Pattern Cutting – Flat Pattern Drafting, the Bodice Block part 1
100 Comments


This is all the equipment you need to draft a block from your measurements A sharp pair of scissors A tape measure A metre rule or a Yard Stick as we used to call it Sharp Pencils A rubber And most importantly, a nice large set square A normal ruler is handy A ruler like this is quite popular but not by any means essential I buy my pattern paper on a big fat roll it lasts a very long time if you are serious about drafting your own patterns But you can buy sheets by the pack It can be marked off in inches or every 2½cm I prefer plain paper Brown paper will do Some people use newspaper although I wouldn’t recommend it Here are the measurements you need for the Basic Bodice Block I’m purposely not using a standard size as this is the whole point of drafting a block to fit So first of all you need the measurement around the fullest part of the Bust This rises a little at the back This measurement will also be used to determine some of the variables The true Waist – not too tight The hip measurement is usually taken about 8 or 9″ below the waist but it must be where the widest measurement is and take a note of how far down from the waist it is The Back Waist Length From the bone at the nape of the neck to the waist Being a petite person myself I have always appreciated how important this measurement is Getting it right will solve so many fitting problems Then Chest Width Now this measurement will make or break your block and you may need to experiment if you get it wrong first time It is taken from about 4½ – 5″ from base of neckline standing nice and straight The Back Width This measurement is taken 4 – 4½” from the nape of the neck don’t stand quite so erect as you want to allow for a certain amount of stooping with comfort Shoulder Length From neck to the edge of the bone on the shoulder Around Upper Arm Around the fullest part of the arm with the tape measure in the armpit Print off my PDF sheet and fill in your measurements If you have doubts about any measurements use the one closest to the standard size for your bust and hips My PDF guide contains details of variables that are dependent on size So cut a piece of paper 30″ long and half hips (or bust, which ever is larger) wide + 3″ or so Rule a line along the length 1″ or so from the left edge This is centre back Square off a line across the top of the page This is the Top Line Label Centre Back line CB For our Centre Front line you want to measure at least half bust plus 2-3″ or half hips plus 1½” which ever is the larger but you can draft this line further away if you like The important thing is that you want to avoid the back and front bodice overlapping So label this line CF for Centre Front So here I show an initial rectangle of half hips plus 3″ wide and at least as long as Back Waist Length plus 10″ which will be a bit longer than the final block This gives a good bit of room Mark down 1″ from the Top Line this increases to 1.5″ for sizes over Bust 38″ Check for variables in my PDF guide Draw this about a 3rd of the way across Call this O Using your own Back Waist measurement mark down from O for the Waist Line and square across to the CF Line this is the provisional waist position Label WP Then measure 8.25″ from O for the Bust Line which is also the bottom of the Armhole This figure varies depending on Bust by 1/4″ for every 2″ size outside the 34-36″ range So bust 36″ would be 8.5″ down A 38″ bust line would be 8 3/4″ down from O Again check the PDF Guide for variables Continue this line across to CF Then mark half this measurement down for the Back Line and rule less than half way across Label BL for the Bust Line and label the Back Line The shoulder line is 1.5″ below O This is the same for all sizes Square across and label the Shoulder Line SL

100 thoughts on “Pattern Cutting – Flat Pattern Drafting, the Bodice Block part 1

  1. Hi Angela
    Do your patterns include seam allowance or do these need to be added on separately? I would like to make the bodice front opening. Do I need to add in an allowance to accommodate for the buttons, etc.

  2. Thanks for your speedy reply. From the video it seems the pattern is without.seam allowance. I will add in and experiment with front openings…thanks for your advice.

  3. please i wanna learn sewing but i just don't know from where should i start am comfused can make atutorial about this pleasssssse – watching u from iraq 😊

  4. Thanks for all. I hope you'll enjoy your life and work. Please provide me with men's classic shirt patterns size 18 inches

  5. Hi Angela, using your Flat Pattern Drafting, the Bodice Block part 1 tutorial. How can i draw sleeve? I have attached your sleeve drawing youtube link. refer below
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORcn8sGQ_6I – This link u have taught how to draw sleeve. Is there any changes in measurements, if i draw out the basic pattern and with the same measurement i draw out the sleeve.
    One question, if i register as a paid member which i will have access to all your design, is there a tutorial on each design on drafting the design? Reason i'm asking, i want to master my drafting.

  6. brilliant video, very easy to understand,. also can i ask, when and how do you add any "ease" into the pattern and how much ease should i add, thanks in advance

  7. I am finally learning to make my own patterns, and your method of teaching is very clear and easy. Thank you very much.

  8. Oh thank you for this video post. The most informative I've seen. my daughter is at college doing her third year in fashiin and clothing. She has now started this term doing pattern cutting and is a bit thrown. This will help her alot. x

  9. Thank you for making so clear, not cutting corners and most importantly staying on track. I m so tire of tutorials getting off the subject and wasting time. I am so glad I have found your channel.

  10. Please share the waist height and Hip height. As from 'O' point when we go to Waist point that would be the waist height. Is it standard measurement ?

  11. can this bodice be used for woven and knit. i notice that the back does not have a dart. is that need for a woven pattern.

  12. Hi Angela Kane! What if bust is way bigger than the hips? (bust is at 41 and hips is at 37). Would I just draw a straight line from the bust and just make the hips 41" instead of 37"?

  13. why on earth are you talking in inches? Nobody use that in the world of sewing nowadays… unless you were over 60!!!

  14. I have just started following your videos. I am from the U. S. and I am so glad your videos are done using the inch measurements. In 5 months I will be 65. I don't know why I have waited so long to learn how to draft my own patterns. Thank you so much.

  15. I don't know if I'm slow or what but i am so lost with everything, i really want to start making my own clothes but i have no clue where to even start everything seems so daunting

  16. I have finally done make my own draft fit prefect on my body shape can use to make my own clothing . Plus the viedos are to understand and your PDF are very handy to have plus the patterns. Thanks again for these amazing viedos and websit.

  17. What if the pattern that i made was to fit people who wear a medium-sized clothing, how do i convert it to small, large, x-large…

  18. How do I take the measurements from the body and convert them into inches in order to create the sloper? and does that method work for making menswear Sloper's?

  19. i subscribe few online class for pattern drafting but this is the best and simplest form I've ever seen easy to follow.. thankS ANGELA KANE..

  20. I appreciate your videos, been a subscriber for over a year. Quick question please, where's the link to watch how to draft a fitted bodice? I mean with waist darts and all. Meanwhile, great job. You make it easy.

  21. What’s most confusing is when she adds other measurements that you may or not be. Thank for the video but like others I need to take classes. It’s hard when actually it’s just hard to understand if I’m not in front of someone learning and asking questions

  22. Hello. What happens if you want to turn the pattern into V-neck? I sometimes experience gaping. Do we also have to reduce seam length by the armhole?

  23. May I know the purpose of shoulder dart at back bodice pattern? What happen if one doesn't use shoulder dart at back bodice?

  24. May I know the purpose of shoulder dart at back bodice pattern? What happen if one doesn't use shoulder dart at back bodice?

  25. Hello Angela
    1st i would like to thank you for taking the time to make all the videos. i am about to start out on my journey of trying to make my own clothes. and all so for my family members if i get any good at it.
    i am spending time gathering bits and bobs that i hope will help me with this venture. i have on order a french curve and a hip curve. But i would like to ask you about your set square. it looks like it has metric and imperial on it and would like to ask you do you know where i can get the same one.
    i was following your every move and could see what a boom your set square is for this job.
    i know if i keep watching the videos and stopping and starting it i will be able to follow you and hopefully i will have a work in progress at the end of it.
    i will be going out tomorrow to see if i can get some paper for drafting.
    Thank you again so much. i now feel like i have a chance of doing this. x

  26. It would be helpful to have info on how to take measurements and what points on the body those measurements match up with. I used measurements from a book on drafting and the terms didn't match up. Since the patterns overlapped by several inches when I measured the front shoulder line, I knew things had gone terribly wrong. But I don't see any info to help me corolate terms.

  27. Thank you. You are a wonderful teacher. 🙂

    Even though this is not a T-shirt. This information is excellent to get a start on garment drafting.

    I look forward to getting stuck in. I do not have a set square yet. I will see where I can get a good sized one.

    So far what I did was buy a small child's T-Shirt at a thrift shop (To make the copy from). The reason for this was to reduce the material cost, support a charity, and have a source of very cheap material that I can learn on.

    I am really looking forward to making my own simple T-shirts.
    Take care.

  28. Thank you very much for your teaching method, can you also do a video on drafting basics bodies with waist dart?.

  29. Thank you 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻🙏🙏 I don't know how I didn't find your channel before! So nice to have someone taking their time to explain the entire process so detailed. Thank you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *