Bodice Front Style 15

The bodice of this garment has two darts; one in the CF neckline and one in the waist. Using our two-dart block, we will pivot the side seam into the CF neck and leave the waist dart as is.

Example: Outcome

Figure 1 shows the block being used on the left (2-Dart Block), and the pattern that will be created (Style 15) 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-15) – Figure 1

Note that in the instructions, color is used for emphasis, so it can be seen more easily, particularly in the current step.  You will be using a hard (4H-6H pencil).
  • Draw the new design line on your block; from the CF neck point to the Bust Point (not the Dart Point!).

Instructions (Style-15) – Figure 2

  • Holding the block firmly in place so that it doesn’t move, trace around the block in a clockwise direction from the design line you drew (marked A on the image) to the first side seam dart leg (marked E).

Instructions (Style-15) – Figure 3

  • Mark the Bust Point and the Waist Dart Point by putting your pencil tip through the respective holes.
  • Extend the dart leg line (E) out past 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 (the red arrow shown in the image).

Instructions (Style-15) – Figure 4

  • Holding the block down at the Bust Point, pivot the block anti-clockwise until the side seam dart is closed. (Dart leg E reaches the extended line you drew in the last step – the line indicated by the red arrow).

Instructions (Style-15) – Figure 5

  • Making sure the block doesn’t move, finish tracing the block from D to A.

Instructions (Style-15) – Figure 6

  • Draw the new dart legs from the Bust Point to points A2 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-15) – Figure 7

  • Of course, if this was a pattern, you would need to add seam allowance, cutting instructions, grainline, label the pattern piece, etc.

3 Responses

  1. Hi Maria!

    First of all thank you so much for all your content 🙂
    I have a doubt when removing the sideseam dart, we do not end up with a straight sideseam line. Is that supose to happend? Is it to be corrected after?

    Thank you so much!

  2. Hello Joana

    There is actually no reason that any seam can’t be curved; this includes the side seam, the shoulder seam, the CB seam…etc. Of course if you’re putting in a zip, you do need it to be straight, but otherwise… If you look at tailoring or patternmaking books from the 19th century, you don’t often see any straight seams at all.

    My best guess is that straight seams came into ‘fashion’ with the the mass production of clothing; it was probably easier and cheaper to produce and sew.

    However, some important points regarding coming in at the side seam to do waist shaping:

    If you end up with a side seam that is not straight and you want it straight, then there is not problem with straightening it. This means that you will have to make an adjustment to the waist dart in the process. (If the side seam goes out at the bust, and then back in to the waist and you straighten it, you will be adding to the waist measurement, so you will have to add the equivalent to the waist dart for the waist measurement to remain the same).

    If, with a non-straight side seam, you get pulling from the bust to the side seam, you definitely do want to straighten the side seam and increase the waist dart. (i.e. You can’t always do waist shaping at the side seam. You may have a large waist dart and think you can make it smaller and take some off the side seam, but at some point you cannot do that without over-fitting and causing strain lines from the bust to the side seam. This is particularly the case with larger busts. If you don’t understand what I mean by this, perhaps watch my Bodice Block Essential series of videos.

  3. Madam..your explanation is like Onion peels Which get easier and easier to grasp the concept of tailoring.
    Thank you so much ❤️

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