Building blocks

drafting a bodice block

When I started thinking about this project, as well as not having the right equipment, I did not have any of my pattern blocks (a basic fitted pattern that is the starting point for most patterns) or a mannequin. A block allows you to make almost any garment – with a bodice block you can make a top, a shirt, a blazer, a dress.

drafting a bodice block

So that’s where I needed to start. I needed a pattern block (well a whole set of blocks really, but let’s take this one step at a time). Even at university we hadn’t drafted our own bodice block - we had just traced off one already done for us - so it was time to learn something new.

I disappeared into Blogland and found this great tutorial on BurdaStyle and got going preparing my block. It is a very easy to follow tutorial and things are well explained. Gedwoods (the author of the tutorial) has some amazing equations to help you estimate certain measurements, which I have no idea how he came up with them.

drafting a bodice block

Once I made up my bodice in calico though, there were a few minor fit problems which I knew I could have fixed up at the pattern cutting stage if I had taken a few more measurements and possibly put a bit more thought into it, instead of just blindly following the tutorial, so I decided to develop my own tutorial, which includes a few more measurements and goes about the process in a slightly different sequence. 

It is quite easy to follow (hopefully!), so even if you are an absolute beginner, with the right measurements, the right tools and a little patience, you will have a well fitted bodice block in no time!

pattern cutting tools

Anyhoo, check out my “Basic bodice block” how-to and see what you think!