Drafting the Sleeveless Bodice

Drafting the Sleeveless Block

This page contains preliminary information.  See the menu for the link to the instructions.  The Sleeveless Block is a derivative block. It is used making the Bodice Block, meaning you need to make that block before you can make this one.

It is not necessary to make the Sleeveless Block, you could just mark the required changes on the Bodice Block and then apply those changes for Sleeveless garments each time you make a pattern.  As with all derivative blocks, it depends on whether you think that making those changes each time you make a sleeveless garment is tiresome, and whether you would rather save yourself that amount of work each time you make a sleeveless garment.

Changes to the Bodice Block

There are four changes made to the Bodice Block to create the Sleeveless Block:
  • Reducing the ease at the underarm level by a total of 2 inches for the garment – this is spread evenly between front and back, so each half-block is reduced 0.5-inch.
  • Raising the armhole by 0.38-inch; this, of course, needs to be done on the front and the back. (Note that raising the armhole means increasing the side length)
  • Eliminating the back shoulder dart.
  • Taking 0.38-inch off the shoulder length; this, of course, needs to be done on the front and the back.

Contour Markings

In addition to making the changes above, Contour Markings are written/placed on the block.  The theory about Contouring is covered in the Principles pages.  You will need to work out how much contouring is required for your individual figure. Note that in the contouring pages there is an armhole gape dart mentioned, but it is not shown on this Sleeveless Block.  This is because in these instructions the ease in the upper bust is reduced and the armhole is raised. The changes that are made to the Bodice to create the Sleeveless in these instructions include (a) reducing the ease in the bust and (b) raising the armhole*.  This reduction in ease and raising of the armhole is usually enough to eliminate the gaping that occurs in the armhole of a toile created with the Standard Block.  The sleeveless block I will be creating will therefore not have a gape dart marked in the armhole.  It is possible that even after these changes (reducing the ease, raising the armhole) you may still need to add a gape dart in the armhole, you can determine this after making a toile of the Sleeveless Block and testing the fit.  If further armhole contouring is required, you can then mark it on the block.

*The armhole is usually higher in sleeveless garments, so note that this will increase the side seam length a little.

Example – Finished Sleeveless Block (Front) with Contour Markings

Example – Finished Sleeveless Block (Back) with Contour Markings

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