Third Scale Blocks

Showing the cover of the Third Scale Block download
Third Scale Blocks – Downloadable PDF
As the name suggests, Third Scale Blocks are 1/3 of the measurements of a full-scale block. So, for example, a block that is 15 inches full-scale at Center Front becomes 5 inches on a 1/3 scale block at Center Front. Third Scale Blocks are commonly used in Patternmaking classes; they save using the large amount of cardboard, paper and desk room which would be necessary if full-scale blocks were used. Often a Third Scale Ruler is also used with these Third Scale Blocks to make things easier. To be usable as blocks, so you can trace around them to create patterns, they need to be made out of card paper, aka stiff paper, card stock or (or in Australia), cardboard. Please read the details and scroll down the page to download the PDF file and to see what the final blocks look like.

How to make these downloadable files into blocks out of cardboard

  1. print the PDF file
  2. cut out the block shapes from the paper (the Pants Blocks will need to be taped together, they don’t fit on one page)
  3. stick the paper cut-out shape onto cardboard around the edges
  4. cut out the shape again (card stock and paper stuck together), right on the border where the sellotape and paper touch
  5. transfer markings/notches before removing the paper (the paper and card stock should separate very easily)
  6. mark the block text with pencil and felt tipped pen (e.g. dart lines and grainlines with pencil, CB with felt tipped pens)
Scroll down below the PDF downloads for images showing the final Third Scale Blocks made from the download.

What is included?

This set of Third Scale Blocks is Size 12 and consists of the blocks listed below. The PDF booklet is 10 pages, including the cover:
  1. Bodice Front – 1Dart, B-bust-cup
  2. Bodice Front – 2Darts, B-bust-cup
  3. Bodice Back
  4. Sleeve
  5. Skirt Front
  6. Skirt Back
  7. Pants Front
  8. Pants Back

PDF Downloads here

If you want the blocks to be exactly Third Scale (the size created), so you can use it with a Third Scale Ruler, make sure you do not allow your printer to re-scale when printing.  Choose the correct size (A4 or Letter) for your country/printer, and make sure the “Scaling” option in the Printer Dialogue Box is set to “none”. Download 3rd Scale Blocks – A4 size (Australia & Europe) Download 3rd Scale Blocks – Letter size (USA)

Example: Creating the Third Scale Blocks with patternmaking paper

  • Cut out the block shapes from the download file and stick it onto cardboard. keeping the block paper shapes flat.
  • Note that it is easier to punch holes (e.g. dart points) at this stage before cutting out the shape; if cut correctly the paper and cardboard separate easily, and if you haven’t already punched holes it will be more difficult to do so (i.e. the paper and cardboard may separate before you get to pierce the holes).
Third scale blocks cut out and stuck to card paper with sellotape.
Third Scale Blocks before cutting out
  • Cut the shapes from the cardboard and notch.
Third scale blocks after cutting out, before separating and labelling
Third Scale Blocks after cutting out
  • The paper and cardboard will separate easily (or fall apart) if you have cut right on the edge.
Third Scale Block Sleeve
Third Scale Sleeve
  • Transfer markings to the cardboard, and you have your Third Scale Block set.
Final Third Scale Blocks after dart lines drawn, notched and labelled
Final Third Scale Block Set

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