Embellishing your Alyssa bodice…or any bodice!!

My newest pattern, the Alyssa, was just released! It comes in sizes 1/2 to 14 years. There are 3 different length options: top, tunic or dress. Fit to grow style with tie straps and elastic back. 2 elastic casings in the back for a secure fit. Banded skirt makes for a quicker sew, no hemming, and a great way to use coordinating fabrics. The bodice is perfect for showcasing a sweet fabric or adding embellishments. ZERO pattern pieces, means you can start right away!! ON SALE $5 until Friday 6/13!! No code on craftsy, code ALYSSA on etsy

As I said above, this pattern is PERFECT for adding embellishments to create different looks. This top I made using Tayna Whelan Rosey fabrics. I JUST wanted to show off the beautiful fabric on the bodice, like these other testers! (Hover over photo to see tester name and shop!)


I used Jennifer Paganelli’s new Beauty Queen line, SWOON, for this one in dress length. I wanted to add a little something to the bodice to break up the stripes, so I added a faux placket, ribbon and buttons. I also used two different fabrics to create a split skirt!


Adding this bodice detail is SUPER easy to do on any dress and I’m going to show you how!


First want to cut your faux placket the same length as your bodice piece. The width is preference, but I always think 1/3 of  bodice width looks best.

NOTE: When I took these photos I hadn’t decided what I wanted on the bodice and didn’t want to cut into my stash of Beauty Queen, so I just used a scrap of broadcloth. I have a real fear cutting into any Jennifer Paganelli fabrics because I love them so much that I don’t want to mess it up or waste ANY. I just keep them hoarded in my sewing room and admire them….. I’m telling you, the fear is real.


Iron both your bodice and faux placket in half. This will help keep it perfectly centered when you stitch it on.


Iron back 1/4″ to wrong side of fabric, along  each long side.


Line up your center creases. Edge stitch along each long side. OR add rick rack, lace or ribbon on long edges before stitching in place. Play with the placement of your trims. Try under the placket or over to see what you like best.


I added a piece of ribbon and two buttons down the center. Just cut the ribbon the same length as your bodice, stitch the center of the ribbon to the placket. Easy peasy, done!


What about a tuxedo ruffle?? Julie from Little Darlings Designs added one on her tester tunic.


This time you want to cut your ruffle 2 times the length of your bodice. Again, width is preference. You can go wide or go thinner! Or try adding two ruffles, one wide then place a thinner one on top.


Roll hem along each long side or do a narrow hem if you don’t have a serger. Place a gathering stitch down the center of the ruffle and gather to bodice length. Add rick rack, ribbons or lace to center if you want to hide those stitches!


Now let’s talk about adding bibs! This is my Molly pattern by Becca from Vintage Bebe Props! Adding this sweet like ruffle bib on the front completely changed the look and is OH so cute!


First cut your bib piece the length of your bodice minus 1/2″. This is to allow for the seam allowance when attaching the skirt. Width… guess…… yep it’s preference!


Iron in half width wise and cut a ‘U’ shape for your bib.


Now we need to turn under the unfinished curved edge. You can turn 1/4″ to the wrong side and add rick rack, lace or my favorite a ruffle!! Stitch ruffle along curved bib edge, right sides together, ruffle should be facing in. Press the seam and simply stitch bib to bodice along curve.

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The possibilities are endless and there are no right or wrong ways to do this! It’s amazing how little details can completely change a pattern! Here are some more fabulous tester photos!

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What about the split skirt?? Again, SUPER simple! When you cut your skirt, cut 1 of each skirt piece in 2 different fabrics. Stitch side seam together per pattern instructions. Then instead of leaving open one side and adding the band flat, you want to stitch the other side seam to create a tube. Same with the band, stitch each side seam to create a tube. Iron band in half width wise to find center. (This is so you don’t end up with the band side seam in the center of your skirt.) Pin center creases of band to center seams on skirt and continue per pattern instructions! I love split skirts. It’s a  fun way to use coordinating fabrics or if you don’t want to use all your hoarded Jennifer Paganelli….. anyone else have the problem with fabrics they love??? Tell me I’m not the only one 😉




I hope you enjoyed these quick little tips and give them a try! Don’t forget to go grab the Alyssa while it’s on sale!!