Once again, a sample has become a vest. (It’s funny how that happens the two weeks before we start to work on the real human-sized vest project.) This time, we designed it as a class.
The target sketch – we settled on a simple princess line that ends at the hip. The armscyes have been lowered, the shoulders narrowed at the outside, and the neckline dropped slightly. It closes at the center front with a zip.
We have a new block this week – the torso block. It’s designed to fit the body past the waist with double-ended fish-eye darts. Our design calls for a single princess line, so we’re going have to do something about the dart closest to the side seam. We cross out the dart so we remember not to use it. However, we still want some of the fit this dart provided. We’re going to transfer half of this dart to the side seam. On both the front and the back, we marked a guide on the waistline. This guide is 1/2 of the unused dart’s uptake.
This is the downside of me taking pictures while the demo is going on – sometimes I get all excited about starting the demo, and I forget to start taking the pictures. :/
The back side has all the markers we will need for the princess line. The front does not.
Find the midpoint of the front shoulder. The shoulder is 1 1/4″, or 5/4″, Half of that is 5/8″.
Connect the midway point on the shoulder to the bust point. Connect the bust point to the top of the dart, and the bottom of the dart to the bottom of the block. You can do this with a single line if you follow the center line of the dart. Your line should be perpendicular (square) to the bottom of your block.
Before we go any further, we need notches to tell us how these pieces go back together. Our notches are 1/2″ above and below the bust point for 1/4 scale. We also notch both sides of the dart at the waistline, because it changes direction there. (Remember, the mark on the waist by the side of the block is a guide, not a notch.)
For the back, connect the bottom of the shoulder dart to the top of the remaining fisheye dart. Connect the bottom of the fisheye to the bottom of the block. Once again, use the center line of the dart. You should be perpendicular to the bottom of the block. Give yourself notches at the top and waistline of the fisheye dart, and at the bottom of the shoulder dart.
Cut your pieces out. Remember, for this to become a princess line, you need to cut up the legs of your darts, not the center lines.
We’re going to finish the back first, because less is happening there. The center back piece is basically complete and can be attached to your colored paper. We need to work with the side back piece, to finish the process of moving half of the unused dart’s uptake to the side line.
To alter the sideline below the waist, find a smooth curve that connects the guide on the waistline with the sideline of the body. This point should be at or slightly above where the original dart ended. Do not go below the end of the original dart, or you will make the hip smaller than it should be.
Above the waist, use a straight line to connect the waist guide with the side line. Once again, make sure that your new line ends at, or slightly before, the end of the original dart.
If you end up with an angle at the waist in the new side line, smooth it out with a curve. (I did that proactively, before putting the top of the side line in.)
To finish the back, we’re going to make the princess line a little nicer.
The side back piece has some angles. We don’t want those. Using a curve, make a smooth line between the two notches. This line should stay as close to the white paper as possible. I’ve brought in a small adjustment on the center back side of the princess line, as well. This give a smoother line, but more importantly, it’s the opposite of what I did to the side back. I don’t want to add extra room in the upper back, so if I put area into the pattern on one side of a seam, I need to take out a similar amount on the other side.
Now, for the front. Your center front piece is basically done. Our work is on the side front. First, from the bust point, cut to (but not through) the end of the side bust dart. Close out the side bust dart as you attach your piece to the colored paper.
We are going to adjust the side seam the same way we did in back. From your guide on the waistline, bring a curve below the waist and a straight line above it.
Remember that you don’t want either line to go past the original dart ends.
To finish the princess line, use a curve to complete the area over the bust point.
Now we can add our style elements:
We’re shortening all of the pieces relative to the bottom of the block. Draw a line parallel to the bottom, and shade the area beneath it. The location of this line is based on what we see in our sketch, so there was no absolute right measure. Mine is about 1 1/8″ above the bottom.
The center front of our hem has a festive little upward curve. Draw this in, based on what you see in the sketch. I eyeballed mine, and the center front ended up 1/2″ above the hemline. Again, there is no one single right answer.
We can also adjust the armscye based on the picture. While there are no right measurements, there is a right way: notice that I’ve given myself guidelines to make sure I meet the side seam and shoulder lines squarely.
After that, I want to bring in a new curve that mimics the existing one. In other words, the curves should be very similar in shape and mostly parallel. What you do in front, you have to do in back. Make sure you are moving the armscye down the side and in on the shoulder by the exact same amounts!
The neckline can be adjusted down, per the sketch. Remember to give yourself a guide to square into the center front.
Finish out your pattern, including seam allowances, notches, grain lines, required markings, etc.
And make your all-in-one facing pieces like we did with our last vest. (Scroll down about 1/3 the page.)