Drafting the Dress Block
Bodice Front Side SeamThe Extended Line Dress (ELD) block is created using the Bodice and Skirt Blocks. If you are using the 2-Dart Bodice Block creating with the instructions on this website, some of the waist shaping may have been put into the side seam. (See the Steps relating to Image 12, Instructions Bodice Front. You will have done this if you have a comparatively small waist. The result of putting some of the shaping into the waist means that when you close the side seam dart, the side seam from the underarm to the waist, will not be a straight line. See the introductory image for an example of this; you can click on the image to open a larger version. This is not an issue (the body is made of curves, not straight lines), but I just want to point this out for beginners who may not understand this and be confused when they don’t get a straight line when closing the side seam dart. If you really want a straight side seam, you can replace the amount taken from the side seam and increase the waist dart/s. You can create another block with a straight side seam, using this block – see the instructions below.
Figure 1Since you are creating a block, you will some patternmaking cardboard. You will be using the 2-Dart block and tracing it and making the necessary adjustment onto the cardboard below. You will need your side seam measurement for this; either look that up from your measurements table (from creating your Bodice Block), or measure and add together the side seam lines either side of the dart (i.e. referring to the Intro Image: add together lines A~B and B~C).
- Trace around your block up from the waist, point A, and around until you reach the first dart leg of the side seam dart, point B.
- Extend the side seam darts legs onto the cardboard below your block; to points D and F. (In order to make sure the lines are straight, draw from Point C, along each dart leg and extend it past the end of the block for a couple of inches).
- Hold the block down on the Bust Point and pivot the underarm point down to close the dart; i.e. until the point B on the block touches point E. Keep the block in place for the next step.
- Draw a line the length of the side seam starting from the underarm point. This line follows the side of the block until the mid-dart point, then continues in a straight line.
- Take the block off for the moment, and erase the top part of the line you have drawn; the part above point E.
- Replace the block back so it matches the outlines you made initially.
- Measure the distance between the new side seam line X and the old side seam line Y. This amount needs to be incorporated into the dart. Add this to the original dart width and redraw the dart. (You need to mark it on the cardboard underneath; I am drawing it on top of the original block for explanatory purposes only).
Figure 6Lift up the original block and finish off the new block:
- Draw the new waist-line (see Curving the waist if you are unsure of how to do so)
- Finish off the side seam dart outline (see Finishing Darts if you are unsure of how to do so)
- Label and mark the block: Block Name, Center Front, Bust Point, grainline, draw dart legs
- Cut the block out, notch the darts and pierce holes through the Bust Points and Dart Point