Adjusting a Pattern: Changing a Back Closure to a Front Closure


Why change a dress bodice or a top into one that buttons up in front instead of the back?

A few reasons come to mind such as ease of dressing for independent toddler/child, show off some awesome buttons, avoid hair getting tangled around buttons (my reason to use zippers for back closures!) and my favorite which is creating new looks from a pattern.


Moving a button closure from the back to the front of a Duchess and Hare lined dress or top is simple and straightforward.  I’m going to use the Every Which Way bodice to show how easy it is to do.

NOTE: The amount to adjust can vary depending on the construction of the pattern you are modifying.  For example, this particular adjustment would need to be modified for Duchess and Hare’s Muttonchop Dress and TopAlso, if using wider buttons than the directions call for, add more width to your overlap.

What you need to get started:

  • bodice pattern
  • sheet of paper
  • pencil
  • ruler
  • tape

Step 1.   Print and assemble the front and back bodice pieces.

Step 2.   To adjust the back bodice simply measure over 1 inch from the center back edge and draw the new pattern line.



Step 3.   Trim or fold back the 1 inch as shown.  It’s a good idea to write FOLD along the new edge.



Step 4.   To adjust the front bodice add one inch to the center front.  Measure over 1 inch from the edge of a sheet of paper and draw a straight line.



Step 5.   Align the center front edge of the bodice with the line and tape in place.  I like to cross out the fold line.


That’s all there is to it!

NOTE: If the pattern you are modifying has a placket in the back skirt you will most likely need to add a placket to the front.  You may find some patterns have enough ease to get on and off in which case you can skip adding the placket.  For some new looks you create the addition of a placket in the front will not be necessary.

You may also enjoy reading Adjusting a Pattern: Adding Sleeve Length and Fullness

6 Replies to “Adjusting a Pattern: Changing a Back Closure to a Front Closure”

  1. Thank you so much for your tutorial! Definitely my new favourite sewing brand 😍
    I was just tinkering with the idea of how to transfer my back closures to the front so my eldest could dress herself in school and reading this had confirmed it’s really just that simple and I have a reference in case I get cold feet!

    Liked by 1 person

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