These are the step-by-step instructions for drafting the Bodice Back Block. This back block can be used with either the 2-Dart Bodice Front or the 1-Dart Bodice Front.
Example – Finished Bodice Back
This first image is what the block looks like at the end of the step-by-step instructions below, using the measurements specified on the page that has the General Information. The shape of yours may end up looking quite different.
Comparison: My Bodice Block Back
This is what my block, using my personal measurements, looks like. Your block may end up being slightly or significantly different to the example block. My Bodice Block Front looks very different to the example, but my Bodice Back looks very similar. The main difference is the shoulder slope, as I have squarer shoulders than the norm.
Bodice Back Figure 1
Draw a rectangle:
Height of rectangle:From A up to B = Full Length Back.
Width of rectangle:From B across to C = (Upper Bust ÷ 4) + 1.25 inches ease
Complete the rectangle – making sure all angles are squared.
Draw lines from Q to O and from Q to P. Extend both these lines down 1/8 inch below the waistline. We will refer to the end points of these lines (at 1/8″ below the waist line) as O & P from now on.
Extend the mid-dart line down below the waist level about .75 inch.
Bodice Back Figure 9
Draw the Waist Curve:
Draw a curved line from A to O and continue that curve until it meets the mid-dart line.
Draw the same but reflected curve (from the mid-dart line) to meet point P.
Draw a curve from P to K to complete the waist curve.
(Note: When the dart is closed, you should have a smooth curve. See the article Curving the Waist.)
Bodice Back Figure 10
Draw a (dashed) line from J to Q. This is a guide-line only.
Shoulder Dart:Measure a dart 3 inches in length from J on the J~Q guideline. Label this shoulder dart point R.
Bodice Back Figure 11
Shoulder Dart: On the G~I line, create a dart with J as the center. The width of the dart will be 0.5 inches for smaller sizes, and 0.63 inch for bust sizes larger than 38 inches.
Label the dart edges with S and T as shown.
(For this example: Dart Width = 0.5 inches. )
Bodice Back Figure 12
Complete the shoulder dart and the shoulder line:
Draw a dart leg from the dart point R through S and 1/8 past the G~I line. Mark this point U.
Measure the length of the dart leg R~U and draw the dart leg from R through T to be the same length. Label the end point V.
Extend the mid-dart line up by 1/2″ or so above the G~HI line and mark it W.
Draw a line from the shoulder tip point I to V and continue until it touches the W line.
Draw a line from W to U.
Complete the shoulder line by drawing a line from U to G.
Your Bodice Back is finished!
You can now:
Label the block.
Cut the shape out of the cardboard.
Mark the Dart Points, using an awl or another sharp implement to punch a hole through the cardboard.
Notch the dart legs.
Note that the armhole notch will be marked after the sleeve is made: the notch point is made when creating the sleeve and is transferred to the bodice.
After you have made both Front & Back, check that the side seam and shoulder lengths match.
You will also need to true the armhole and necklines curves: this is checking the flow through curves are smooth. See Terminology > Truing for an example.
This Bodice Block is for garments with sleeves. Note that when making sleeveless garments, garments with cutaway armholes or low necklines, you will need to make adjustments. See the section on Contouring; if you have already marked the Bodice Block with contour markings, you can just transfer them to this block.
You can download a summary (5 page PDF file) here You may prefer to download this for printing to save paper. You can refer to these step-by-step instructions online if any steps on this summary need further explanation. This summary is best printed in color.
Dart placement = 2.88inches. is it a standard value??
Yes, those details are found in the preliminary information page on the menu on this page – here’s the direct link:
But all dart placements are just a starting point – you need to determine what works best for you when you create your toile.
How do I go about correcting the block if the shoulders and side seams aren’t the same length?
Also, than you so much for all of the info and tutorials you have created. This is the 4th source that I’ve used to try and create my block and I finally think that I have found a method that works for me. 🙂
OK, so let’s take the Shoulder Seam as an example.
If it’s only a fraction out….
If the Front and Back shoulder lengths don’t match, then check your measurements (what you used to draft the Block), and determine which block is correct – the Front or the Back. If the Front is correct, then match the back to the Front, if the Back is correct, match the Front to the Back.
If they are both incorrect, or if there is a really large difference, you should go back and fix your initial mistakes, because you won’t know if you have to reduce/increase them from the neck edge or the shoulder edge.
Hope your block works out, and let me know if you have problems.
Hello. Thanks alot for your kindness to post with details to every articles to help us, beginners ??
Want to know, in back bodice waist measurement we include the dart width in the calculation, but why not in the front bodice waist measurement? And if I use the same waist dart width for 2-darts bodice front and back, is there any problem?
Hi there Carolin,
The instructions are a bit different for the front because there is more than one way of doing things.
There is no reason you have to have exactly the same dart value for the front waist dart and the back waist dart. If you want to do it and it works, go for it, but it’s not a big deal and it’s not essential if they aren’t. (I have a 1.5 inch dart in the back waist and a 2 inch dart in the front waist).
Keep in mind that when you take some off the side seam that is in itself a dart; there is no reason you can’t distribute some of the value of the waist darts into the side seam, i.e. darts can be manipulated, which is one of the principles of patternmaking.
So let me ask you 2 questions:
(1) Why do you want the front and back darts to be exactly the same width/value?
(2) What happened when you followed my instructions for the Bodice Front? What dart value did you end up with?
Hello thank you for your very informative explanation here.
When I draft pattern for my body measurement with both front and back length upto waist as the same measurement eg 15 inches from the shoulder I end up getting my toil an incu lower at the back than the front. How do I correct it also matching the side seams for both front and the back
My apologies but I don’t understand the question. You use the same side seam length measurement when drafting the front and the back, therefore the side seams must match.
Could you provide a little more detail?