Wednesday, October 14, 2015


This is the first in a series of Pattern Hacks for my new pattern - Miss Ruby Tuesday Dress - you'll learn how to adapt your bodice to a Cross Over bodice.  

This feature is particularly good if you are breast feeding.  But it's also a lovely feature to bring attention to the bodice area - if you have big boobs or small, it doesn't matter.  It's a beautiful feminine feature to add to your dress pattern.

The VERY first thing you need to do is to make sure you have done a Toile (mock up) of the MRT (Miss Ruby Tuesday) pattern to see that it fits perfectly on you.  This step is important because if your base pattern isn't a good fit then the pattern hack won't be either.  

A good place to start to get ideas for a particular style you'd like to create is to GOOGLE images.  For this particular lesson I googled - Cross Over Dresses - and I came up with this:

It amazing what you can find on Google.

Now for this lesson I've chosen to start simple and the 2 Cross Over bodice hacks you'll be creating are:

1.  Basic Cross Over Bodice....there are no tucks and the right and left side bodices pieces are the same.

2.  Cross Over Bodice With Side Tucks.......this is a bit more feminine and has a softer look.  You can see that the right front pattern piece has the side tucks but the left doesn't, so you'll need to do 2 patterns.

But before we get started I thought I'd show you some of the many different cross over styles you can do.  They can all be done on the Miss Ruby Tuesday Dress pattern too!

Ok, now that I've got you excited with the possibilities for the Cross Over bodices we'll get started.

What You'll Need

  • Front Bodice Miss Ruby Tuesday Pattern
  • Extra paper to make your pattern alterations on
  • Tracing Wheel
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Tape Measure
  • Ruler
  • French Curve (optional)

1.  Basic Cross Over Bodice Hack

  • Start with your front bodice pattern placed on another piece of paper that's folded in half.  The pattern needs to be big enough to accommodate the front bodice pattern.  We are going to be making a full front pattern as the shape of the Cross Over starts on one half of the bodice and extends to the other half of the bodice.
  • The Cross Over pattern starts off as being a V neck shape on half the pattern and then extended down to the other half of the pattern to the side seam.  You'll notice that the bodice pattern already has a V neck option.  You can use that as your starting point if it's the right depth for you.
  • First you need to measure down from the hollow in your neck to the point where you'd like your Cross Over to meet at the CF (Centre Front).  If the V point on the pattern is where you want your Cross Over to meet - great.  If not then mark in your new point and draw a line up to the shoulder/neck point.......similar to the V that's already there.

  • Trace off the pattern with a tracing wheel and fold out.  You are then left with a complete front bodice with a V neckline.

  • Measure 10cm/4" from the waist/side seam point up the side seam and mark.
  • Draw a slight curved line up to the V point at the CF.
  • You line will probably look something like the image above.
  • You'll then need to redraw the V neckline so that the line then continues on smoothly down to the side seam.
  • Your front bodice will now look like the image above.
  • Fold your pattern in half again and, with your tracing wheel, trace your new neckline to the other side of the pattern.
  • Your pattern will now be looking like the image above.

  • Now trace out your new front cross over bodice.  Please don't cut the original pattern up as you need this pattern to refer back to.  So take the time and always trace out new alterations to the pattern.
  • Mark on your pattern - CF line, what it is, how many to cut and what size.  Also, mark in the CF notch at the waist line.
  • As this first style has the same right and left front pattern you will be cutting one pair.  

2.  Cross Over Bodice With Side Seam Tucks

  • You'll be drawing 3 lines across your bodice.

  • The bottom line starts at 2.5cm/1" above the waist on the right hand side side seam and goes over to the other side seam - about 1/3 of the way up the side seam.  Draw in the line.
  • The second line measure up 2.5cm/1" on the right hand side    seam and then make a mark on the left hand side seam a1/3 of the way up.

  • The third line starts 2.5cm/1" up from the last line on right hand side seam.  Make a mark at the corner of the side seam and armhole seam then rule the third line in.  
  • Now that you've got your 3 line ruled in it's time to do a patternmaking method called - Slash and Spread.

  • Place your pattern on another piece of paper.
  • Cut into the bottom line - leaving the left side seam still connected. Tape the bottom part of the pattern to secure it in place.
  • Then spread the top part of the pattern pattern up 2.5cm/1".
  • Now repeat this process with the middle line.  Tape in place to keep it secure.
  • Then finally do this again with the top line.  When you cut the line make sure the junction of the side seam and armhole are still connected.
  • Tape all the pattern to the paper underneath.
  • The tucks will be folding up when you make your Cross Over bodice.  So fold the tucks up one at a time and, with your tracing wheel, draw over the side seam to create the tuck.  Do this with the middle tuck then the top tuck.

  • Once you've done that and marked in the tuck notches your pattern will look something like the image above.
  • Make sure you have still got your CF & Straight Grain line and also the information of the pattern.  You'll only be cutting one of this pattern so mark on this pattern 'Right Side Up' as that is how it's to be cut out on your fabric.

  • You will now have your right hand side pattern piece with the tucks and the left hand side pattern piece without the tucks - which will be placed under the right hand side pattern piece.

  • Lastly, you'll need to make your neck band.  Measure the complete neckline divide by .85.  This measurement will be your neckband length and the width will be 4cm/1 1/2".

That's it.  You've done your first pattern hack on the Miss Ruby Tuesday Dress pattern.  Enjoy making your Cross Over Dress and I would love to see pics in the facebook group. 

If you like what you see but don't have the pattern - you can find Miss Ruby Tuesday Dress pattern HERE.

If you have any questions or hack suggestions please put them in the comments below or email me at

Happy Sewing!
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Ann Martin is the owner/designer of 1 Puddle Lane - Pattern Studio.
With over 30 years experience in the Fashion Industry she brings a wealth of knowledge on everything from Patternmaking and Sewing to Design.
Ann currently lives in Australia and is always working on new pattern designs to create.


  1. where is a good place to buy paper for making patterns?

  2. where is a good place to buy paper for making patterns?

  3. I would love to see a tulip skirt hack!

  4. Trace and Toile is good for tracing patterns, might work. It's all i ever use

  5. Merci pour le tuto, je vais essayer de le faire.

  6. Me encantó,muchas gracias, desde Cuba

  7. Thank you very much.

    Ik like to stranslate in Dutch but it's not possible.