There’s something to be said about a jersey dress; the jersey’s stretch and drape, cozy feel, and lightweight breathability offer maximum comfort, especially during those warmer months. I particularly love sewing with our Willow Stretch Bamboo Jersey, because of its luxurious draping capabilities and buttery soft hand. I’d love to use it for our Lavender Tee sewing pattern, making a few color options with different sleeve lengths. For this project, we made a few simple adjustments on our Mimosa Dress, and turned it into a halter dress! This is a beginner friendly pattern adjustment, perfect for if you’re wanting to try your hand at pattern hacking.

A few things to note about sewing with the Willow Stretch Bamboo Jersey:

  • The fabric has the tendency to grow. To help prevent this, I suggest using a knit friendly interfacing for the bodice. 
  • A walking foot will help prevent wavy seams.
  • Use a stretch or zig zag stitch.
  • Don’t forget your ball point needle!
  • Heat n Bond Soft Stretch fusible tape is your friend. It helps keep your hems crisp and clean!
How to alter the front bodice pattern:

1. On your front bodice piece, draw a line straight down from where the shoulder meets the neck. 

2. Draw a curved line from the armscye to the line from step 1.

3. Once you reach that line, level it off, creating a straight neckline.

How to alter the back bodice pattern:

1. Draw a straight line from the armscye to the fold line.


How to sew the front bodice: 

1. Sew the folds on the bottom of the bodice, as instructed in the original post.

2. Sew two rows of basting stitches along the neckline, then gather into your desired neckline width. Measure the neckline gathers, divide by 2, and write down that number. 

3. Cut out a long strip of fabric. I made mine 1.5” x 40”. Increase the width of the strap for more of a statement if you wish!

However long your strip ends up being, mark the middle. From that middle mark, measure that number from step 1 and mark it on either side of the middle mark. This is where you’ll attach the strip to the bodice neck.

Note: The strap in the illustrations has been shortened, for clarity of viewing.

4. Fold in half lengthwise, and sew the ends and edges together until you reach the marks indicating the bodice neckline. Leave that area open.

5. Clip the corners and trim seam allowance, then pull the strap right side out from the unsewn middle section. Press. Set aside for step 7.

6. Fold and press the halter edges down, using the fusible tape if you wish, then sew to finish the halter edges.

7. Sew the necktie to the gathered halter neck. There are two ways to do this:

  • Turn the necktie strip right side out & press. Fold the unsewn raw edges down and sandwich the gathers in-between. Topstitch in place. 
  • Keep the necktie strip wrong side out. Open up the unsewn section and pin one edge to the gathers, right sides together. Make sure the raw edges are aligned, and keep the other strip’s other edge out of the way, as pictured below! Turn each end of the strip right side out. Fold the remaining edge down, and stitch in the ditch. 

How to sew the back bodice pattern:

1. Fold the top edge down, towards the inside of the back bodice, then sew. 

2. Insert elastic into the channel. I used ¼” elastic, but it would also look good with something a bit more substantial like ½”.

How to sew the dress:

1. Sew the front and back bodice pieces together at the side seams, right sides together.

2. Sew the skirt and attach to the bodice, as written in the original post here.

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