Mathless Draft to 1 Dart Bodice Block

Miss me?  ;)

If you have done up a torso draft with my sneaky mathless draft, you might be wondering how to turn that into a normal block with ease…  Maybe even something that’s not a princess line, like a 1 dart bodice block, so you can do some dart manipulation. These instructions should work for any easeless princess line draft, so if you have a moulage or some such lying around, you’re good to go.

Pardon the cheesy Illustrator graphics.  My sewing table is currently covered in 2x4s because, um, reasons.

Shall we?

You will need the Center Back, Side Back, Side Front, and Center Front of your easeless torso draft.

You will need the Center Back, Side Back, Side Front, and Center Front of your easeless torso draft.

Copy off the CB, SB, SF, and CF pieces above the waist line.

Copy off the CB, SB, SF, and CF pieces above the waist line.

Rotate the SB and SF pieces so that they line up with the upper CB and CF pieces.

Rotate the SB and SF pieces so that they line up with the upper CB and CF pieces.

You should be able to match the Fronts pretty exactly above the bust line, and your lines should carry across.  (Note for Moulage users: You will have about a 1/8-1/4″ gap between the CF and SF above the bust.  Match the Bust point and shoulder; ignore the gap.)

The backs will match across the fullness of the shoulder, but not above nor below.  Shoulders are tricksy little beasts like that.

In Back, true a line square to center back along your shoulder width guide. This will be your Horizintal Balance Line.

In Back, true a line square to center back along your shoulder width guide. This will be your Horizontal Balance Line.  In Front, mark the Bust Point on the bust line where the CF and SF meet.

We're going to put a dart in the back shoulder. It follows the edge of the CB piece down to the neck guideline, the connects to the inside corner of the SB shoulder.

We’re going to put a dart in the back shoulder. It follows the edge of the CB piece down to the neck guideline, the connects to the inside corner of the SB shoulder.

After this point, we're not going to be using our horizontal guides. I'm erasing them to clean things up a little.

After this point, we’re not going to be using our horizontal guides. I’m erasing them to clean things up a little.

In back, draw a guide square to the HBL, passing through the center of the proto-dart area between the CF and SF pieces.

In back, draw a guide square to the HBL, passing through the center of the proto-dart area between the CF and SF pieces.

Mark a point 7" up on the guideline. Connect the corners of the CF and SF piece to that point.

Mark a point 7″ up on the guideline. Connect the corners of the CF and SF piece to that point.

Watch point:  If that 7″ dart goes above the level of the bottom of your armscye, or above where your CF and SF pieces join, you will want to lower it.  This dart should stay below the shoulder area.

Wait…  You said we were making a 1 dart bodice, and we’ve already got two darts goin’ on, there, missa!  Fair point.  Technically, we’re making a 1 dart front with a two dart back, but that was too long for a post title.  ;)

Check to make sure that both legs of shoulder and waist darts are the same length. Adjust them if needed.

Check to make sure that both legs of shoulder and waist darts are the same length. Adjust them if needed.

The easiest way to do this is to fold the paper you’re drafting on along the dart legs, and true across the waist and shoulder with a curve (waist) and ruler (shoulder).  If you are doing this in Illustrator, like I did, you can compare the line lengths.  (I rotated the outside dart leg and lengthened it until it matched the center side, then adjusted the shoulder in a straight line and the waist with a curve.  Folding paper is easier and a lot more certain.)

To add ease to the back, mark a point 1" below bottom of the armscye, and 1/2" away from the existing side line.

To add ease to the back, mark a point 1″ below bottom of the armscye, and 1/2″ away from the existing side line.

Redraw the botton of the armscye curve and the side line so that they meet this point.

Redraw the botton of the armscye curve and the side line so that they meet this point.

Watch points:  The upper part of the armscye should not really change.  The side line ends at the original waist line.

Voila! You have a finished bodice back!

Just this once, the front is going to be easier.  Oh, and nobody dies.

True the shoulder with a straight line from the neck corner to the armscye corner.

True the shoulder with a straight line from the neck corner to the armscye corner.

Draw a guide line from the Bust Point to the middle of the proto-dart area. Measure to make sure the gap is the same at the waist on both sides.

Draw a guide line from the Bust Point to the middle of the proto-dart area. (Measure to make sure the gap at the waist is the same on both sides of the guideline.  Don’t just wing it!)

Drop a point 1" from the Bust Point along this guide line. Draw lines connecting both sides of the waist to this point.

Drop a point 1″ from the Bust Point along this guide line. Draw lines connecting both sides of the waist to this point.

To add ease, mark a point 1" down from the corner of the armscye and 1/2" from the side line.

To add ease, mark a point 1″ down from the corner of the armscye and 1/2″ from the side line.

Redraw the bottom of the armscye curve and the side line kinda like we did in back,

Redraw the bottom of the armscye curve and the side line kinda like we did in back,

Front accomplished!

Front accomplished!

That wasn’t all too traumatic, was it?

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