Bombshell Dress

Have you ever had an idea you just couldn’t get out of your head? Back in architecture school that meant many late nights at the studio slaving away on my latest design. Lately it means slaving away in my sewing room. I love that I am starting to get comfortable enough in my sewing that I can branch out from the original patterns and start adding my own ideas. In the case of the bombshell dress I combined two patterns from Patterns for Pirates and then altered the back and neckline. If you are like me the thought of combining and altering a pattern probably freaks you out. I promise it is really simple and not as scary as it sounds! I will walk you through how I did it.

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I made two versions of the bombshell, my first was out of a floral double brushed poly from Knitpop and my second was a black lace with nude brushed poly lining. The black lace is from FabricSupplier on Etsy and the nude brushed poly is from Knitpop.Β The lined version fits pretty snug, if I were to do it again I probably would have added in about a half inch at the seam allowance to make it a bit looser, but it still works as is.

How to make your own bombshell

The first thing to do is assemble the patterns. For this dress I used two patterns from Patterns for Pirates, the pencil skirt and the sweetheart dress. If you join their Facebook group there is a code to get the pencil skirt for free! Once your patterns are assembled determine which size you are in both patterns (I was a small in the sweetheart and an extra small in the pencil skirt). Using tracing paper or wax paper trace the sweetheart bodice front and back pieces, you will use the non-color blocked version. Make sure you trace the lines for short sleeve AND tank top. Also trace the short sleeve piece. Next trace the front and back of the pencil skirt, using the version with high rise waist and below the knee length.

Now for the fun part!

Combining the patterns

Take your front sweetheart bodice and align the fold line with the top of your front pencil skirt piece. Tape them together. You will see in the back the pieces will not align, you need to blend the pieces together. Put a piece of paper behind and draw a line connecting the two pieces. It will work best if you slightly curve the connecting line and connect a little bit higher on the sweetheart bodice piece.

 

To combine the back pieces start by laying your newly made front piece out on a large flat surface. Align the bottom hem of your back pencil skirt with the bottom hem of your front piece. Then align your bodice pieces at the base of the armscye. You should have approximately a two inch gap between your two back pieces. Connect these the same way you did the front pieces. Now onto the neckline.

 

Altering the neck/back line

The neckline will be raised and widened. First measure 2.5 inches up from the existing neckline then draw a slightly curved line from that point to the back of the tank top strap line.

The back can really be altered any way you please, just make sure you start at the back of the tank top line like you did on the neckline or else the shoulder seam won’t match up. For my version I measured from the base of my neck to the top of my bra band to determine how far down to make my scoop. (This was 7.5 inches)

Assembly

Congratulations now you are ready to cut and sew!

Assembly is very simple:

  1. Sew or serge the front and back pieces together
  2. Sew or serge the sleeves on
  3. Sew or serge the side seam
  4. Turn and topstitch the neck opening
  5. Hem if you are doing a single layer dress, if using a lining as well see the note below

Note: If you are doing the version with multiple layers it is easiest to treat the pieces as one piece when assembling. I also recommend basting the lining and lace together to make sure it doesn’t Make sure you pre-hem the lining layer at the sleeves and bottom so that when you sew up the side seam the raw edge of the lining doesn’t get left exposed.

Hem lining prior to serging up side
Turn and topstitch neck opening

 

 

 

 

 

 

I would love to see your final products, tag me on Instagram @sew_youthinkyoucansew!Β 


29 Comments

  • Marilyn

    February 14, 2017

    Amazing job!! Love both dresses! Thank you so much for sharing!!

    Reply
    • sewyouthinkyoucansew

      February 14, 2017

      Thank you!

      Reply
  • Jessica

    February 14, 2017

    Lovely! Great explanations. Slightly larger photos of connecting the two patters would be awesome.

    Reply
    • sewyouthinkyoucansew

      February 14, 2017

      Thank you for the feedback I will enlarge the photos!

      Reply
  • Sandra

    February 14, 2017

    Hi! If you add some pics of the assembly steps will be more helpful, I’m more like a visual learner! Thank you and by the way your dress is amazing!!!

    Reply
    • sewyouthinkyoucansew

      February 14, 2017

      Thank you for the feedback, I will definitely add more detail soon!

      Reply
    • sewyouthinkyoucansew

      February 16, 2017

      I just added some detail to the assembly, hope it helps!

      Reply
  • Leanne

    February 14, 2017

    This is awesome, I had plans on something similar but wasn’t 100% on how to mash the 2 patterns so thanks! Also I know you can’t add the entire image of the pattern pieces for copyright reasons but perhaps you could draw a smaller not to scale version to see the ‘whole’ pattern piece 😊

    Reply
    • sewyouthinkyoucansew

      February 14, 2017

      Good idea! I might ask P4P if they are ok with that. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • Shari

    February 14, 2017

    This is great!!
    I definitely want to try this with a boatneck!

    Reply
    • sewyouthinkyoucansew

      February 14, 2017

      Make sure you tag me when you make it I would love to see it!

      Reply
  • Lee Ruffner

    February 14, 2017

    Everything you make is just stunning! This 1 yard and 1 hour…lol..you are McGuyver of the sewing world! 😊

    Reply
    • sewyouthinkyoucansew

      February 14, 2017

      lol thank you so much!

      Reply
  • Stephanie Fleek

    February 14, 2017

    Killed it girl!! Way to go!

    Reply
  • Stephanie Fleek

    February 14, 2017

    Killed it girl!! Way to go!

    (oops on the website blooper on my first post :D)

    Reply
    • sewyouthinkyoucansew

      February 14, 2017

      Thanks lady!

      Reply
  • Bonnie

    February 14, 2017

    Love it!

    Reply
    • sewyouthinkyoucansew

      February 15, 2017

      Thank you!

      Reply
  • Jenine

    February 16, 2017

    Wow this is stunning! Did you sew the lace to the nude fabric and treat it as one piece or did you make a nude and a lace dress and sew together? Love it!!!!

    Reply
    • sewyouthinkyoucansew

      February 16, 2017

      Thank you! I just added more detail to the assembly step to hopefully clear this up but yes I treated it as one layer. I just hemmed the lining before sewing up the sides.

      Reply
  • Natascha

    February 16, 2017

    Love this!

    Reply
    • sewyouthinkyoucansew

      February 16, 2017

      Thank you πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • Amber

    February 18, 2017

    I am a newer sewer, I am going to attempt this to make as my 30th birthday dress. What kind of bra can be worn with this and do I need a serger?

    Reply
    • sewyouthinkyoucansew

      February 19, 2017

      Hi Amber! A strapless bra is best for this dress. You don’t need a serger but I definitely prefer to use one. Use you normal machine’s stretch stitch.

      Reply
  • Amy Jamieson

    February 19, 2017

    Thank you for sharing this mash/hack. I love it and so wearable and bra friendly.

    Reply
    • sewyouthinkyoucansew

      February 19, 2017

      So happy you found it helpful!!

      Reply
  • Mel

    February 20, 2017

    Thank you so much for this mash up. I was so scared to mash patterns and you have give me the confidence to go for it. I have put a pic of my tester on the p4p facebook page but it wouldn’t let me tag you.

    Reply
    • sewyouthinkyoucansew

      February 20, 2017

      I am going to go look for it right now! I’m so glad this post helped you get over your fear!

      Reply
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