The only real down side is that I typically cannot sew a bodice pattern straight from the envelope. Inevitably I have to so some major alterations. In the past, I have provided a tutorial on how to do a small bust adjustment (SBA) on a bodice that has a horizontal bust dart, as well as a vertical waist dart.
Unfortunately the aforementioned SBA will not work for my latest project, Vogue 5611. It is a lovely vintage dress (circa 1962) with an interesting inverted V-shaped seam that joins the bodice to the gathered bell shaped skirt in front. Such a wonderful twist on the classic sleeveless sheath.
The bodice of V5611 has a single, large horizontal bust dart and no waist dart, as you can see on the unaltered pattern piece to the right. Using the above SBA (click link above for a tutorial) will not work as it will remove width from the inverted V-shaped waist seam. This seam must remain the same length as it needs to fit properly to a skirt piece.
Instead I have had to create a method to remove fullness in the bust region, without losing width above or below the bust. Below is a pictorial procedure on how I did it.
First I traced out half of the bodice onto white paper (only half is need as the other half is just the mirror image). I did this to preserve my original pattern piece, just in case, I messed up.
Draw in three cutting lines:
L1 - a line from the bust point to a location 1/3 of the way up the armscyce.
L2 - a line bisecting the bust dart.
L3 - a line from the waist seam to the bust point, parallel to the centre line.
Overlap paper to reduce the bust dart.
The extent of the overlap is dependent upon how much smaller the wearer's bust is from the original pattern. I chose to reduce the bust dart by half.
Tape alteration in place.
Cut along L1.
This produces a removable wedge-shaped piece.
Tape the armscye so that it will not change in length.
Slide the removable wedge-shaped piece so that it overlaps in the bust point region.
Ensure that the distance from the centre to the bottom of the side seam remains the same as in the original pattern (see where the ruler is measuring in the photo).
Tape this alteration in place.
Notice that the original bust point has been moved toward the centre of the bodice. This will be shifted back toward the side seam in the next photo.
A new waist seam is drawn in, from centre to side seam.
In the end, I actually redrew this seam line so that it angled up more steeply from the side seam toward the centre, thus removing some length at centre front.
Disclaimer: I am in the process of sewing up the dress as we speak. If this bodice alteration requires any tweaks as I go, I will edit this post to reflect it.