We've all been there. That terrible feeling of realizing you accidentally cut two fronts. Even worse, it's your favorite fabric and you don't have enough to start over!!
Well, Melissa and I BOTH did this during pattern testing, and we fixed it in two different ways. So we figured we'd show you how we each handled the problem!
Mya's way: The Patched Back
I decided to patch the hole (essentially color-blocking a back yoke) with the same fabric I used for my sleeve cuffs. I used a projector for this, but you could follow the same process with a paper pattern as well.
First, I needed to create the patch - basically the negative piece of the scoop front.
Using a piece of scrap fabric, I lined up the fabric to the pattern piece on the fold.
Then, I cut out the scoop portion, from the fold to the shoulder seam, ADDING 1/4" seam allowance along the curve. Don't cut the top yet!
Next, I brought the back pattern piece in, lining up the patch with the shoulder seam. Make sure you are getting the shoulder seam lined up - otherwise your patch won't fit the hole!
Then I cut the piece out, following the back neckline.
Now that I have my piece, I can lay it on my front piece, making sure it's the right size. Success!
Attaching the patch isn't quite as intuitive as it seems. With your pieces right sides together, start at one corner and work your way around. The curve of the patch will be opposite the curve of the bodice piece, but just take it an inch at a time, and you'll make it! I prefer to pin from one corner to the middle, then from the other corner to the middle.
Once you have your patch all pinned in place, it should look like this!
Now, sew them together around the curved edges with a 1/4" seam allowance.
Now your patch is attached! Give this a good press and a shot of steam to help it lay nicely. Topstitch if you desire!
View from the right side.
And ta-dah! Now you have a front and a back piece! And a fancy looking design element that no one but you will know wasn't supposed to be there ;)
Melissa's way: The strappy back
I realized I had two fronts after I sewed the shoulder seams together. I decided to use a couple straps on one side to add a nice design feature that could be worn toward the back or front.
I always mark the center of fold line of the top to make it easier to attach neckbands. I decided where I wanted the straps to be and marked those with clips as well.
I then measured the distance between these clips to figure out how long to make the straps.
I opted to use the same thickness as the neckband because the neckband I originally cut would no longer work on this top. I add 1/4" to 1/2" seam allowance to the strap length measurement and cut the straps out.
I fold them into thirds because I don't know about you, but I hate turning thin tubes right side out.
If I use my coverstitch or a twin needle, it looks good enough for my picky kiddo and I don't have to turn anything right side out.
Now we want to measure the new neckband. I measured the neck area and multiplied it by 90% to come up with the new neckband measurement. You would sew the seam of this just like the instructions advise. I always mark quarters on the neckband for easy attaching.
Now comes the tricky part of attaching everything to the neck. First, I attach the neckband using the quarter markings I've always used on the neckband and the center clips on the top. I use one of the shoulder seams as the seam for the neckband so the top can be worn with the straps in front or back. Next, I attach the straps using the clips we used for markers earlier.
Now, it looks a little messy, but you want to make sure the straps hang toward the folded side of the neckband with the seam side up.
I have managed to attach these wrong before so I also do a double check by flipping the straps to how they will lay when worn. This helps reduce my likelihood of spending time with the seam ripper.
Now, we want to sew the neckband and the straps on.
I try to take care and move slowly when going over the straps. I want to make sure they're included in the seam and not twisted.
After serging, sometimes I like to topstitch. This is completely optional but I have found it helps the thick areas of the seam lay a little flatter.
This is the finished view from the front preferred by my daughter.
She loves her fancy new back and didn't even know that it wasn't part of the pattern.
I hope these tricks help save you from a fabric emergency! Happy sewing!