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Tutorial: Delray with Enclosed Front Bodice

Niina Kivelä

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Blogger: Heather Chisolm

Delray with an Enclosed Front Bodice

There is truly nothing cuter, in my opinion, than an adorable outfit that is handmade with love. Delray is a perfect summertime design for handmade sews! Today we will show you how to omit the keyhole cut-out in order to make Delray with full tummy coverage. Whether for modesty purposes or school dress code, it is super easy to make Delray with a closed-front bodice!

Select the layer for the size being sewn, and print two copies of the front bodice pattern pieces. It does not matter if the small or large opening front bodice piece is used. Tape an extra blank piece of paper to the bottom of the printed pages. The paper will provide extra length for drawing room when extending the bodice.


Creating the Lining Pattern Piece: Using a ruler, draw a line extending the bottom of the bodice and center fold line, so that they meet at a 90 degree angle. Cut out the new lining pattern piece following these lines.

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Creating the Main Front Bodice Piece: Using a ruler, extend the bodice side seam, (underarm) to the measurement listed in the chart below. For example, on a size 4, the pattern piece measures 5 1/2’’. This piece will be extended to a total length of 9 5/8.

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Using a ruler, extend the center fold line to match the new length of the side seam. Join the two lines horizontally, making sure the pattern piece is squared at the bottom of the bodice. In the below photo, the edge of the ruler is lined up straight against the underarm line and the bottom of the ruler is on the 9 5/8” mark. Cut the front bodice pattern piece out.

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Taaa-daaa!!!! The new front bodice main pattern piece is now ready! Cut the fabric according to the cutting instructions in the pattern.

Follow the tutorial through attaching the straps. After attaching the front bodice straps, use a fabric pen or pin to mark ½” down from each underarm and 1/2” up from the bottom edge of the bodice. Do not gather this section, as this is the seam allowance. Sew two rows of gathering stitches on each bodice side using a 1/4 and 3/8” seam allowance. Do not gather this yet.  

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After sewing the main and lining together per the pattern instructions, we need to create the center gather. This can be done two ways, either with ¼” elastic or with two rows of gathering stitches. The method used is a personal preference, both methods are explained below.  

Elastic: The elastic will be attached to the wrong side of the main front bodice piece only, not the lining. Using the method detailed in the tutorial to attach the elastic. Refer to the chart above for the elastic lengths required for the closed bodice.

Gathering Stitches: In lieu of elastic, gathering stitches can be used. Simply draw a line down the center front using a removable sewing marker. Sew a row of gathering stitches 1/4’’ to the left and right of the center line of the front bodice main only. Gather the front main bodice to the same height as the lining. Sew straight down the center line to attach it to the lining. Remove the gathering stitches.

In the below photo, the center is gathered but edges are not. Turn the bodice right side out.

Gather each side seam of the front main bodice to match the match the height of the lining side seams. Follow the pattern instructions to attach the straps to the back bodice, through attaching the back bodice side seams to the front bodice side seams. The gathered section of the front bodice main will be pinned to the back bodice main.

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That’s it!! Wasn’t it easy?! So there you have it! You’ve made an adorable enclosed front bodice Delray perfect for lazy summer days or back to school.

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