My Bodice Block Adventures

I’m a little lazy, I’ll admit, but lately my sewing time has been so restricted that I really try to make the best of it. I’ve had this image of a blouse floating around in my head for months, and although I have the perfect fabric, I just can’t find a pattern for what I want.

And so, I’ve decided to take the plunge and self-draft it from a sloper. Crazy, right? I mean, I’m the kind of person who loves to follow directions, so I really don’t like self-drafting things. Hell, I barely even like modifying patterns.

I started with the basic two-dart bodice from the book Sew Many Dresses, Sew Little Time. I’ve made the princess seam bodice before, but had yet to even trace the basic bodice. I traced it out of the book, sewed it up in a plain broadcloth fabric, and checked for fit. There were a couple of very small things I could have perfected, but I was actually very happy with it as it was.

Once I finished with that, I realized that I’d have to trace the pattern again to cut it up, and then trace that again. Ugh. I mean, I see the value in tracing patterns, but efffff that. So I got a little creative. I wasn’t sure if it would work, but it worked brilliantly, so I’m sharing it here.


Above is the pattern as traced from the book. As I said, I checked for fit before doing this. And then I photocopied that tissue paper! Yep. I just set it on my scanner/printer/photocopier and photocopied it. I moved it around and printed three seperate pages so I that I pretty much had all of the bodice, and then glued those pages together.


I laid the tissue over the photocopy to make sure everything came out, and traced onto the paper anything that didn’t.


And then, I treated it like a bodice block. I cut out the darts, and maniplulated like ya do. To be more specific — I moved the waist dart and about half of the bust dart to create more fullness at the bottom, then sliced to the neck and moved the rest of the bust dart there.


Then I traced my sliced up photocopy (which was glued and taped and cut and a total mess), and came out with teh above bodice. It has no darts, and the neckline is to be gathered it a little. Oh! And I scooped out the neck using teh template in the book somewhere along the way.

I used the same process to take the darts out of the back piece, and added length to both pieces. Now I can make a plain, simple tank top with a gathered neckline and bias-bound armholes. 🙂


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