06 Feb 2013 8 Comments
I’ve talked and praised blocks many times before. Blocks are the base of all garments and are normally made of 5 base pieces: a front bodice, a back bodice, a front skirt, a back skirt and a sleeve. Many dress patterns can be used as they are or modified into a basic block.
Here I used Colette’s Truffle dress pattern from the Colette Sewing Handbook as a base for my 4 piece block. If you need a sleeve block for your next project Madalynne has a great post on how to draft one.
You will need:
- a basic dress pattern
- a pencil
- paper scissors
You can use carbon paper or freezer paper to copy the pattern, but in case you only have A4 coloured paper around the house, this is how you can trace and cut your bodice.
I used paper in a different colour for each piece to make it easier for myself to distinguish between the pieces. I used orange for the back bodice piece and green for the front bodice. Before I pinned the pattern into the paper I shortened the bodice with a few inches.
To trace the pattern on the paper I used a sunny window; the light turns your opaque coloured paper into lovely transparent paper, just perfect for pattern tracing.
I used little pieces of paper that I taped to the main paper for the areas in which the A4 paper wasn’t big enough. For example, the upper shoulder strap on the front piece is made using an orange scrap from the back bodice.
I did the same for the skirt sloper. Measured and shortened the pattern, then traced and cut.
After this step I used an old sheet to make a muslin. This helped me shave off an inch from the underarm and reminded me that the initial pattern has a zipper, so I had to also shave off from the middle of the back bodice piece, from neck to waist.
I will show you in future posts how to I experimented with this bodice to make various types of garments.
What about you? Do you have a basic pattern or block that you use or do you copy and use a new pattern every time you start making a new garment?