Sewing 204 (Part 1) - Pattern Drafting: Basic Bodice (Front)

Updated: Apr 14

Principles of pattern drafting

In this chapter, we shall be drafting the Basic Bodice Pattern. We shall draft the Front and Back separately as I feel this method best accommodates many different body types. Once again, we shall be drafting without any ease to make it more straight forward. Ease shall be added in another lesson.


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As you know, we shall be drafting half a front pattern and half a back pattern on the assumption that a full front or Back pattern are symmetrical on both left and right sides. You only need to draft a full piece if the left and right hand sides are different in some way.


Since we are working in halves (half front/half back) or in quarters (Quarter of the whole Bodice) depending on how you look at it, some measurements will be divided into 2, and some will be divided into 4. We shall also be drafting in a mirrored view so to speak, where the sides for the front and Back will face each other, and the centre front and centre Back will face away from each other. It will all make sense once we get into the work.


Tools you will need

1. Straight ruler

2. Set square

3. Curve ruler

4. Pencils / Eraser /Sharpener

5. Brown paper/ Drafting Paper – 1 sheet (25L x 30W inches) or (65cm x 75cm). It should be longer than your Full length measurement and wider than 1/2 Bust measurement. You can always tape sheets of paper together to get the right size.


Measurements you will need (Feel free to work in Inches or Cm)

• Full length Front (Shoulder to waist)

• Full length Back

• Neck

• Centre Back

• Across shoulder

• Shoulder

• Bust Depth (Shoulder to Bust)

• Armhole Depth

• Full Bust

• Upper Bust

• Across Chest

• Across Back

• Full Waist

• Apex width (Bust span)

• Side

• Arm hole


IMPORTANT! Download Basic Bodice Calculation Worksheet Here first


The Front Bodice Draft

To make the most of your paper, start at the bottom left corner.

1. Line A – B = Front full length Measurement

2. Line B – C = Half Across Shoulder Measurement (perpendicular to Line AB)

3. Line C – D = Square down a guide line for about 2 1/2 inches (6.25cm)

4. Line B – E = Neck width measurement

5. Line B – F = Neck Depth measurement. Square across a short guideline

6. Line E - G = Shoulder Measurement. From point E, draw a line touching line CD.

7. From point E, draw a guide line at right angles to the shoulder line

8. Line E - F = Join with a curved line to form neckline.

9. Line B - H = Bust depth Measurement

10. Line H - I = Front Bust Measurement

11. Line B - J = Armhole depth Measurement

12. Line J - K = Upper Bust Measurement

13. Point L = Mark half way between points F and J

14. Line L - M = Half Across Chest Measurement

15. From Point M, square a guideline up and down, stopping on line JK.

16. Join points G to M to K with a curved line, touching the guideline to form armhole.

17. Line K- N = Side Measurement. Draw a line from point K, touching point I and stopping at Point N.