Instructions (Dress 004)

This is the list of the 16 pattern pieces that I will be drafting in the step-by-step instructions below.

  1. Bodice Front Yoke
  2. Bodice Front
  3. Front Waistband (also Waistband lining and interfacing)
  4. Bodice Back Yoke
  5. Bodice Back
  6. Back Waistband (also Waistband lining and interfacing)
  7. Skirt Front
  8. Pocket Back
  9. Skirt Back
  10. Bodice Front Lining
  11. Bodice Front Interfacing
  12. Skirt Front Lining
  13. Pocket Front
  14. Bodice Back Lining
  15. Bodice Back Interfacing
  16. Skirt Back Lining

My blocks have Empire Line markings on them so I don't have to do the work of finding my underbust line and working out the dart increase at that level each and every time I make a pattern based on the Empire Line. For this pattern I am not creating a standard Empire line which dips from CF to the side seam, then dips further down to the CB, but I am still referring to some of that EL information.

Instructions Dress 004 - Figure 1

Bodice Front & Back

We will first draw the neckline and yoke lines on the Bodice Front and Bodice Back before tracing the blocks onto paper.  I have greyed out the contouring marks which are usually in color so that only the current steps are in color and can be the focus.

  • Draw the neckline and shoulder line on Bodice Front* (Depth from front neck = 3.75 inches (9.5 cm), Shoulder strap width = 1.88 inches (4.75 cm) starting from 0.8 inch (1 cm) in from shoulder edge. ).
  • Place the Bodice Front shoulder line to the Bodice Back shoulder line .
  • Draw the neckline and the yoke line on the Bodice Back.  Back Neck Depth: 3.94 inches (7.5 cm)
  • Draw the shoulder line according to the shoulder contour* markings (both front and back).

*This neckline was one I worked out using some calico, this works for me.

instructions-dress-004-figure-01

Instructions Dress 004 - Figure 2

The Empire Line markings are shown in green; the stylelines of this current pattern are shown in red or dashed red lines.

Bodice Front:

  • Measure from the CF waist point (A) up to the EL under-bust line (B). Note the measurement (value = x).
  • Measure up from the fron waist side seam point  C, for the value of x, and mark point D.
  • Draw a line from B to the Empire Line dart.
  • Draw a line from other Empire Line dart to point D.

Bodice Back:

  • Measure up from the CB waist poin (E), for the value of x, and mark point F.
  • Measure up from the side seam waist point (G), for the value of x, and mark point H.
  • Draw a line from F, at right angles to the CB line, until it touches the Empire Line dart (point I).
  • Draw a line from I to touch the other side of the EL dart (J).
  • Draw a line from J to H.

instructions-dress-004-figure-02

Instructions Dress 004 - Figure 3

This is the information that I now have on the block that I will transfer onto paper to make my pattern. The yellow shaded area (the shape and the contents) shows what needs to be transferred to paper.

You can use a tracing wheel to trace this information onto paper, but this can/will weaken your block.  I trace the block where possible, and use an awl to punch a few holes that will give me enough information to draw the necessary lines.

I will start by transferring the Bodice Front information onto paper.  We will continue with the Bodice Back from Figure 11.

instructions-dress-004-figure-03

Instructions Dress 004 - Figure 4

The neck gape dart needs to be moved into either the side seam dart or the waist dart.  I will be moving mine into the waist dart, since my side seam dart is very large to begin with and waist will be gathered.

  • Cut along the left neck gape dart leg to the Bust Point.
  • Cut from the left waist dart leg to the Bust Point. 
  • Pivot the left piece (shown in yellow on the right) in a clockwise direction to close the neck gape dart.
  • Tape the two pieces together.

instructions dress 004 figure 04

Instructions Dress 004 - Figure 5

Figure 5 shows the pattern piece we ended up at the end of Figure 4, and the four pattern pieces we will be creating create from it:

  • Bodice Front Lining (PP#10)
  • Bodice Front Interfacing (PP#11)
  • Bodice Front Yoke (PP#1),
  • and Bodice Front (PP#2).

Transfer the information for these pieces from the original - see Figure 6 for how to do this.

instructions dress 004 figure 05

Instructions Dress 004 - Figure 6

This is just a tip for transferring information from a piece of paper onto paper. 

Tracing around paper is hard and prone to error. Using a tracing wheel OK as long as you use a ruler for the straight lines, instead of freehand. However, you will still need to draw the lines on top of the tracing wheel holes, so the best option I find is to use a pencil (for outside points) and an awl (for inside points) to mark the the points of straight lines, and then connect-the-dots with your pencil and ruler.

You can use the tracing wheel for transferring the curved lines, then either freehand or use a curved ruler to draw the lines on top with pencil.

Figure 6 shows an example for the Bodice Front Lining - on the left is the original pattern piece with the dots that are marked.  The two curves are drawn with a tracing wheel.  On the right hand side is what you have when you lift the paper up.  You then connect-the-dots with a ruler.

This applies to all situations where you have information that needs to be transferred from paper to paper.

instructions dress 004 figure 06

Instructions Dress 004 - Figure 7

We will now finish off Bodice Front Lining (PP#10).

The Bodice Front Lining is really just the same as the original piece, with just a couple of adjustments.

  • Since we widened the waist dart, we need to fix up the waist dart shaping (although the waist will be gathered, we need the correct shaping of the waist line).
  • The neck curve of the original would have needed a little smoothing due to the gape dart closure; this should have been done when transferring the information

Once those two things are done we could just finish off the pattern piece as usual (as listed below), or you could first shave off a little (1/8 inch or 1/16 inch) from the armhole and neckline before adding seam allowance.  This helps the lining to stay inside and not poke out.  This is shown in the pink shaded figure; the blue is the portion that is trimmed away (the amount shown is exaggerated so you can see it).

To finish off pattern piece #10 (with or without shaving the armhole & neckline):

  • Add seam allowance (I have added .38 inch at armhole and neckline, and .56 inch for other seams)
  • Mark the grainline
  • Note cutting instructions
  • Label the piece (name, description of pattern piece, pattern piece number)

instructions dress 004 figure 07

Instructions Dress 004 - Figure 8

We will now finish off Bodice Front Interfacing (PP#11).  This interfacing goes on the lining, and is drafted the same as facing (if you didn't want the garment fully lined, you could use this piece for facing and interfacing). Click on this link to go to the page for details on All-in-one Facing under the Elements menu.

This interfacing needs to match the lining pattern piece just made; i.e.  if you have shaved a little (1/8 inch or 1/16 inch) from the armhole and neckline for the lining, you will need to do the same for the interfacing.   This is shown in the purple shaded figure; the blue is the portion that is trimmed away (the amount shown is exaggerated so you can see it).

To finish off pattern piece #11:

  • Add seam allowance (I have added .38 inch at armhole and neckline, and .56 inch for other seams)
  • Mark the grainline
  • Note cutting instructions
  • Label the piece (name, description of pattern piece, pattern piece number)

instructions dress 004 figure 08

Instructions Dress 004 - Figure 9

The Front Yoke should have been transferred to paper back in Figure 5, and we will now finish off the pattern piece (PP#1).

  • Add seam allowance (I have added .38 inch at armhole and neckline, and .56 inch for other seams).
  • Make sure you mark the seam joint point for the where the yoke joins the bodice (shown by a small red circle within a larger shaded circle.  The larger shaded circle is just  to draw your attention to the point in question).
  • Mark the grainline
  • Note cutting instructions
  • Label the piece (name, description of pattern piece, pattern piece number)

instructions dress 004 figure 09

Instructions Dress 004 - Figure 10

We will now finish off the Bodice Front (PP#2).

  • Add seam allowance (I have added .38 inch at armhole and neckline, and .56 inch for other seams)
  • Make sure you mark the seam joint point for the yoke (shown by a small red circle within a larger shaded circle.  The larger shaded circle is just  to draw your attention to the point in question).
  • Mark the waist gather length with notches (a bit either side of the dart; more towards the side seam than the CF).
  • Mark the grainline
  • Note cutting instructions
  • Label the piece (name, description of pattern piece, pattern piece number)

instructions dress 004 figure 10

Instructions Dress 004 - Figure 11

Back in Figure 3 we put the Bodice Back aside.  We will now continue with the Back pieces, so first transfer the markings from the block (shaded in yellow in Figure 11) to paper.

When transferring the information from the Bodice Back block:

  • Only the Empire Line dart information is necessary (not the original dart)
  • The waist at the dart needs shaping

instructions dress 004 figure 11

Instructions Dress 004 - Figure 12

As with did with the Bodice Front, we will create the following four pattern pieces from this master piece.

  • Bodice Back Lining (PP#14)
  • Bodice Back Interfacing (PP#15)
  • Bodice Back Yoke (PP#4),
  • Bodice Back (PP#5).

instructions dress 004 figure 12

Instructions Dress 004 - Figure 13

We will finish off Bodice Back Lining (PP#14). As with the Bodice Front Lining, the Back Lining is really just the same as the original piece.

As we covered with the Front Lining, you could first shave off a little (1/8 inch or 1/16 inch) from the armhole and neckline before adding seam allowance.  This helps the lining to stay inside and not poke out.  This is shown in the pink shaded figure; the blue is the portion that is trimmed away (the amount shown is exaggerated so you can see it).

To finish off pattern piece #10 (with or without shaving the armhole & neckline):

  • Add seam allowance (I have added .38 inch at armhole and neckline, and .56 inch for other seams).
  • Notch notches for waist gathering
  • Mark the grainline
  • Note cutting instructions
  • Label the piece (name, description of pattern piece, pattern piece number)

instructions dress 004 figure 13

Instructions Dress 004 - Figure 14

We will finish off the Back Interfacing (PP#15).

  • Add seam allowance (I have added .38 inch at armhole and neckline, and .56 inch for other seams).
  • Mark the grainline
  • Note cutting instructions
  • Label the piece (name, description of pattern piece, pattern piece number)

instructions dress 004 figure 14

Instructions Dress 004 - Figure 15

The Back Yoke should have been transferred to paper so we will now finish off that pattern piece (PP#4).

  • Add seam allowance (I have added .38 inch at armhole and neckline, and .56 inch for other seams).
  • Make sure you mark the seam joint point for the where the yoke joins the bodice (shown by a small red circle within a larger shaded circle.  The larger shaded circle is just  to draw your attention to the point in question).
  • Mark the grainline
  • Note cutting instructions
  • Label the piece (name, description of pattern piece, pattern piece number)

instructions dress 004 figure 15

Instructions Dress 004 - Figure 16

The Bodice Back should have been transferred to paper so we will now finish off that pattern piece (PP#5).

  • Add seam allowance (I have added .38 inch at armhole and neckline, and .56 inch for other seams)
  • Make sure you mark the seam joint point for the yoke (shown by a small red circle within a larger shaded circle.  The larger shaded circle is just  to draw your attention to the point in question).
  • Mark the waist gather length with notches (a bit either side of the dart; more towards the side seam than the CF).
  • Mark the grainline
  • Note cutting instructions
  • Label the piece (name, description of pattern piece, pattern piece number)

instructions dress 004 figure 16

Instructions Dress 004 - Figure 17

We'll move on to the waistbands, both front and back (PP#3 & PP#6).  We will need to refer to the two original pattern pieces for the waistband measurement.

Front Waistband

  • Measure the waist from the original Bodice pattern, excluding the dart value (value = x).
  • Measure from the CF to the first dart leg (value = y)
  • Draw a rectangle with the width the value of x, and the height 2.13 inches (5.5 cm), the width of the waistband.
  • Measure from the CF of the pattern piece to the value of y and mark a notch (shown in blue)

Repeat, referring to the Bodice Back measurements, to create the Bodice Back waistband.

To finish both pattern pieces:

  • Add seam allowance (remember the front is cut on the fold, the CB needs seam allowance for the zip).
  • Label the pattern pieces.
  • Draw the grainline
  • Mark cutting instructions: this piece is not only the waistband, but also facing and interfacing

instructions dress 004 figure 17

Instructions Dress 004 - Figure 18

We now have six skirt pattern pieces to finish off the pattern; all skirt pieces.  As per my Plan of Action, I am going to draft this skirt based on a ready to wear garment.

Referring to my Plan of Action, my front and back skirts are drafted to the same measurements; but as the skirt has pockets and is cut on the fold, and as the back needs seam allowance for the zip, I need two separate pattern pieces.  I will first draft the basic skirt, which will be the Skirt Back, then draft the Skirt Back and Front Lining (the back is the same as the front except for seam allowance on the CB), then move on to the Skirt Front, Pocket and Pocket bag.

Back Skirt (and base for the Front Skirt)

  • Draw a vertical line (A to B) for the length of the skirt (my skirt falls from 4cm above the waist; the total length is 24.81 inches, or 63 cm).
  • Draw a horizontal line (A to C)  at the base of the line for the width of the skirt (14.19 inches, or 36cm).  This line needs to be at right angles, or squared to the skirt length line.
  • Draw a horitzontal line  (A to D) at the waist line11.44 inches (29 cm) long
  • Draw a straight line from C to D for the side seam.
  • You can curve the side seam line a little if you want, but it won't make much difference if it is straight.*

* Although this isn't a strictly Dirndl skirt (as it isn't square), it is created on a similar principle.  It is a square-looking skirt with a lot of gather in the waist; because of the amount of fullness in the waist, the curved side seam is not strictly necessary.

instructions dress 004 figure 18

Instructions Dress 004 - Figure 19

For the Skirt Back, we just need to add a notch at the side seam (around hip level) and finish off the usual way.

  • seam allowance
  • markings and information
  • grainline

Note that I have a very small hem allowance (.58 inch, 1.5 cm) because I am going to use hem bias tape for the hem, and that is sufficent for me.  You could draft a deeper hem.

Note that the nothc on the CB is just a balance notch. You may wonder why I am not marking my zip... Well, I use invisible zips and I mark the fabric for the zip length when I am ready to insert it.

instructions dress 004 figure 19

Instructions Dress 004 - Figure 20

The Skirt Back Lining (PP#15) and the Skirt Front Lining (PP#12) can be drafted from the Skirt Back.

  • The Skirt Back Lining is shorter; other than that it is the same as the Skirt Back. (The skirt back is shaded in pink behind the Lining, the lining is slightly transparent).
  • The Skirt Front lining is the same as the Skirt Back Lining except there is not seam allowance on the CF seam.

The seam allowance was already added to the Skirt Back pattern, so for these two pattern pieces, you just need to:

  • draw grainline
  • make sure you transfer the hip notch point
  • label and add cutting instructions

instructions-dress-004-figure-20

Instructions Dress 004 - Figure 21

For the last three pattern pieces - the Front Skirt - we will return to the basic skirt draft.  Again, I am taking these details from a garment, and this is information from my Plan of Action.

  • Measure from the waist side seam (point A) toward the CF for 4 inches and mark point B, the pocket opening at the waist.
  • Measure from B towards CF for 2 inches and mark point C.
  • Measure down from point C, parallel to the CF, for 11.81 inches, mark point D.
  • Measure from D toward the side seam, at right angles to the C~D line, to the side seam, mark point E.
  • Measure up the side seam for 4.31 inches and mark point F.
  • Draw a curve from point B to point F - the pocket curve.

In the next image you will see the three pattern pieces that will be drafted from this.

instructions dress 004 figure 21

Instructions Dress 004 - Figure 22

Here are the three pattern pieces that you need to wheel off or otherwise transfer to paper.  The pattern piece in question is shaded orange.

  • Skirt Front (PP#7)
  • Pocket Back (PP#8)
  • Pocket Front (PP#13).

These just need the usual seam allowance etc added (see Figure 23), and then we are finished.

instructions-dress-004-figure-22

Instructions Dress 004 - Figure 23

Here are the final three skirt pattern pieces with seam allowance, grainlines etc.  Don't forget to add notches for the the placement of the skirt.

instructions-dress-004-figure-23

Instructions Dress 004 - Figure 24

And here are all the pattern pieces.

instructions dress 004 figure 24


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