Bodice Block Test 1

I don’t actually know if I’ll test this again, but it never hurts to be prepared, right? I’m pretty pleased with how my block turned out, especially considering the doubts I had before when we were starting to plot it out, and even a bit after it was fully drawn up. I’m kind of scatterbrained today, so I’ll try to hit all the important bits, but I don’t promise any sort of coherent order. πŸ˜‰

As you might have noticed in the previous post, there was a huge dart in the front bodice shoulder that I wanted to take care of. Oh sure, I probably was supposed to test out the original version before making any changes, but I’ve never been known to do “what I’m supposed to do”…a rebel, I tell ya. πŸ˜‰ Anyway, here’s the picture of the darts I created out of the single large one.

I put in a small armscye dart and also a fairly small french dart (which arguably may not be all that technically correct). I really felt like this gave me the front shaping that I need, though the extra work on every garment from here to eternity is going to be a bit of a drag. πŸ˜• Oh, and if you are wondering, I used several tutorials to get the darts rotated, from RustyBobbin and Pattern~Scissors~Cloth. (Note there are two links for the PSC blog.)

Anyway, here’s the bodice on me… (Note: this thing might have fit just a smidgen better if some bonehead hadn’t forgotten to add the seam allowances. I used 1/4″ SA’s after I realized my mistake.)

Apparently adding length over the bust wasn’t included in the drafting…

2 things. 1) Armscye is too high, and a bit snug. 2) Maybe I should have made a bigger and/or lower french dart?

I’m pretty happy with how the back turned out, though the shoulder darts didn’t seem quite big enough to match perfectly with the front.

So I’m not sure what all I should change and what I should just let be. Obviously I feel like the bodice needs to be lower in the front (or else higher in the back–or a bit of both). I don’t know if this was an issue that came up during measuring or what.

I don’t know that I could get much better shaping around my chest–I’m very happy with how that turned out. I think the two darts are the way to go for me.

I don’t love the shoulders/armscye. The shoulders seem like they are too wide (remember there’s no seam allowances!), and the armscye–while not painful like some–just doesn’t feel like it’s quite scooped enough in the front and underarm I might leave it though. In fact, when I get the sleeve drafted, I’m not sure I’d even add seam allowances to the armscye at all, I’d just let the seam do the work for me. Do you know why that wouldn’t work?

I see some wrinkles on the thing, but I know that there are going to be a few because this kind of fabric can’t mould itself to my form perfectly and I’m OK with that. To be honest, for a first attempt, I’d say this didn’t turn out half bad–especially when my numbers were all over the map compared to the “size 10” that was in the example!!

Bodice Block

This is a quickie update. Hubster and I finished the bodice block last night, and hopefully we’ll get to the sleeve block fairly soon.

Isn’t it a beaut?

Lookit how huge that armhole is! Weird, right?

Lookit how huge that armhole is! Weird, right?

If it looks fuzzy, it’s better when you click it–but it’s really hard to photograph pencil marks on white paper…or at least whenΒ  you are trying to get a shot that has everything in it.

So now if anyone has any cool tutorials about how to use these to their best advantage (I’m hoping to use it to superimpose over purchased patterns–not draft everything from scratch) I’d be eternally grateful.

And I also see some serious dart rotation in my future–I’m thinking a smallish one in the armscye and a french dart to take up the rest. Sound like a good idea? Any tips for eliminating the teeny shoulder dart on the back bodice?

Block Drafting; a tale in several parts

I recently discovered a new website (though I don’t remember how) that has a spreadsheet that you input your measurements into to draft your own blocks. Previously, I had tried a different method that required more thinking (i.e. the calculations weren’t already determined for you to just plug in your numbers and go) but it was tricky and we didn’t get a useable product in the end (I’m sure it was from our calculations, not anything wrong with the directions). And after constantly modifying patterns to add this or that, I decided that maybe I needed to try making my own again. Looking at some of the measurements, I have several doubts about how it’s going to work, but I’m going to give it the old college try (or perhaps a bit more effort than that, I’m not so long gone from college that I’ve forgotten πŸ˜‰ ).

Anyway, if you use the spreadsheet, I highly recommend you watch the accompanying videos. They are really useful (the one under the generators in the link I gave above is helpful for filling out the spreadsheet, and the one after it that pops up in the “similar videos” talks about drawing it in Illustrator, while long, is also useful.) I’m planning to do mine on paper with a pencil, but it seems to me that if you didn’t have $300+ to plunk down on Illustrator, you could probably achieve the same goal with Sketchup (non-pro version is free) or possibly even a program called Inkscape (that one is also free, but I know absolutely ZIP about it.)

Anyway, I’m off to see how this draws up, hopefully I’ll have some draft progress or even a test run before this weekend…somehow I got sucked into the vortex of March Madness, and it’s taken up a good chunk of the latter half of the past couple of weeks, and will probably do the same this week.