Chevron Pleated Bodice Tutorial

Hi everyone, Courtenay here again! I always have a tough time when it comes to sewing Christmas dresses for my girls. There are so many beautiful fabrics and incredible Simple Life Pattern Company patterns that I spend months going back and forth. This year Daisy & I  spotted this beautiful Christmas red linen and knew it would make the perfect Geneva. Because I was going with a solid fabrics I decided to create the beautiful chevron pleated bodice panel to showcase both the pattern and the beautiful red tones in the fabric. 

The fabric requirements for the bodice panel are:

  • Size 2-6: 2 pieces, 10” wide by 16” long
  • Sizes 7-12:  2 pieces, 12” wide by 20” long

Step 1

Take your centre front bodice panel pattern piece and extend the fold line by ⅜”

Step 2

Using either an old school protractor or the 30 degree line on your quilting ruler, draw the template for the pleats, 1” apart.

  • Size 2-4: 5 pleats
  • Size 5-8: 6 pleats
  • Size 9-12: 7 pleats

I recommend using a pencil so you can move the pleats around until you are happy with the placement. These lines will be the stitch lines on the pleats

Step 3

Ensure you have a nice straight edge on the bottom of your fabric. Using your choices of chalk or pen, draw a line 2½” from the bottom of the fabric. Then every 2 inches draw another line until you have the required amount for your pleats. Follow steps 2&3 from the pattern to create your pleats. These pleats will be closer together than those in the original pattern to accentuate the chevron. Repeat with the 2nd piece of fabric.

Step 4

Line up the lines on your pattern piece with the stitch line on the fabric and cut pattern piece. Create a mirror of this on the 2nd piece of pleated fabric.

Step 5

Pin the 2 centre bodice pieces together, taking time to line up the pleats. Sew together using a ⅜” seam allowance. Press the seam open, top stitch on either side of the seam if you wish.

Step 6

Now you have a beautiful chevron center bodice panel for your Geneva! Head back to the pattern and pick up at step 5 and complete the pattern with your sleeve and skirt preferences

I went with the beautiful flutter sleeve so the dress will work for our hot Christmas. When cutting the skirt I used the whole width of the fabric so the dress was extra twirly, as per Miss Daisy’s specifications. What I love about this modification is that with a bit of planning, it can be used for almost any bodice. I think it would look just as beautiful as a panel on Jaimesyn and Betty, or as the whole front bodice on a simple dress like Molly. The options are endless. 

I hope you have enjoyed my elegant, timeless take on a Geneva Christmas dress and have as much fun with your Christmas sewing as I had making this one.

Merry Christmas, Courtenay & Daisy xx


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