Another one for my students, but really, this can be done with any basic blouse pattern. You’ll end up with a terribly attractive little smock. ;)
Start by looking at the design you want to make. Where does the yoke sit on the shoulder? Is it straight or angled? Ours hits the middle of the neck curve, and angles down into the armscye.
Draw the yoke line in on the shoulder. Add notches 1/2″ from the neckline and the armscye.
See? I can type “notches” when I mean it. I just can’t manage to say it when I’m doing a demo in class.
Let’s focus on the notches for a minute, because they’re really important. Any time you are going to cut your pattern draft apart, you’re going to need a guide for sewing it back together. That’s what these notches are for. See how they’re double ended? Once we cut the yoke, each side will have it’s own set of notches.
Cut out your sloper. We’re ignoring the dart for this one, so I’m not bothering to cut it out.
Cut the yoke from the body. You’re basically done with this piece. I recommend attaching him to your colored paper up in the corner so he doesn’t get lost on the table. Make sure you’re leaving room for seam allowances.
We want to add fullness through the body so that it will gather in to the yoke. To do that, we have to split the body through the center (ish) of the shoulder. Draw in a guideline that goes through the bust point and the center of the shoulder.
We’re going to have to line the two halves of the bodice up accurately after they are split. Draw in another guideline across the piece. It should be perpendicular to the center front line, and run through the bust point. (Hint: on the slopers from our book, you can use the little cross-hairs around the bust point as a guide for this.)
Cut your body piece apart on the vertical line.
Draw in a horizontal line on your colored paper. (Hint: you want to place your body pieces on the paper and make sure you have room for seam allowances and things, like we did in class.)
Now we’re going to put in guides for how much we want our pieces spread. Draw a line perpendicular to your horizontal line. Perpendicular is very important! If your line is angled, the top and the bottom of the finished pattern will have different amounts of fullness in them. Sometimes we want that, but not right now. Make sure you’re using the grid lines on your ruler to guide you.
Draw a second vertical guideline. We put ours 1 1/2″ away from the first vertical guide. The distance between these lines is the amount of fullness you’re adding into the pattern.
Use your guides to line up the two halves of the body. The cut edges in the center of the piece should lie on the vertical guidelines, and the horizontal line should continue across the work.
At the top of the piece, draw a line that connects the neck-corner to the armscye corner. This is the new top line that will be sewn to the yoke. At the bottom, connect the two pieces in a shallow curve. This is the new hem.
The shoulder line looks way different, right? That’s ok. It’s still going to the same place (corner to corner), but now it has longer to get there. That’s why the angle changes. When the piece is gathered down for sewing, the angle will and up right.
We worked the back almost the same way, even though the the yoke line was different. The only difference was that we had to close the shoulder dart in the yoke. (Remember: we drew a guideline on our colored paper, and placed the bottom of the yoke on that line. When we closed the shoulder dart, the guideline became the new yoke bottom.
Your finished front pattern should look a lot like this.
And here’s our finished back pattern.