rachagainstthesewingmachine

a blog about my adventures in dressmaking, crochet, knitting and anything else i try to make.

bodice drafting class

hi everyone! 
 
i thought i would write a bit about a pattern drafting class that i went on at guthrie and ghani yesterday!
 
 
i booked onto the class after making my lilou dress.  i’m always disappointed when i invest a lot of time, effort and – let’s face it, money, into something that doesn’t turn out the way i want because i don’t know enough about fitting.  the lilou is a prime example of this.  i was so excited to wear the dress, but i can’t get past all the strange wrinkles on the bodice.  
 
weird fitting shoulder/under arm area
 
i patiently waited pretty much two months for the time to come round when i had to switch my concentration on and learn something that will hopefully help me in all my dress making adventures. 
 
the aim of the class was to make a basic bodice block.  we paired up and took each other’s measurements. we had a list of ones to take which were bust, waist, full hip (the widest part of you), neck width, shoulder width, arm hole depth, and also your chest and back measurement.  the chest is different to the bust, in that you have to measure between where your arm holes would sit, and rest the tape on your chest bone above your bewbs. the back measurement is the same area as your chest, just on your back.
 
here’s some rubbish drawings i’ve done to try and explain where i’m talking about.
 
front view
    back view
 
we then got a sheet of cross and dot paper and began plotting our measurements in accordance with an “easy fit bodice block” from a book by winifred aldrich (found here on amazon).  
 
it wasn’t a complicated process, but did involve a bit of maths.  i definitely used my calculator, i only scraped through GCSE maths and actively avoid it everywhere i can!
 
the darts were in a really weird place which no one really liked.  however, our fantastic teacher alex showed us such a quick and easy way to move it.  she also showed us how to fix gaping under our arms and explained how we could add in princess seams etc.  
 
where the weird original placement of the darts was
 
i’ve got a little bit of adjusting to do to make things perfect.  i’ve got some slight under arm gaping and it’s a bit tight around my hips.  the class notes said if your measurements were above a certain size then you could give yourself a bit more ease, so i’ll do that when i re-draw it.
 
i really enjoyed the class, it was great to have such an enthusiastic teacher and i learned that things are not as difficult as i thought.
 
i’m looking forward to getting my block spot on so i can start making things straight from it, but also having it to hand when i’m making other things will be so useful as i’ll be able to compare where the darts should sit, and where the waistline is etc. 
 
if anyone gets the chance to go on a class like this, it’s extremely worthwhile.
 
i would also like the book we were learning from, but i’ll have to put some thought into spending so much on one book!
 
happy sewing! 🙂
 
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