Instructions (Dress 003)

This is the list of the 8 pattern pieces that I will be drafting in the step-by-step instructions below.

  1. Dress Centre Front
  2. Bodice Side Front
  3. Side Skirt Front
  4. Dress Centre Back
  5. Bodice Side Back
  6. Side Skirt Back
  7. Bodice Front Facing (and interfacing)
  8. Bodice Back Facing (and interfacing)

Note

When making patterns, at certain stages you need to cut up your pattern, stick it together, add paper underneath, sticky taping it together, transfer it (however you want to do that) onto other paper to add seam allowance, etc.  You will need to work out a system for yourself to minimise the amount of work; e..g. pivoting darts from the block to the paper when possible, cutting just the parts that need work etc.  I will not be giving detailed instructions for your workflow, that is something you need to work out for yourself. 

Instructions Dress 003 - Figure 1

Dress Centre Front (PP#1) & Front Facing (PP#7)

The Dress Centre Front piece will be a long pattern piece as it runs from the shoulder/neck to below the knee.  However, at this point we will be working on just the bodice, which will include a bit of cutting and taping.  When the Bodice is finished and cut along the Princess Line, then it will be traced (or wheeled) onto paper again and the skirt section added.

  • Trace your Block onto paper, transferring the contouring information (shoulder line and neck gape dart).
  • Draw the boat neckline on the Bodice block.  I have chosen a depth of 1.3 inches (3.3 cm) down from the CF neck and 1.85 inches (4.7 cm) down from the neckline shoulder point.
  • Redraw the armhole.  I have taken 0.31- inch (0.75 cm) from the shoulder edge.
  • Make sure that you take into account the shoulder contouring guide when drawing the shoulder line.
  • Measure up 1.56 inches (4 cm) from CF waistline (from A to B) and the side seam waistline (from C to D), and draw a line from B to D.  We will cut this off - it will be added back in when adding the skirt to this pattern piece.
  • Cut the pattern so far.  At this point is it a good idea to put this shape on your block and draw the the shoulder and the neckline on the block. This makes it easier when you go  to draw the Bodice Back shoulder and armhole).
  • Cut along the neck gape dart line to the Bust Point and from the top side seam dart line to the Bust Point.*  (For details on how to move darts, see the Contouring pages under the Principles Menu).

*Best practice is to not cut the block into two separate pieces, but rather leave a little bit of paper attached at the Bust Point, but I think it makes little difference.

instructions-dress-003-figure-01

Instructions Dress 003 - Figure 2

I am going to first move the gape dart into the side seam dart.*  The reason for doing this - rather than just moving the gape dart into the neckline dart that is part of the design - is to create the facing before we (a) create a dart in the neckline and (b) start the princess line seam.  We don't want the facing to have the Princess Line seam or the neck dart.

The facing is all-in-one facing for the armhole and the neckline.

  • Close the neck gape dart. (Note: Secure/tape the neck gape dart line but not the side seam dart line).
  • Smooth out the neckline curve.
  • Trace the facing*. 

*For details, refer to the All-in-one Facing page under the Elements Menu.  Note that in this case I am making the facing exactly the same as the Bodice, but it is best practice to shave a little - e.g. 06 or .13 inch off the armhole and the neckline to make sure the facing does not poke out.

instructions-dress-003-figure-02

Instructions Dress 003 - Figure 3

We will finish off the facing before continuing with the Dress Centre Front:

  • add seam allowance
  • note grainline
  • add cutting instructions
  • note CF
  • label the pattern piece (name of pattern piece, pattern piece number)

instructions-dress-003-figure-03

Instructions Dress 003 - Figure 4

We will continue with the Dress Centre Front pattern piece.

  • Mark the neckline line, drawing a line from the Bust Point to the neck.  I have placed it about 2.31 inches (6 cm ) from the CF neck.
  • Cut along the line just made.  You should also have the opening at the side seam that was cut and not taped.
  • Pivot the armhole piece (shaded in green for emphasis) anti-clockwise to open up a dart in the neckline.  I am making the dart 1.19 inches (3 cm).
  • You will need to put paper underneath the neck piece and seciure the piece at the neck dart and side seam dart.

instructions-dress-003-figure-04

Instructions Dress 003 - Figure 5

  • Draw the Princess Line* from the armhole, passing close to the Bust Point (it doen't have to goe exactly through the BP, a little distance away is OK;  getting a better curve is more important) and down the waist dart leg that is closest to the CF.
  • Place the notches for easing*.
  • Cut along this line to separate the Bodice into two pieces.

Put aside the Bodice Side piece for the moment (pattern piece #2), we will first finish the Dress Centre Front (pattern piece #1).

* Details for drafting the Princess Line can be found on the Princess Line - Armhole page in the Elements menu.

instructions-dress-003-figure-05

Instructions Dress 003 - Figure 6

We are now going to finish off Pattern Piece #1 (Dress Centre Front).

  • Trace/wheel the information from the patten piece so far onto fresh paper; don't forget the BP and the ease notches (highlighted in orange).
  • Finish off the neckline dart edge (highlighted in blue).
  • Mark the neckline tuck dart (highlighted in green). 

We will now extend the CF to include the skirt.

  • Mark down 1.56 inches from points A and B and mark points C and D. (The line C~D is the waist).
  • Extend the CF line down from D for the length of the skirt (24.25 inches, 61.5 cm), and mark the hemline E.
  • Draw a  line from E at right angles to the CF line for the hem length for this pattern piece;  as per the plan of action, 8.875 inches  (17.75 inches ÷ 2 for the half-pattern).
  • Draw a line from waist C to hemline F.
  • Measure udown the C~F line for the length of the skirt mark point G.
  • Draw the hem curve from E to point G.

We will put a notch point on side seam line after we create the side skirt pattern piece.

instructions dress 003 figure 06

Instructions Dress 003 - Figure 7

The drafting of the Dress Centre Front is finished, now the pattern piece just needs to be finished off:

  • add seam allowance (I have .38 inch at the neckline and armhole and .63 inch on other seams.  I am going to use hem bias tape on the hem, so .63 inch for the hem is sufficient).
  • draw the grainline paralell to CF.
  • add  cutting instructions.
  • label the pattern piece (name of piece, number, etc).

I will come back to this pattern piece to put a notch on the side seam when the Skirt Front Side pattern piece is finished.

instructions dress 003 figure 07

Instructions Dress 003 - Figure 8

We will now work on the Bodice Side piece - pattern piece # 2 -  that we put aside a few steps ago.

  • (Figure Step A): Cut off the waist dart value.
  • (Figure Step B): Cut along the top dart line to the Bust Point notch.  Cut right through to make two pieces.
  • (Figure Step C): Close the dart, so that both dart legs meet at the side seam.  Don't sticky tape the two pieces together yet!
  • (Figure Step D): Holding the two pieces together at the side seam (marked x), open it up at the bust point (marked y) for 0.25-inch (B cup) and up to .5-inch (DD cup).*  The orange shading you can see is the amount that has been opened up.

* Opening this up at the bust point will give some extra ease to this curve.  The larger your bust cup, the more pronounced the curve, the curvier this piece is, the more ease is required to sew it to the Bodice Front piece.  See the following two pages in the Elements Menu for other examples:  Princess Line Shoulder & Princess Line Armhole.  Note that different fabrics also mmay require different amounts of ease.

instructions dress 003 figure 08

Instructions Dress 003 - Figure 9

The Bodice Front Side pattern piece needs to be finished off:

  • Trace/wheel it off onto the final paper, making sure hte curve is smoothed out.
  • Add seam allowance
  • Draw the grainline.
  • Add cutting instructions.
  • Label (pattern name, pattern piece, etc).
  • Mark notches.
  • Make sure you mark the seam join point at the armhole.*.

instructions dress 003 figure 09

Instructions Dress 003 - Figure 10

We will now create the Skirt Side Front pattern piece (PP#3).

  • Take the Bodice Side Front and measure the 'waist' measurement not including the seam allowance. (It is not actually the waist, it is 1.56 inch above waist).
  • Draw a line from A to B; the value of the measurement just taken.
  • Measure down for 1.56 inch (4cm) from A and B  to points C and D.
  • Draw a line from C to D - this is the waistline.
  • Mark a point half-way between C and D  and mark point E.
  • Draw a line down from E to the value of the skirt length - for me it is 24.25 inches (61.5 cm). Mark the end point F.
  • With F as the centre, draw a horizontal line, at right angles to the E~F line, to the value of hem area for this pattern piece (15.25 inches as per the Plan of Action).  Label the end points of this line G and H.
  • Draw lines from C towards G for the value of the skirt length - it will finish a bit before H - and mark the end point J.
  • Draw a line from D towards H for the value of the skirt length - it will finish a bit before G - and mark the end point I.
  • Draw the hem curving from I to F to J.

instructions dress 003 figure 10

Instructions Dress 003 - Figure 11

Before adding seam allowance and finishing off the Side Skirt Front pattern piece, take pattern piece # 1 (Bodice Front), and check the skirt seam lengths - check it against the seam line of PP#!1..  Mark a notch on both pattern pieces down in the hip area.

instructions dress 003 figure 11

Instructions Dress 003 - Figure 12

Finish off the Skirt Side Front:

  • add seam allowance
  • draw the grainline
  • add cutting instructions
  • label the pattern piece (name, piece number)

Note that after the Skirt Side Back pattern piece is made, we will check the side seam lengths and add two notches on the side seams.  With this pattern piece you will be able to tell which side of the skirt joins the Bodice Front and which joins the Back by these notches (one notch on the front, two notches on the side seam).

instructions dress 003 figure 12

Instructions Dress 003 - Figure 13

The four front pattern pieces are finished, and now we'll start on the Bodice Back.  In the instructions under Figure 1,  I said to draw the shoulder and neckline on your block; it makes it easier now to draw the back armhole and neckline.

  • Trace the Back Block onto paper
  • Place your Bodice Front Block so that the shoulder lines meet and draw the neckline and armhole.  (Remember to use your Bodice Back contour markings). My back neckline depth is 1.18 inches (3cm).
  • Measure up 1.58 inches from CB waist (from A to B).
  • Meausre up 1.58 inches from CB side seam (from C to D).
  • Draw a line from B to D.  As with the Bodice Front, the bottom section will be taken into account when adding the skirt.
  • As per my Plan of Action, I have moved my dart over towards the side seam so that the Princess Line looks better. (If you move it or how much you move it is up to you, it's a preference).
  • Draw the Princess Line Armhole*.   Don't cut yet as we will create the Back Facing before doing so.

* For directions for the standard shaping, see the page under the Elements menu titled Princess Line Armhole.

instructions dress 003 figure 13

Instructions Dress 003 - Figure 14

We will now create the Back Facing - Pattern Piece #8.  I have created it to the same shape as the block, but best practice is to shave about 1/16 or 1/8 inch off the armhole and the neckline to make sure the facing is turned under and is not seen.

  • Facing extends down to 4 inches at the CB and 2 inches at the side seam.

Trace the shape from the pattern and finish off the pattern piece.

  • add seam allowance (I have added 0.38 inch at the neckline and armhole, none at the inside edge as I will just overlock that edge, and .56 for the other seams).
  • add cutting instructions
  • note grainline
  • label the pattern piece (name of piece and number)

instructions dress 003 figure 14

Instructions Dress 003 - Figure 15

We will go back to pattern piece #4 - Dress Centre Back.

  • Before you cut the Back Bodice into the two pattern piece, mark a notch on both pattern pieces at the dart point.
  • Cut along the Princess Line to separate the two pattern pieces.
  • Trace/wheel the information pattern piece #4 (Dress Centre Back) onto fresh paper; don't forget the dart notch point

We will now extend the CB to include the skirt.

  • Mark down 1.56 inches from points A and B and mark points C and D. (The line C~D is the waist).
  • Extend the CB line down from C for the length of the skirt (24.25 inches, 61.5 cm), and mark the hemline E.
  • Draw a  line from E at right angles to the CB line for the hem length for this pattern piece;  as per the plan of action, 8.875 inches  (17.75 inches ÷ 2 for the half-pattern).
  • Draw a line from waist point D to hemline F.
  • Measure down the D ~F line for the length of the skirt (24.25 inches, 61.5 cm), and mark the point G.
  • Draw the hem curve from E to point G.

instructions dress 003 figure 15

Instructions Dress 003 - Figure 16

  • Mark down the CB line from zC for 8.5 inches (approx hip depth) and place three notches.
  • Mark dwon the D~G seam line for 8.5 inches and place two notches.

The drafting of the Dress Centre Front is finished, now the pattern piece just needs to be finished off:

  • add seam allowance (I have .38 inch at the neckline and armhole and .63 inch on other seams.  As mentioned before, I am going to use hem bias tape on the hem, so .63 inch for the hem is sufficient).
  • draw the grainline paralell to CB.
  • add cutting instructions.
  • label the pattern piece (name of piece, number, etc).

instructions dress 003 figure 16

Instructions Dress 003 - Figure 17

We will now work on the Bodice Back Side piece - pattern piece # 5 -  that we put aside a few steps ago.

  • Cut the dart off.
  • Smooth the curve.

Before finishing off this piece by adding seam allowance, we will walk it aganist the Bodice Back piece; smoothing the curve may have affected the length of the line and it may not match pattern piece #4.

instructions dress 003 figure 17

Instructions Dress 003 - Figure 18

  • Check the length of the curved seam against pattern piece #4 (Dress Centre Back) by walking the pieces at the seam line.
  • Figure 18A: If the Bodice Side Back seam length is too short, you will need to add the necessary amount at the armhole (shown with red shading)
  • Figure 18B: If the Bodice Side Bak seam length is too long, you can shave some off the armhole. (You can adjust the Dress Centre Back piece as well as, or instead, but since that pattern piece is finished, I would just adjust current pattern piece*)

* It is best practice to finish doing the drafting of all the pattern pieces before adding seam allowance, because as you see here, you may need to make changes.

instructions dress 003 figure 18

Instructions Dress 003 - Figure 19

Finish off the Bodice Side Back - pattern piece #5.

  • add seam allowance (I have added 0.38 inch at the armhole and  0.56 inch for the other seams).
  • add cutting instructions
  • mark the grainline
  • label the pattern piece (name of piece and number)
  • mark the seam point at the armhole.

instructions dress 003 figure 19

Instructions Dress 003 - Figure 20

We will now create the Skirt Side Back pattern piece (PP#6).

  • Take the Bodice Side Back and measure the 'waist' measurement not including the seam allowance. (It is not actually the waist, it is 1.56 inches above waist).
  • Draw a line from A to B; the value of the measurement just taken.
  • Measure down for 1.56 inch (4cm) from A and B  to points C and D.
  • Draw a line from C to D - this is the waistline.
  • Mark a point half-way between C and D  and mark point E.
  • Draw a line down from E to the value of the skirt length - for me it is 24.25 inches (61.5 cm). Mark the end point F.
  • With F as the centre, draw a horizontal line, at right angles to the E~F line, to the value of hem area for this pattern piece (15.25 inches as per the Plan of Action).  Label the end points of this line G and H.
  • Draw lines from C towards G for the value of the skirt length - it will finish a bit before H - and mark the end point J.
  • Draw a line from D towards H for the value of the skirt length - it will finish a bit before G - and mark the end point I.
  • Draw the hem curving from I to F to J.

instructions dress 003 figure 20

Instructions Dress 003 - Figure 21

Before adding seam allowance and finishing off the Side Skirt Front, check the seam lengths on both sides, and finish off notches:

  • Take PP#4 (Dress Centre Back), and check the skirt seam length - check it against the seam line.
  • Mark the three hip notches on PP#6.
  • Take PP#3 (Side Skirt Front), and check the skirt seam length - check it against the seam line.
  • Mark the two hip notches on PP#6.

Note that each skirt seam has different notches to easily differentiate the pattern pieces (one notch skirt front, two notches side seam, three notches skirt back, four notches centre back)

instructions dress 003 figure 21

Instructions Dress 003 - Figure 22

Finish off the Skirt Side Back:

  • add seam allowance
  • draw the grainline
  • add cutting instructions
  • label the pattern piece (name, piece number)

instructions-dress-003-figure-22

Instructions Dress 003 - Figure 23

And here are all the pattern pieces:

instructions dress 003 figure 23


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