Instructions: Bodice Front, 1-Dart Block

These instructions are for drafting a One-Dart Bodice Front block.

There is also an option to create a Two-Dart Bodice Front - see the menu.  It is unnecessary to create both from scratch as you can create one from the other.  See the article: 1-Dart or 2-Dart Bodice Front?  for more information.

Example - Finished Bodice Front

This first image is what the block looks like at the end of the step-by-step instructions below, using the measurements specified in the Example Measurements page - see the Bodice Block Instructions menu.


The shape of yours may end up looking quite different.  See below for how my block differs in shape to this standard block.

See the Two-Dart Block Instructions for Steps up to and including Figure 7

The instructions for the One-Dart Block and the Two-Dart Block are the same up to and including Figure 7.   There will be a link where the instructions diverge that will bring you back to this page.  Go the the Two-Dart Block Instructions for common steps - Figures 1 to 7.

Once you have completed the common steps, continue below from Figure 8.

Bodice Front (1 Dart) Figure 8

  1. Draw the Neckline: Using a French Curve, draw a line from Point I to meet the line F at the CF line.  The curve should go inwards about 1/8 inch from the straight line.
  2. Draw the Armhole: Using a French Curve, draw a line from H to J, touching at point M.  You may need to move the French Curve and draw two lines, blending them together.


Bodice Front (1-Dart) Figure 9

  1. Calculate Waist to Dart Measurement: Bust Span minus 0.5-inch = x
  2. Using the above measurement x, measure from A on the A~D line.  Mark this dart placement point N.
  3. Measure 3/16-inch down from N, at right angles to the A~D line, and mark this point O.
  4. Draw a guide-line from point O to point K.
  5. Calculate and note the Block Waist Measurement:  (Waist Measurement + 1 inch ease) ÷ 4 = y
  6. Calculate the Waist Remainder Measurement by deducting x from y to get z.  (Deduct the waist to dart measurement from the block waist measurement to get the waist remainder).
  7. Using the waist remainder,  z, measure from K on the K~O line, and mark the point P.


In this example: Waist to Dart = 3.75 - 0.5 = 3.25 inches. |  Block Waist Measurement = (28+1) ÷ 4 = 7.25 inches | Waist Remainder: 7.25 - 3.25 = 4 inches

Bodice Front (1-Dart) Figure 10

  1. Draw a line from the BP to point O.
  2. Draw a line from the BP towards or through P, to be the same length as BP to O.  Mark the end point Q.


Bodice Front (1-Dart) Figure 11

  1. Measure from point O to point Q (dart width), and mark the halfway point R.
  2. Draw a line from the BP through R and continue for some distance (approx 1.5 inches).  Mark the end point S.  This BP to S line is the mid-dart line.


Bodice Front (1-Dart) Figure 12

We will now finish the block off by drawing in the dart legs and shaping the waist.

The dart needs to end some distance before the Bust Point.  Referring to the table Placement of Dart Point from Bust Point (see the Bodice Block Instructions menu near the top of the page):

  1. Measure from the Bust Point, along the waist mid-dart line (BP to S line), and label the Dart Point T. In this example, T is 0.75 inch from BP.
  2. Draw the dart legs from T to O and from T to Q.  Note that these two dart legs should be the same length.


Bodice Front (1-Dart) Figure 13

Your Bodice Block is finished. You can now:

  1. Label the block (e.g. Bodice Front, Size, Name, etc).
  2. Cut out the block shape from the cardboard.
  3. Punch a hole through the cardboard a the Bust Point and the Dart Point, using an awl or another sharp implement.
  4. Notch the dart legs.
  5. Mark the grainline.
  6. Mark the CF.



  • Now create your Bodice Back.
  • 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.


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