Monday, 14 February 2011

Photos of my self-drafted bodice and BONUS mini book review

On my recent trip to New York we headed to the nearest Borders, and I only came away with one book. (My mother bought 6 romances) . But it was a good book.

It was LITTLE GREEN DRESSES by Tina Sparkles, it is heavily focused on reusing materials and refashioning thrifted items such as a coat into a mini-skirt. But the best thing about the book is that it provides you with the instructions and diagrams for making a basic bodice, sleeve and skirt, all using your exact measurements. It then throughout the book shows you how to adapt these patterns into tops, skirts, dresses, shorts, playsuits and leggings. I strongly recommend you buy this book if you want to get into patternmaking, but felt a bit daunted by the more complicated 'Metric Pattern Cutting' or similar.

So I decided to get cracking on the basic bodice as I have had problems in the past getting vintage sewing patterns to fit my narrow ribcage and larger bust.

So here is the first draft with some alterations

I think the main problem is the extra fabric in my upper chest, I'm really not sure how I fix this problem. It might not be a problem when I lower the neckline, but is this just laziness? 

I think this is OK, but i look a bit pointy. Again, I don't know how to solve this issue so any feedback would be much appreciated. It's also clear from this picture that I need to lover the armhole, its far too tight as it is.

There are ripples along the back darts and I have no idea why.

Any advice on these fitting issues would be most gratefully received!


  1. Not sure but I think you may not have enough room in the waist and that's what's causing the wrinkles at the back. Front's looking good!

    I'm a similar shape and have problems with pointiness too. I do better with princess seams or double darts. Or just pressing the heck out of the darts!

  2. Re: the pointy-ness - did you stitch the bust dart all they way to the bust point (aka 'bust apex')? If yes - re: draft the dart 2.5cm/1" shorter away from the bust-point and that should help! I'm doing a beginners class in pattern making at the moment and for our muslins/toiles the teacher said that the bodice block (then later on you copy the the block into newer versions for a finished "real pattern" for bodices to be used in dresses, tops & shirts) is drafted to show the dart ending/pointing to the bust point, BUT when we sew the real final garment the dart must end 2.5cm/1" short of the bust-point (or we'd end up with pointy 50's looking nipples LOL!) :)

    When my course finishes I shall be writing up on my blog how I was shown to make all my blocks - bodice, sleeve, skirt, dress & trousers to share with everyone :)

  3. Oh! P.S. Thank you sooo much for my award... I've now got to think of 7 things to share :)