Manipulating Darts - Bodice Front
Bodice Front Style 19
The bodice of this garment has an curved style-line (or design line) that goes from the mid-armhole of the half-block to the Bust Point and the BP to the waist.
This particular style-line is called a Armhole Princess Line. (There is also a Shoulder Princess Line). Style-lines are one of the dart equivalents.
Note: As there are instructions to create a Princess Line pattern in the Elements menu, these instructions will not cover the creation of the Princess Line style from beginning to end. It will be limited to the dart manipulation required to create this style.
This style is very similar to Styles 11 & 16.
The difference between this style and Style 11 is:
- it has no darts, as the darts are incorporated into the style-line
- this style will have 2 pattern pieces rather than 1, as the style-line crosses from one edge to another through the Bust Point, and allows the bodice to be divided
The difference between this style and Style 16 is:
- it has a curved line rather than angular design lines
Although it may seem logical approach this the same as Styles 11 & 16 (i.e. pivot the side seam dart into the armhole), it’s not the best or easiest way to create this style. The two adjoining pattern pieces require the same curve from the armhole to the Bust Point; if we ended up with 2 straight lines of the dart in the armhole, it would mean drawing the curve separately for each piece, which would leave some room for error. It is best that the same curve is drawn for both pieces.
Please note that this section is focusing on the theory of dart manipulation, and not all the steps are given for creating a Princess Line pattern.
You may also think that using the 1-Dart Block is easier/better, as in Image 2 below. You can just draw the design line and separate the two pieces.
However, using the 2-Dart Block makes it a little easier to add a little extra bit of ease in the Bust Point area for the side seam pattern piece. Given the nature of the curve on PP2, we need a bit of extra ease. When using the 2-Dart block closing the side seam dart, we use a different pivot point and achieve that extra bit of ease that is needed. You will see this in the instructions below.
Figure 1 shows the block being used on the left (2-Dart Block), and the pattern that will be created (Style 13) on the right.
Note: The actual pattern would need the seam allowance and cutting instructions added, etc. This has not been done as here we are just covering the theory of manipulating darts.
Instructions (Style-19) – Figure 1
Trace the block and mark dart legs, dart points and the bust point on the paper or cardboard underneath.
Instructions (Style-19) – Figure 2
- Draw a straight line from the mid-armhole (marked A in the image) to the Bust Point.
- At the half-way point of this straight line, measure up (at right angles) for 3/16-inch and mark a point.
- Draw a curve from A to the Bust Point, touching the point just made.
Instructions (Style-19) – Figure 3
- Draw lines from the Bust Point to dart legs B & C at the waist.
Instructions (Style-19) – Figure 4
- Draw a line from the BP to the edge of the block through dart leg D
- From the BP measure 0.75-inch and mark a point. This is the pivot point for closing the dart after we have cut the pattern pieces apart.
Instructions (Style-19) – Figure 5
Note: I have placed some ease control notches in this figure, without going into the detail of where they are placed. You can find those details on the Elements > Princess Line Style page. The focus on this section is manipulating darts.
- Cut the pattern from A to C and then from the BP to C.
- On the side seam piece, cut from the BP to B.
- You can throw away the middle waist dart piece (colored green for emphasis)
Instructions (Style-19) – Figure 6
We will finish off closing the dart on the side seam pattern piece.
- cut this pattern piece in two, along the top dart leg line through the new marked pivot point (i) in the image
- with the two pattern pieces, pivot the dart closed at the new pivot point (ii) in the image
- you will need to stick these pattern pieces together
You will get a little extra room in the Bust Point area.
Now this pattern piece will need some reshaping as indicated with the dashed red line, but that is not covered here.
Hi Maria. Thanks for this informative details. I’m trying to contour my underbust with this method after drawing my bust circle and it keeps coming out very funny after sewing. Could I be doing something wrong. I actually get a good fit on the under bust but then the bust if pointy and funny looking. Please help