Over the past two weeks, I have posted tutorials on how to draft the basic bodice sloper (click here to see the tutorial for front bodice and click here to see the tutorial for back bodice). Before I move onto the sleeve draft, the front and back bodices must be trued.
For all newbies to the subject of slopers and blocks, I’ll give a quick definition of truing. Truing patterns is the process of checking and correcting seam lines, shapes, and measurements on a pattern. It’s the process of making sure the seams of two adjoining pattern pieces equal, making sure both legs of a dart are the same length, and making sure that shapes are smooth as they continue through different seams. If truing is not done, then when it is time to sew, one seam or dart leg may be longer than the other and stretching or easing any seams that aren’t meant to be will cause puckering.
Although this tutorial covers how to true the bodice sloper or block, it can be applied to any pattern truing situation. Essentially, every pattern that is altered should be trued.
So let’s get to it…
Darts and right angles:
To true darts, fold dart along the center of dart intake and match stitching lines starting from dart point. With intake folded towards either CF/CB or SS, check if dart legs are the same lengths. If they are not, increase or decrease dart leg accordingly and redraw seamline that dart legs connect with to create a smooth transition as the seam continues through the dart.
When a seam meets another seam, an example being when SS meets waist seam, almost always the seams should be at right angles to each other. The exceptions are necklines and armholes at shoulder seam, which I will explain just below. If these points are not at right angles to each other, when the seam is sewn, the seam will be point up or down. With that said, check to make sure all points except AH and neck at shoulder seam are a right angle. It is okay if you have to curve the seam right before this point.
To true the neckline, butt the front and back pattern pieces together at neck/shoulder seam. Using a curved ruler, draw a smooth curve from front neck to back neck (or vice versa). This point does not have to be at a right angle; just use common sense, the neck is a circle, how could this point be at a right angle?
To true the armhole, butt the front and back pattern pieces together at AH/shoulder seam. Using a curved ruler, draw a smooth curve from front armhole to back armhole (or vice versa). According to textbooks, this point “should” be at a right angle but in my opinion, it doesn’t have to be. Every person’s body angles and curves differently and your front or back armhole may be too scooped for this point to be at a right angle. Try your hardest to make this point a right angle as it is “better” but if you can’t, then don’t sweat it. A smooth transition is more important.