Melanie, a member of the Advisors’ Circle, is sharing a mash-up of two of her favorite patterns. We love how she created a casual version of the Belgravia by using the Bento Tee for the bodice.
I wanted a casually styled knit dress and was looking at the Belgravia – the integrated tie waist feature was tempting! But I also like a cut-on sleeve, and the Bento has just the elevated tee vibe I was thinking of. So I put the two together and changed the neckline and sleeve to the Bento while leaving all the other features of the Belgravia in place. I think it worked out well, with not too many changes.
The first step was to trace both patterns (I used 12 at the neckline and 14 at the waist), but I left the Belgravia bodice piece uncut on my tracing paper to make the design changes right on it. I then laid the Bento under the Belgravia bodice, lining up the center front since the Belgravia has an unusual shape. I traced the Bento’s neckline and sleeve onto the Belgravia and realized that the sleeve comes down right into the side seam of the original bodice. To get around that, I made a slight curve at the bottom of the sleeve so that there would be some extra space to differentiate between the sleeve and the side seam.
To get around that, I made a slight curve at the bottom of the sleeve so that there would be some extra space to differentiate between the sleeve and the side seam. It was barely a half inch deep, allowing a nicely finished sleeve and a clear side seam to be put together. I had to ease in the back bodice side seam, though slightly, so if you don’t want to take any length away from the front, another option is to extend the sleeve by an inch and curve the bottom edge back into the original seam line.
I followed the steps for the Belgravia until I was at the stage when I needed to finish the neckline. I then moved over to the Bento instructions, inserted the neckband, and added the sleeve cuffs. Even with this different bodice style, the ties pull in the bodice and look great. I like the casual feeling of the neckband and cuffs mixed with the more elegant long sash and fitted skirt. You don’t see the front seamlines in this busy print, but the slit at the front knee is a great feature.
My fabric is lightweight and stretchy knit, so I might choose a larger size if I used a Ponte or heavier knit. But this was a quick way to change up the look of the Belgravia a bit and get a different view of a great dress pattern.