Floating bodice dress

I always aim to make something for the Monthly Stitch co-operative, but rarely find the time to actually make something! Luckily, ‘Indie Pattern Month’ coincides quite perfectly with some things I have been planning to make since the Sewing For pleasure show a few months ago! The first week of the month is dresses!

At the sewing for pleasure, I bought about 2m of some light green polka dot cotton, and later a white invisible zips. My plan was always to make ‘one of those dresses where there are two bodices, one that is really loose and one so you don’t expose yourself’ (an extremely technical description of course!) that I now know to be called a ‘floating bodice’.

Then, like it was just meant to be, the Sew Simple pattern with issue 13 Love Sewing Magazine was, lo and behold, exactly what I had been looking for!!

So as soon as my exams were done, I celebrated by cutting the fabric, but had to wait a while to finish because I forgot I had to make a ball dress (being posted as soon as I have uploaded the photos!). So, I made, pressed and photographed my dress today!



I cut a size 12 for ease of wear around the bust, but ended up just making an all over 12 rather than taking in the hips like I usually do. I didn’t follow the instructions included in the pattern beyond the first few steps because they didn’t seem like the logical progression to me!

To affix the floating part of the bodice to the dress, you have to fold the back edges into the dart before stitching into place. I thought I had managed quite successfully until I was fixing the zips and saw that the last two inches of one side hadn’t been fixed! So I unpacked a little of the dart, enough to slot the bodice back together and restitch. This was the biggest problem I faced. But you can’t tell which side I had to reset! So I’m very happy.


After fixing the floating to the bodice, I attached the facing (somewhat sloppily I will admit), seamed the two long sides, then the floating bodice sleeves together, turned it all inside out and fixed an invisible zips. Then, neatening up, hemming, and pressing (there is a rather stubborn crease down the centre of the dress from where the material was folded after it had dried. I’m hoping it comes out in the wash next time) and good to go!

I think the pattern is quite easy, however, I didn’t much like the instructions!


The hips are a little too wide, and to make the dress look more professional, I probably should have taken the skirt in a little more. However, I wanted this to be a summer dress, and so I left it looser so I can move freely while on holiday and the like! Overall, I am very excited to take this new dress for a spin!! Especially seeing as the weather is so gloriously sunny at the moment.

Happy summer!



10 thoughts on “Floating bodice dress

  1. Hi, Your dress looks great and it looks identical to the picture on the pattern so you have totally got away with no following the instructions!
    I am currently in the middle of making this dress and i am stuck with the instructions! I can’t seem to understand how to attach the bodice to the dress. The back dart that has the marking for where the bodice should be placed – is this dart meant to be taking in? or left open and only used as a guide? if you could help me on this that would be great – as i am planing to get make this a 2 piece suit so a top and a high waisted skirt but i would much prefer to complete the dress.


    1. Hi, thank you!
      Yeah, I got confused with that instruction as well. I initially darted the back as you would usually and then realised that you had to dart it WITH the back of the floating bit in the dart.
      So – it’s like the back bodice seams are a part of the dart. I would probably mark out the dart, then put the floating back piece in and then sew the dart – looking back.
      …If that makes any sense… if not, I’ll do some sketches.

      Good luck!


      1. HI! Thank you so much for getting back to me so quickly! so you would suggest to place the back bodice in the certain of the dart? join together and then sew? almost sandwich the back bodice in?

        sketches would be great! yours looks so near to the original picture so i am baffled how to get mine to look like that!

        Thanks 🙂


      2. You’re just lucky I’m online!
        Sandwiching sounds like a pretty good analogy – it is basically sandwiching the bodice piece into the dart.
        I can’t work out how to add pictures, but my sketch is awful, so sandwiching is a much easier way to describe it!
        Thank you, I’m gutted I can’t wear it any more – I loved this dress!


      3. Thank you so much i will try just that! well i think you should make another one in another print!! 🙂 good luck!


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