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Adjusting the Bodice Front


Learn how to make pattern adjustments for length and width to improve the fit of a bodice front. In this video, host and sewing expert Judith Neukam shows the cut-and-spread method to widen and lengthen a bodice pattern for full-busted figures. She also demonstrates the cut-and-overlap technique to narrow and shorten a bodice pattern for small-busted figures.

For both types of alterations, you start the process by marking the pattern with several carefully placed lines. Judith walks through the entire process using a bodice pattern that has a dart. She notes that these adjustments preserve the size and shape of the armhole.

The cut-and-spread method also may be used to add a bust dart to a pattern that does not include one.

Judith Neukam, former executive editor and now a contributing editor at Threads, has been sewing for 60-plus years. She created and hosted all the Teach Yourself to Sew DVDs and has directed DVDs featuring many other popular sewing instructors. For 13 years, she coordinated the annual design challenge to the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals and was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the organization in 2014.


Previous: Fitting a Bust Next: Add a Bust Dart to a Sewing Pattern


  1. User avater
    LuvThreadsMagazine | | #1

    Judith shows the "how to", and suddenly pattern manipulation becomes more intuitive, and less intimidating.

    When will Threads Magazine make a sewing show on television?

    With so many editors, contributors, and curious others, certainly each article could "come to life", and the shows would practically write themselves.

    Sewing legends, former employees, and people who contributed an article could do a review and update. No two shows would be the same. Sewing would be the formula, not the who and what (a sewing anthology series - perhaps the continuity being an intro by Judith herself?).

    Cooking magazines have television shows, why not a highly respected sewing magazine???

  2. Grandmawkew | | #2

    I am broad across the back two inches up from under the arm (at the shoulder blades). How can I increase the back of a pattern just at this area?

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