...fabric for the Adventurous Sewist

Gertie's Liz Dress - Full back modification Instructions.

Posted by Maree Cunningham on

 Comic Quits fabric in a Liz peplum top by Maree a Mad Seamstress

Welcome to my first, a Mad Seamstress make of 2020.

I’ve been doing all sorts of makes this year and this is the first time we have got out and done some photos so I can share something with you.

Between poor UK weather - sunny days in winter are always a struggle to come by -and now lockdown, it hasn't been the easiest task.

As I’ve been doing my make’s, I’ve been sharing them on my Facebook page and in the ‘a Mad Seamstress’ group.
I belong to a number sewing groups on facebook, so some of you, my have already seen this, so my Liz dress and then Liz peplum top in my comic quilts fabric (as a girl just had to have both 🤪 ) are not ‘just hot’ of the sewing machine. 

But what I thought I would do, is share with you, how I did my Liz back alteration for my peplum top.

This is a great option if you find the straps always slip on you or you want a bit more back coverage like me. 

How did I come up with this..

Well as I was making my first liz dress and checking out what everyone else had been doing on Gertie's insta and Pinterest, I found a peplum top version and I thought.. 
Yes, perfect! I need one!! 
As my tops, are always maximum wear in the summer -out walking the dog, nipping to the shop, a good general out and about item of clothing - smart or casual and add in the fact, I'm a fair skin girl that's burn's easily - a full back option was the only way to go.

I had just finished making the Night & Day dress and had done all my fit alterations to the bodice pattern.  It was still on my sewing table and this is what I went with as my full back option.  
If you don't have the Night & Day pattern in your stash, I'm sure you have another back bodice pattern that you could use as a replacement option.

The pattern piece you will need to do the alterations on are -
The  bodice back, the back strap and the front strap pieces.


Once you have your pattern pieces, start with your Liz Bodice back and pin the back strap into position. 


You will notice that the collar pattern doesn't sit perfectly flat on the back bodice, It has what I would call a 'little wearing ease' that is included in the pattern piece to help with movement of wear. 

Pinning the two pieces together will give you your back length and shoulder line, along with the junction point of the armhole shaping, (where the collar meets the armhole line.)

Layer up your two patterns; I found it the easiest to put my N&D on the bottom and then the Liz over the top.

This is the point where I pinned in my front strap to help with my new shoulder line.

Line up the key points-

  • centre back
  • centre back waist line
  • grain lines, in both patterns
  • shoulder seams
  • underarm point
  • and then your side seam length should finish at the same point.
Please note- my N&D back bodice has a wider waist dart due to me taking gap dart fitting out of that pattern for a better fit at my neck and armhole. 
Not everyones N&D will look like this.

I then pinned in the front strape into position to get my new shoulder seam line.

As the shoulder seam is on a curve you will notice that there is a gap at the right hand side of about 1cm.

I have left this to help put a little ease into the shoulder seam - remember the back collar doesn't sit perfectly flat to this will help with ease of movement during wear.


To create your new back bodice, get a new piece of pattern pattern, place over the top and pin into the other layers so it doesn’t all move and trace out your new back pattern.

Mark in your new shoulder line, the junction where the back and front collar meets. There will have a slight curve to the line and you will be adding in a little area - around 1cm to help with the wearing ease.

The alterations to my bodice back pattern are -

  • Back neckline; I've dropped 2cm at the centre back below the N&D neckline and widen the neck edge at the shoulder seam to meet up with the collar design of the Liz dress, again this is about 2cm.
  • I’ve extended the shoulder seam 2 cm along to get a little more coverage across the back when I shape in my new back armhole line.
  • For the back armhole shaping, I’ve followed the collar line to the junction point of where it would meet the armhole -marked with a dot.
  • I’ve dropped my underarm point by 1cm.
  • Remember to drop your bodice side front pattern by 1cm - you could just cut this off when you cut out your pattern piece instead on making a whole new pattern.
  • Once I’ve done my new back pattern, I balance out my front strap on the existing Liz front strap to match the new curve lines- which I take back to the notches on this piece.

Pattern alterations all done, now you're good to sew. 

When I’ve gone to stitch up my peplum top, I’ve still used the underlining layer that Gertie has suggested in her pattern.
I’ve boned the front and side seam panel.
Follow all of Gertie’s instructions on making the front of the Liz bodice, however don’t stitch the front strap all the way to the end, stop about 5cm before the end of the strap.

You will be able to quite easily stitch your new back, onto the front strap and pull it through the back bodice to do all the finishing off needed.

Once you have made your new top bodice, I put on my pelpum.

You could create your own style for this as its just an added length of fabric to the waist measurement of the finished top bodice.

If you like the look of mine- I have gone with an old NewLook pattern that is one of my favourite summer tops NL 6130.

Lastly I added in my zip.

I've now done two of these tops and one is an exposed zip- which is a great way of hiding unmatched pattern or a little more care was taken and the zip is still slightly exposed but stitched on the inside of my top. 


I have to say,
I love my new Liz peplum top - it will be my top of 2020 -if I ever get let out anywhere to wear it!

Stay at home, Stay safe and Sew On.
a Mad Seamstress


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