trimmed piece hangs over the rest of the bodice).  I taped on a new piece of tissue paper and traced the bump-out.

The diagonal edge of the bodice is cut on the straight grain, so I redrew the line to connect to the waistline to the shoulder, and then redrew the grainline to be parallel to my new cut line.

Last but not least, since I adjusted the height of the waistline, I had to move the bust dart.  For this, I simply shifted the whole thing up by 1/4".

Below is the finished bodice piece, with the original trimmed piece just below, to see the full transformation.  
This adjustment would work with any wrap-style bodice (like a true wrap dress).  Have fun and good luck!


  1. Thank you for the post, I'm petite and these kind of alterations are tricky!

    1. Oh, that's good to hear! Best of luck with your petite alterations!

  2. Great description, very helpful!!!

  3. Hi, you are very clever, Nicole!
    I see you did too many designs, your tips are quite clear and detailed. It is wonderful to read!

    Good luck! :)))