Ballet Dress DELPY | Pattern Adjustment

written by Aaronica Cole

One of the joys of having curves that don’t quit is that my hips are normally about 2-3 sizes larger than my waist and bust. This is one of the main reasons I started sewing--I was tired of clothes not fitting me properly! One of my favorite lessons in sewing that I’ve learned so far has been in grading for my size.

But what happens if one of your measurements takes you out of the size range? Well, that’s what I’m going to show you how to work with today. 

When I saw the ballet dress DELPY, I knew I needed it for myself. My bust and waist are at the largest size for the pattern and I could have stuck with a tank but friends, this dress is asking to be part of my summer wardrobe and who am I to say no?

Here is a quick and easy tutorial on how to grade out for your hips on the Delpy dress (this tutorial will work best with knit fabrics):

I based how many more inches I needed to add on the finished measurement so that my end result would be similar to how Meghann drafted the pattern to look. 

Step One: Do the Math

For the size 10, the finished product has a hip measurement of 50.5" which gives 2.5" in extra space around a 48” hip. My hips measure 58” so I my end goal was a 60.5” measuring hip--simple enough. I needed to add a total of 10” which means 2.5” on the skirt. Now that my math was done, I constructed my paper pattern per the instructions and cut it out. I took some scrap paper that I had and taped it together so that I could extend the pattern.

Step Two: Draw New Lines

Because the skirt piece is the same for both front and back, I only had to draw new lines on one pattern piece. I measured out the 2.5in and placed dots all the way down the skirt and then connected them. I did the same with the curve where the split is.

I softened the curve that connects the top to the bottom so there was more of a gradient.

Step Three: Cut New Pattern Pieces

Cut out the pieces with your new lines!

Step Four: Follow Directions and Assemble Per Instructions


Step Five: Step Out And Turn Heads

Questions? Just ask! You can just shoot me an email to or drop a comment below for Meghann!

I’m Aaronica and I’m the woman behind “The Needle & The Bell{e}”. Although being gifted a sewing machine and lessons at age 13, my passion for sewing didn’t develop until more recently. Sewing took me through a divorce and allowed me to create clothing that fit my plus size body, before “YouTube University” was a thing. It was during my 2nd pregnancy and through the discovery of the online sewing community that the sewing bug truly bit. And now? Now, I’m addicted to my machines!

@needleandthebelle on Instagram

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