Drafting a Bodice and Skirt Block

A Class in Pattern Making at the New Brunswick College of Art and Design has been a wonderful experience. We have drafted a skirt sloper and a bodice sloper. Lots of measuring going on, but seeing how round and angled body parts are drafted onto flat paper is a wondrous thing! One of the best parts of the course was getting to meet Patricia Galbraith, our teacher and graduate of NBCAD. She is talented, patient, an excellent communicator, and just a joy to be around. Pat shared her graduation portfolio, as well as some of her couture designs. She is an inspiration. There were 5 students in the class, and each one worked hard, and learned a lot. I hope we all get together again, and help each other with fitting and designs for our pattern blocks.

These photos show the skirt I made by drafting the pattern from my own measurements. It fits perfectly and feels so comfortable. You might remember the top I made with the fabric used in this skirt. Hard to believe that this skirt started out with a single straight line on a piece of brown paper!




Here is a close up of the dart. Darts can be positioned where you need them. After sewing up the first muslin, I found that I needed shorter darts in the front (to give room for the abdomen), and longer darts in the back to make the fabric skim my flatter backside. Ah, the aging process--working with it, not against it is best in sewing.
 When you make your own pattern block, you do not add the seams, until you pin it to the fabric. Then you can add the size of seams you want. The industry standard is 5/8" only because that is the largest seam you can have that easily curves. So, you can go smaller or larger, depending on your need. For instance, if I think I need more around the middle, I can leave a 1 inch seam and then fit it better, then trim. If I know that a pattern fits, I can reduce bulk by adding smaller seams. Plus, by tracing the pattern without seams, I can stitch exactly on the sewing line. BUT, I have to make sure I ADD the seam allowance, and not be in a hurry to cut BEFORE adding them.  Also, I learned the hard way, not to add a seam allowance on a fold line. The first skirt was too big because I added and extra 6 cm on the Center front fold line. Silly mistake, that I hope not to ever repeat!

When I get the bodice fitted, and sewn up, I will make a new posting, so stay tuned! Thanks for visiting my blog.

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