In my year-and-a-half of sewing, I've been enjoying learning the secrets of altering patterns to achieve different looks. I haven't done much of this on regular-sized clothing (except for lengthening a bodice or a skirt), but I've done a lot of it on doll clothing (which, taking up so little material, makes more allowances for cutting out new pieces if the alteration goes wrong).
The pattern I use for all my Regency style doll dresses is a pattern for Josefina's Christmas Dress (American Girl). It is the perfect pattern for altering.
The original pattern calls for a ruffle on the neckline, and no lining. For each dress I've made with the pattern, I've cut out double the amount of bodice pieces to make a lining, and omitted the neck ruffle completely. I usually don't included the ribbon on the waistline either.
The following two were made with those basic alterations.
The only alteration I made on this dress (besides omitting the neck ruffle and adding a lining) is that I borrowed the sleeves from Kirsten's Pinafore Dress pattern so they were more "puffy".
This one's almost the same except that I did use the upper sleeve piece from the Josefina pattern and left out the long sleeve piece.
For this, I borrowed sleeves from a McCalls pattern.
For this one, I cut the front bodice piece a couple centimeters away from the fold and at a slight angle, and gathered it instead of darting it. I borrowed the sleeves from a Felicity pattern. :-)
For this dress, I did the same thing with the bodice (gathering instead of darting), added bias around the neckline and waistline, and also sewed lace to the neckline to resemble Emma's Box Hill dress. I wish I had gotten better pictures of it before it sold.
Same deal with the bodice here, except somehow I must have lengthened it because it seems longer (almost like a 1790's dress rather than mid-Regency). I couldn't resist adding the little rose on the neckline; isn't it precious? ;-) Sleeves came from the Felicity's Christmas Gown pattern.
So those are the alterations I've done on that pattern, and there's more to come. I am planning a slightly different technique for the gathered bodice option as well as thinking out how to make a crossover gown in doll size.
(Speaking of which, I think I settled on making the Regency crossover gown for myself, though I'm not sure what fabric yet. I'd still like to make Buttercup's dress, but I really would like an excuse to wear it someplace when I make it. ;-) )