Drafting a Bodice Front

In case you missed yesterday’s post. We are jumping right into the kids pattern-making series today with the Front Bodice, but first I’m going to show you the tools of the trade. I hope it is obvious that we will be using paper, pencils and a ruler, but there are a few other things that make pattern-making simpler. 
The first (and also my favorite) helpful tool is a french curve. They come in many different shapes and sizes, but the one you will need has the curved shape of an armhole.
PGM Plastic Transparent French Curve
This is the one I use. ($2.99 from amazon)
The next helpful tool is called a hip curve and it’s purpose is exactly what you’d think. It is a ruler with the shape of a hip that enabled you to get the perfect curved line for pants and skirts. (I lost mine in one of the moves and have made due with just my french curve, but it really is handy.)
Or, You could just get a combination ruler that is both the hip and the arm in one. 
This Dritz ruler (from Joann’s) is a straight edge, armhole, and hip curve all in one. 
So, now that we have all the necessary equipment assembled, let’s make a bodice!
If you are not using the chart and are taking the measurements directly from your child, you will need:
#4 – Center Length – Measure from the center of the neckline (that little dip in the collar bone) to the waist. 
#5 – Full Length – Measure from the side of the neck where it meets the shoulder straight down to the waist.
#6 – Shoulder Slope – Measure from the outside tip of the shoulder diagonal to the center front of the waistline.
#7 – Side Length – Measure from under the arm (where an armhole would begin, not up in the armpit) straight down to the waistline
#8 – Shoulder Length – Measure from where the neck meets the shoulder across to the tip of the shoulder
#9 – Across Shoulder – Measure from the tip of one shoulder across to the tip of the other.
#11 – Chest Arc – Measure from under 1 armpit (armhole point from side length above) to the same point under the other armpit
(I have decided to take pictures of each measurement so it is easier to understand, but haven’t had an extra pair of hands around to help me out. In the mean time, if you have any questions, please send me a comment or e-mail and I’ll do my best to help!)
The diagram below is essentially a map of what we are going to make. Your finished bodice should look exactly the same as the one below just with different measurements. Each line is marked with a letter which is referred to in the instructions. This way you know to connect point A to B and then B to E, etc. So long as you plug the numbers from this chart into the proper place, everything should be pretty easy. Just go one step at a time. Let’s get started! (Feel free to print out the diagram since it may be easier than scrolling up and down on your computer screen.)

Step 1: Draw a vertical line A-B = Full Length + 1/16″ (#5 on the chart)
Step 2: A-C = Across Shoulder (#9)
Step 3: Square a short line down from C
Step 4: B-D = Center Front length (#4), minus 3/8″
Step 5: Square a short line in from D
Step 6: B-E = Chest Arc (#11) + 1″
Step 7: Square a short line up from E
Step 8: B-F = Shoulder Slope (#6) + 1/8″ (The F point should be on the line coming down from point C.)
Step 9: F-G = Shoulder Length (#8)
Step 10: Square a line down from the FG line at point G
Step 11: B-H = 2 1/2″
Step 12: H-I = 3/4″
Step 13: H-J = 3/8″
Step 14: Square a line up from J equal to the Side Length (#7), minus 3/4″. Label this point K.
Step 15: Draw dart legs from K-H and K-I
Step 16: E-L = 3/4″ Mark L point
Step 17: Draw a slightly curved line from L-I
Step 18: L-M = Side Length (#7)
Step 19: Square a short line out from M
Step 20: F-N = 2″
Step 21: N-O = 3/8″
Step 22: With your french curve touching D and G and falling 3/16″ to the left of the G line, draw the neckline curve.
Step 23: With your french curve touching F, O, and M, draw the armhole curve. (The curve may align with the short line just before touching point M.

Did that make any sense? If it helps at all, this is what mine looks like.

And when you cut it out and have it all cleaned up, it’ll look like this…

Wow, We’re half way to having a shirt! I know it is a lot of information, but if anything is confusing, please send me an e-mail and I’ll help however I can. Tomorrow we’ll get to work on the back bodice, which is really easy once you’ve made the front!

Thanks for Visiting!
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10 thoughts on “Drafting a Bodice Front

    1. Hi Cieranne! If you are using this tutorial in conjunction with my Kid's Measurements Chart (http://buff.ly/1g9PIYU) then no, there is no ease added. You will need to add whatever ease would be necessary for the style you are trying to create. Thanks for visiting!

    2. Hmm…I could probably give you about a thousand options for a "standard cotton dress". 🙂
      If you could e-mail me a pic of the style you're making I could probably be much more helpful. (sugartartcrafts-at-gmail)

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