The items in the Contouring Menu follow on from each other in the menu order: i.e. it is best to read through these articles in the order they appear on the menu.
The basic Bodice Block Set is for creating garments with sleeves and a fairly high neckline. If you use this block and try to create a garment with a low neckline, and/or a garment with cutaway arms, it will not work so well. Depending on your body (bust-cup size and other considerations), the resulting garment may be unwearable. For those with a standard figure and a small bust-cup, it may not be too bad, but chances are it will not be ideal.
The reason that the basic Bodice Block does not work well for garments with low necklines and cutaway arms, is that it does not follow the contours of the body; it falls in a straight line from the neck, over the bust and down to the waist. There is usually some space between the garment and the chest underneath, and often underneath the bust.
The basic Bodice Block is also created to be used with Sleeves, therefore it has more ease at the underarm level than is needed for a sleeveless garment. This results in gaping in the armhole.
The result of using the basic Bodice Block to create garments with low necklines or cutaway armholes, will be gaping in those areas.
There are four parts to this issue, which are covered in detail on the relevant pages. (These are covered in the pages listed in the Contouring Menu.)
- Understanding the need for Contouring (that gaping will occur).
- Knowing (determining) where the gaping will occur so that the problem can be fixed during the patternmaking process.
- Placing this information on the block (in the form of gape darts).
- Solving the problem (fix the gaping, or closing the gape darts).
This is not just limited to necklines and armholes; if you want to create an Empire Line dress, you usually need to reduce the amount of fabric at the under-bust level. This Empire Line contouring is also marked on the block with other contouring information.
You can put all this information onto the Bodice Block, or you may also want to create a Sleeveless Block. In a Sleeveless Block, two of the contouring items – the block ease and the armhole ease are incorporated into the block and therefore do not have to be redone with each pattern.
Bust Mound Radius
In order to place contouring marks on your Bodice Front, you need to draw the Bust Circle . You will need a compass to draw a perfect circle.
The radius of the circle is the Bust Mound; from the Bust Apex (the nipple), down under the bust where it ends at the ribs. See Figure 2, which shows the Bust Mound Radius on the body and on the block. The circle is drawn on the Bodice Front; the center point is the Bust Point.
For Standard Blocks (used to make garments for the fashion industry), this Bust Mound and the Contour Markings are set amounts. The Bust Mound Radius increases with size, but the other markings are set amounts that are the same for all sizes. The specifics are covered in detail in later pages on Contouring.
Note for Figure 2: The block shown is the standard block with standard markings, not my block with my contour markings.
Continued in The Need for Contouring (an Example).
This is an extraordinarily clear explanation, well illustrated. Thank you so much. The website as a whole is brilliant and must be a labour of love
Thank you for taking the time to comment, I really appreciate it.
“For Standard Blocks (used to make garments for the fashion industry), this Bust Mound and the Contour Markings are set amounts. The Bust Mound Radius increases with size, but the other markings are set amounts that are the same for all sizes. The specifics are covered in detail in later pages on Contouring.”
I cannot find where you discuss this later.
It’s in the Coutouring Menu (Principles > Contouring). Here is a link to the specific page:
Maria, yesterday I asked about the bust mound radius and today I’m reading all of the contouring pages!! My answer to the question of individualized markings may be in these pages and if not I’ll send a message at a later date.
The bust mound is from the nipple down to where the breast tissue meets the chest wall.
HOWEVER, what I have found is that if you have a bra underwire, take the measurement to above the wire not below the wire if you want a well-fitting bodice. For me that makes a difference between 1 and 1.5cm (3/8 to 5/8 inch).
Thank you for your detailed explanations.
If I understand correctly, the bust mound radius increases with size but the contour amounts and locations remain the same for each size?
What is the standard bust mound radius?
Thank you for your help!
The standard Bust Radius is 3 inches for all Standard Sizes – according to the textbook and information I have.
The reason for this I assume is that all Standard Sizes have a B Cup.
Larger Bust cups will of course have larger bust mounds.
I am so happy to Just visit the page.many of the doubts have been cleared.
Thank you so much for your detailed explanation.
Have a blessed day forever.