Adding a Decorative Panel to a Front Bodice…

With two of my most recent makes I have been experimenting with inserting decorative panels….

As promised, here’s a breakdown of how simple it is to alter a front bodice pattern piece to add this detail:

1: Draw in where you want the panel to be, being careful to avoid any darts. It will be half the width of your finished panel
2: Cut along this line so you now have two new pattern pieces
3: Trace the new pieces and add your seam allowance

You will need to cut 2 of pattern piece A, and then (once you have finished pleating/pintucking your fabric panel) cut 1 of pattern piece B, on the fold (placing what was the original centre front onto the fold)

For my pleat front tunic I pleated a panel of fabric, pressing and pinning the pleats in place one at a time. I then topstitched each pleat down and once my pleated panel was long enough to accomodate my new pattern piece, I cut the pattern piece from my pleated panel of fabric. I left a small section at the top and bottom unpleated so as to avoid bulk at the neckline and waist seams….then join it to the other two bodice pieces and continue on with your make as normal!

I used the same method for my black kimono tee except of course, the panel I drew in was triangular, and I used pintucks instead of pleats. The triangle also doesn’t reach to the bottom of my original pattern piece on this make. So my pattern piece A in this instance, was cut on the fold; and when opened out had a deep V missing out of the centre ready for the triangular panel to be inserted.

And there you have it. A simple way to add some detail to a plain bodice front. The method will work for pretty much any shaped panel. Scooped, square, oblong, rounded etc; and you could use it to insert a panel of contrasting fabric, lace, a button placket, ruched/gathered panel, pleated panel, embroidered, pleated,whatever. Whatever your imagination desires!

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  1. Debi September 14, 2012

    Fabulous! I love it!!

  2. Judith September 14, 2012

    Definitely going to try this feature – it looks super…

  3. Symon September 15, 2012

    Lovely idea! I like the way it adds detail without disrupting the style 🙂

  4. Helen September 15, 2012

    I love these! Definitely want to try them. Thank you! X

  5. Scruffybadger September 16, 2012

    Miss p, adorable additions to a simple top. Thank you for sharing how to….I’d have much more confidence trying this now.

  6. Zoe September 16, 2012

    So pretty! You are so clever xxx

  7. Gail September 17, 2012

    I love panelled sections in tops – the options are endless.

  8. Janice September 17, 2012

    Thanks for the tutorial, can’t wait to try this out!

  9. charityshopchic September 19, 2012

    Such an easy way to add interest to plain tops… the V version is my favourite, I think…


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