Hi there! My name is Shelley and I’d like to share a fairly easy hack to add a faux tank panel to any cross-front bodice. I’ve been sewing somewhat sporadically since I was young, but I began to get back into sewing when I got pregnant with my fourth baby. I decided to make my entire wardrobe with maternity and nursing-friendly comfortable clothing! After a lot of research and experimenting, I perfected my technique of adding a faux tank panel beneath low-cut tops and cross bodices. What began as something I wanted in nursing access became something I now always add for low-cut tops.
I was so excited to see the new Buttercup design! I’ve always loved cross-over tops, and now I can match my baby AND teenager! The first one I made, however, seemed to make my teenager slightly uncomfortable. She is a more modest girl and wasn’t so fond of a lower neckline. I don’t mind a few extra steps to make sure she feels comfortable! It’s also a great little hack since you can always use a coordinating fabric and always look amazing.
The first step is to take your front bodice piece and fold it in half so the bottom edge lines up.
The idea is to create another front bodice piece. So fold your coordinating fabric, line up your pattern piece on the fold, and cut the bottom and sides of the front bodice. For the neckline, the spot where the pattern piece meets the fold is where it will cross on your chest, so I like to cut about 1-3” inches above that point. I make a wide scoop neck and cut off a little more than half the shoulder seam. This will hide where the faux tank panel attaches, as well as gives you plenty of room to add the neckband later.
Next, cut a neckband for your faux tank panel. I usually cut two inches deep and slightly longer than the neckline of the faux tank panel.
Sew/serge the neckband onto the top of the faux tank panel, stretching the band slightly as you go. If you want a nice finished look, topstitch the band. If your seam seems a little wavy, iron the seam until it lies nicely. Trim the extra band at the shoulder seam.
Now it’s time to attach it to your Buttercup! Lining up the armscye, place the wrong side of the front bodice on the right side of the faux tank panel. They should line up nicely in the arm, side, and bottom.
Place the back bodice right side together with the top bodice, and sew the shoulder seam. The faux tank panel will not go all the way across the shoulder seam and should be lined up with the arm edge of the shoulder seam.
Repeat with the other shoulder seam. There should be enough room to attach the neck binding and topstitch with no problem.
From this point on, line up the faux tank panel sides and bottom with the two front bodice pieces and treat it as one front bodice piece.
My teenager LOVES this dress and this look with the faux tank panel. It always coordinates without adding the extra bulk of a tank top. Of course, if it makes her happy and comfortable, it is always worth the extra effort!