Manipulating Darts - Bodice Front
Bodice Front Style 08
The bodice of this garment has one dart (for the half-block) in the CF at the bust level.
In order to have the dart in this position, this requires a seam from either bust point down to the waist, or from the bust level up to the neck. In this case (Style 08), the seam is down to the waist.
Figure 1 shows the block being used on the left (1-Dart Block), and the pattern that will be created (Style 08) on the right.
Note: The actual pattern would need seam allowance or cutting instructions added; this has not been done here we are just covering the theory of manipulating darts.
Instructions (Style-08) – Figure 1
In the instructions, color is used for emphasis, so you can see more easily what I am referring to. You will be using a hard (4H-6H) pencil.
- Draw the new design line on your block; from the side seam to the Bust Point (not the Dart Point!).
I have marked the points A, B & C on the block to assist in the instructions. You do not have to write these on your block. Note that A, B & C relate to the points where the dart leg meets the edge of the block, as shown by the arrow tips.
Instructions (Style-08) – Figure 2
- Holding the block firmly in place so that it doesn’t move, trace around the block in a clockwise from point A (the new dart line) to point B (the first waist dart leg).
Instructions (Style-08) – Figure 3
- Mark the Bust Point on the paper underneath the block by putting your pencil tip through the BP hole.
- Extend the dart leg line (B) past the edge of the block. To make sure the line true, use a ruler to line up the Bust Point and the dart leg on the edge of the block, and continue that line beyond the block onto the paper (shown by a red arrow in the image).
Instructions (Style-08) – Figure 4
- Holding the block down at the Bust Point, pivot the block clockwise until the waist dart is closed. (i.e. Dart leg C reaches the line you drew in the last step – the red arrow in the image).
Instructions (Style-08) – Figure 5
- Making sure the block doesn’t move, finish tracing the remainder of the block from A to C.
Instructions (Style-08) – Figure 6
You can lift up the block now and put it aside. We will now see what we have on the paper underneath.
- Draw the new dart legs from the Bust Point to points A1 and A2. (They should be the same length, but check to make sure).
- Finish off the dart, remembering that the Dart Point stops some distance before the Bust Point.
If you are unsure about how to finish off the dart, see the pages on Finishing off Darts, which gives a few step-by-step examples.
Instructions (Style-08) – Figure 7
- Of course, if this was a pattern, you would need to label the pattern piece, add seam allowance, cutting instructions, grainline, note the pattern piece number and the total number of pattern pieces, etc.
Thank you so much for this website! I am brand new to pattern making and I am working through the examples. This seems to be the first one where you rotate the block clockwise while closing the original dart. Is there a general rule of thumb to know which way you rotate the block to close the original dart?
Hi there Taryn
I could have just as easily started tracing the block the opposite direction – e.g. I could have gone clockwise – I could traced from A to B, then closed the dart. The only difference is that if I had done that, my traced Block would have ended up on an angle (i.e. the CF line would not be perpendicular), which doesn’t really matter given that you can just turn the finished traced paper around so that the CF is perpendicular.
BUT… this is the case here in this example, in other cases the opposite would be the case.
In real terms I don’t think it matters…