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You will need a piece of paper that is big enough for the whole draft; stick two pieces together if necessary, and then turn the paper over so that the tape is on the back.

From top to bottom it will need to be

(your nape-to-waist measurement) + (your waist-to-hip measurement) + 15cm (6”)

So if your nape to waist is 17” and your waist to hip is 8”, the paper will need to be 31” long.

From side to side it will need to be

(half of your bust measurement) + 15cm (6”)

so if your bust is 40”, the paper will need to be 26” wide.

And now to the main event! Download the drafting instructions below by right-clicking and selecting "Save target as." Have fun!


Download the workbook

You'll need Acrobat Reader - download it free here!

AND DON'T FORGET - the most important thing...


IF YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND OR CAN'T DO ANY PART OF THIS, IT'S BECAUSE I HAVEN'T EXPLAINED IT PROPERLY!! So if you find any part of this doesn't make sense, you have my permission to spam me relentlessly until you DO get it at cathy dot hay at harmanhay dot cThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!


Kudos goes to readers 1stborn_unicorn and lark_ascending, who have both been savvy enough to have spotted a typo in the tutorial:

On page 8 it says, "From B to C is half your bust measurement plus 5cm (2"). So if your bust is 40" measure 26" from B and mark C."

Actually, if your bust is 40", you should measure 22" from B and mark C.

So sorry!



Ava, I'm so sorry I didn't see your comment until now - our comments feature hasn't been working properly for a while, it seems, and I haven't had them sent on to me.

I think the best way to tackle drafting when you have a full bust and small waist, but are shortwaisted, is to take a leaf out of the Victorians' book. Victorian women were often smaller, but had much more pronounced hourglass figures than we do.

They tended to include two or three small darts side by side, and they'd use multiple pieces in their patterns to allow the excess to be removed little by little in mutiple spots.

Example from 1895

You can flip through this book online and find lots of options. You have to have your wits about you and some patience to follow the language, but these instructions *are* useable. Give them a try, or just use the general idea in your modern draft

leon stanford
bodice pattern dress
i want a bodice block pattern
sissy wood
draft pattern
recommended reference for pattern drafting
I dont have a wbsite yet.

I followed the tute step by step but the armsyce has me confused. How do i draw the circle for it. I have a french curve but i truly dont know how to use it. Also i am in desperate need of a sleeve slopper tute which will go with this block. Any help will be appreciated

Hi Ayse, it's not a regular curve, so there's no perfect way to draw it; it's a freehand curve, crossing all the points specified. You can use your French curve to help you by bending it into a reasonable-looking curve that matches the diagram before drawing along it.

As for a basic sleeve tutorial, tht's also in the Beginner section, here: http://yourwardrobeunlockd.com/articles/free/beginner/246-drafting-a-basic-fitted-sleeve

Hi, I'm referring to our page 8, "from b to C is half our bust measurement plus 5cm (2")"... I think it supposedly 6" instead of 2" right? My bodice looked weird, and I've tried redoing it 3 times to make it right. But then, I read again your note on "beginning to draft", you say we are to add 6" for the paper width. Pls confirm.
armscye measurement
I'd like to ask a question regarding the correct measurement for the armscye, based on my personal figure.
i have, what is sometimes referred to as, a dowager hump...although perhaps not as pronounced as that term might suggest...therefore, measuring from the bone at the base of the back of the neck, and down over the hump to the armhole depth, is not going to give me an accurate measurement for drafting the armscye (since there is extra length in the spine area). I have so much trouble drafting a correct armscye since I also have a shallow depth from shoulder to armhole level. What would you suggest so that I could successfully draft a proper fitting armscye? Thanks

Merrin, thank you for your question. There's no simple answer for that one, I'm afraid; as with so much in costume making fr the unique individual, this is one for our ingenuity to solve.

Have you tried measuring to the armscye level both over your back and down your front too, and looking for a solution inbetween the two figures? Alternatively, you may get a better measurement by measuring further out from your neck, from the top of your shoulder down the side of your back?

It might also help to measure around what will be the armscye to give you more clues. Placing the tape measure on your diagram, with the end held against the measurement you've taken in a ring, will enable you to arrange it into a sensible curve that looks right. Putting all of these rough figures together will give you a ballpark - something that you can start with to get you to the mock-up stage, where you can then refine what the numbers have told you. Good luck!

Perhaps you could (with a friend's help) use a yard stick or a level placed against the protruding part of your back, then come out straight from the nape to the level, and then stretch the tape measure down from there? I'm new to this, but that seems to make sense to me...

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