Sunday, 9 February 2014

Drafting the Bodice

Hello again!

Today's post is about drafting the bodice. It's really not that big a jump from the block.
There are two changes. The first is the neckline, and the second is converting the single dart beneath the bust into a double dart. I'm going to go into more detail on how I shaped those darts in the next post.

My illustrations are based on *my* basic block, so the proportions may not appear typical. But the concept is the same! The key thing to be aware of with my bodice block, is that I have a proportionally full bust, and I'm quite short but stocky. Proportionally I'm a lot closer to a plus sized shape than a 'regular' shape. I'm also getting quite good at full bust adjustments. Double darts allow a smoother control of shape for a full bust.

Here is my basic block.
I've already made a toile with this and I know it's a good fit. So I can trace it and start changing it straight away.

First, the neckline.

This is just a matter of drawing in the scoop where I want it to go. I looked at necklines on other shirts in my wardrobe to get an idea of where I wanted to scoop to. Make sure the scoop is a right angle where it touches the centre line. When you make a significant alteration to the neckline it may gape a bit - but that's something I'll pick up on the toile.

To make the squared off neckline for the heart dress, I put a corner instead of a curve:
Now onto the darts.
I want two parallel darts instead of one under the bust. I begin by marking a line on each side of the dart.
I split along the lines and bring them together.
Here I fill the new gap with paper.
I draw two points on either side of the original dart.
Which will become the new dart points. I draw in the new darts:
All cleaned up:
I tweaked it a little, and sloped my darts inwards a bit:
Which meant I needed to extend the middle piece a little so the dart legs were the same length:

And there you have it!
Here's the square necked front:

That's the basic front. I've done more with the darts but I will explain that in the next post.
Onto the back, which is more straightforward:

Easy. I went for a scoopy back. I had noticed that I'd been making lots of high backs and it was time to mix it up. I made sure I checked that it wouldn't scoop so low as to expose any underwear.

From this point, seam allowances and darts need to be added back on. I drew a line 1.5cm around the shape, and a left a bit of extra space around the dart.

Next post I'll explain how to shape the darts on the front bodice for a closer fit. If you plan to do this, don't cut the front out just yet.


  1. Hey Zoe what package are you using for your new snazzy images?

  2. liking the two darts at the waist, something I've never done. As above comment mentions, images are good! I only have access to illustrator at work and I've occasionally been able to do a tiny bit at lunch but I'm not that quick.

  3. Ladies, going to disappoint and admit that I'm using microsoft 'paint'.... I did start with a scan of a quarter scale block, but the rest is kind of the digital equivalent of drawing with a wax crayon... :/ But I'm very glad you like them!

  4. I was looking a few days ago for how to make two darts! Thank you for this great tutorial, Zoe! :-)

    1. Thanks Daria. I've got another one about shaping darts next... just having a little bit of 'life gets in the way' happening at the moment.