Making the Bodice Block Set

This page and the pages in the sub-menu contains preliminary information; the step-by-step instructions can be found on the menu.  You will need to refer to this preliminary information when following along with the instructions.

The Bodice Blocks are created based on the Upper Bust rather than the Bust measurement.  It will, of course, still fit in the bust.  If you want a run-down of why I use the Upper Bust for the width of the block - please read the article Why Upper Bust rather than Bust?


Block Ease

There is a total of 6 inches wearing ease in the Upper Bust (armhole level) and approx 4 inches of wearing ease in the bust.  The ease is distributed evenly between the back and the front, therefore (as the block are based on half the body), there is 1.5 inches added to both Front and Back.

There is a total of 1 inch of wearing ease in the waist.  This is distributed evenly,  therefore (as the blocks are based on half the body), 0.25 inches are added to the Front and Back.

For those of you who may have used some other block making methods, and are interested why there is 6 inches ease in the Upper Bust and 4 inches in the Bust, please read the three articles below, plus the Upper Bust article previously mentioned.

Bodice Front

The Bodice Front is created with two darts.  With this block making method, it is more usual to create a one-dart block, then use that block to create a two-dart block by pivoting or cutting and spreading,  but we will be distributing the dart excess (by cutting and spreading) within the instructions. (If you don't know what this means, don't worry about it, you'll find out as you make your block).

The block created will have the waist parallel to the floor.  You can redistribute the darts as you please when making patterns.

As I have said in many places on my website, when you are drafting a Bodice Block, your Bra Cup Size is irrelevant. The cup size for patternmaking is a completely different thing to cup size for bras.  You may have an F, G or H cup in bras, but be only a C or D for patternmaking purposes.

Bodice Back

The Bodice Back has one waist dart and a shoulder dart.  

Bodice with Sleeves

This bodice block is for use when you want a garment with sleeves.  Once you start cutting the shoulder line in and the neckline down, you need to use a Sleeveless Block, which you can make from this block. (You could alternatively mark those lines on this block and make the necessary adjustments when making the pattern.)

To stress this point:  If you make this block, then make a fitting toile, and it fits well, you cannot then create patterns with low necklines and cutaway arms using this block and expect it to fit.  The garment will gape in the armhole and the neckline.  When making the Sleeveless Block, you determine how much gaping there will be through a toile fitting, and make the necessary markings on the block so that when you want to create cutaway arms and low necklines, you have the necessary information marked on your block to make the adjustments.

Download Instructions

At the very bottom of each of the instructions pages (i.e. at the bottom of the Instructions Pages) you can download the step-by-step instructions that appear on the website, but in a more print-friendly booklet (PDF).  The graphics will have better resolution and it will print on fewer pages.  There are also some additional downloads: a condensed version of the step-by-step instructions, and a one-page outline.  The content of these two files (the condensed and outline) are not found on the website.

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