• Kaine

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

Updated: Dec 7, 2019


Principles of pattern drafting

In this chapter, we shall be drafting the Basic Bodice Pattern. We shall draft the Front and Back together as I feel this method is the quickest and most accurate. We shall be drafting without any ease to make it more straight forward. Ease shall be added in another lesson.


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)


  1. Full length Front (Shoulder to waist)

  2. Full length Back (Shoulder to waist)

  3. Centre Back

  4. Centre Front

  5. Across shoulder

  6. Shoulder

  7. Bust Depth (Shoulder to Bust)

  8. Bust

  9. Upper Bust

  10. Across Chest

  11. Across Back

  12. Waist

  13. Apex width

  14. Side

  15. Armhole



IMPORTANT! Download Basic Bodice Calculation Worksheet Here first


The Front Bodice Draft

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 (7cm)

4. Line A – E = From Point A upwards, mark Centre Front Measurement. Square a short guideline across

5. Line B - F = Bust depth Measurement

6. Line F - G = Front Bust Measurement

7. Point H = Mark half way between points E and F

8. Line H - I = Half Across Chest Measurement

9. Point J = Mark half way between points H and F

10. Line J - K = Front Upper Bust Measurement

11. Line B – L = Line BE minus 1/4inch (5mm).

E.g. If Line BE is 3, then Line BL is 3 - 1/4 = 2 3/4.

12. Line L – M = Shoulder Measurement. From point L, draw a line touching line CD.

13. From point L, draw a guide line at right angles to the shoulder line

14. Line E - L = Join with a curved line to form neckline.

15. Point N = Mark half way between points L and M on shoulder

16. Line F - O = Half Apex width Measurement

17. Line A – P = Line FO minus 1/2inch (1cm). Join points O and P with straight line

18. From Point I, square a guideline up and down, stopping on line JK. Mark as point Q

19. Join points M to I to K with a curved line, touching across chest point, forming armhole.

20. Line K- R = Side Measurement. Draw a line from point K, touching point G and stopping at Point R.

21. Line RS = Front waist measurement minus Line AP.

E.g. If front waist is 9, and Line AP is 4, then Line RS will be 9 - 4 = 5.

Draw the line from Point R touching the waistline at point S.

22. Join Points O and S with a straight line.

23. Lines OP and OS are the dart legs and they must be of equal length.

Measure Line OP and compare it to Line OS. Depending on your result, you may have to shorten or lengthen Line OS. In the example above, I had to shorten it a little.

After adjusting line OS, join the new Point S to Point R with a straight line.

25. Join points N and O with a straight line. This is just to mark a princess line.


This completes the front bodice pattern. Next we shall move on to the Back Bodice Pattern.

Thanks for reading and see you in Part 2: Pattern Drafting: Basic Bodice (Back)

Did you know that you can also watch this lesson?



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