I'm starting what I guess we can consider my second blog series, the first being my Fashion Drawing tutorials (that I still need to finish up, I keep putting off editing and filming the other videos...) Back on track here, If I'm going to show you how to create some of the dresses, skirts and rompers that I find on mod cloth, and probably a few other websites, the we'll need to start off with the very basics. The next post will be the drafting of your personalized bodice block, I'll probably split them up into separate posts for the from, back, sleeve and skirt. The shorts will be a completely different post, but that will come when I find a romper that I have my heart set on.
The most important thing that you will need for drafting patterns and using commercial patterns is your measurements. if you're using a commercial pattern, then there are usually only 3 basic measurements that you use when picking out the pattern, your Bust, Waist and Hip measurements. Those are the numbers that correspond to the basic sizing on the back of commercial pattern sleeves. For the purpose of this post, I'm going to be giving you a list of 33 measurements that you will need in order to draft your own patterns. I would recommend you get a friend to help you measure yourself, because I can tell you from experience that doing al these measurements by yourself is extremely difficult and frustrating, especially when you get to measuring things on your back.
I purchased the book Little Green Dresses (Amazon links - Canada - USA) from Chapters about 2 months ago, it cost me about $27 in the store, you can get them cheaper online. I bought the book mostly for the 2nd chapter on pattern drafting, and being able to create my own pattern blocks.
|This should help to explain where each measurement is taken.|
What You Need:
A flexible measuring tape
(60" is the standard, you can get ones that are 120" as well)
A Pencil and Paper
A chair or other surface you can sit on
Optional: A piece of string or narrow elastic to tie around your waist
1. Full Bust: measure around the fullest part of the bust and back, making sure the tape is parallel to the ground all the way around.
2. Full High Bust: Measure around the body just above the full bust.
3. Full Waist: Measure around th waist at it's smallest point. Find this spot and keep it as a reference of other measurements by tying a piece of string or narrow elastic around your waist and letting it settle.
4. Full Hip: Measure around the fullest part of your hipline, typically about 7-10 inches below the waist
5. Full Front Length: Measure from the high shoulder at the neck to the waist.
6. Full Back Length: Measure from the high shoulder at the net to the waist
7. Center front Length: Measure from the front neck base to the waist.
8. Center Back Length: Measure front eh back neck bending point to the waist.
9. Center front Width: Measure from the front of the neck base to the shoulder tip.
10. Center back width: Measure from the back neck bone to the shoulder tip.
11. Front Bust: Measure from side seam to side seam across the fullest part of the bust.
12. Wide Back: Measure from side seam to side seam across the fullest part of the back.
13. Across Chest: Measure from mid armhole to mid armhole across front.
14. Across Upper Back: Measure from mid armhole to mid armhole across back
15. Front Waist Width: Measure from side seam to side seam across front waist.
16. Back Waist Width: Measure from side seam to side seam across back waist.
17. Front Hip: Measure form side seam to side seam across front hip.
18. Back Hip: Measure form side seam to side seam across back hip.
19. Bust Level: Measure from shoulder tip to bust point.
20. Bust Bridge: Measure from bust point to bust point.
21. Halter: Measure from the high shoulder at the neck to the underarm at the side seam (also called the strap measurement)
22. Shoulder Length: Measure from the high shoulder at the neck to shoulder tip.
23. Neck: Measure around the widest part of the neck.
24. Arm Length: Measure from measure from the tip of the shoulder to the wrist with arm bent.
25. Arm Span: Measure from wrist to wrist with arms outstretched and the measuring tape behind your head.
26. Bicep: Measure around the fullest part of your upper arm.
27. Wrist: Measure around the wrist.
28. Side: Measure from the underarm to the waist along the garment side seam.
29. Side Hip Length: Measure from the waist to the hip level along side seam
30: Crotch Depth: Sit on a chair and measure from the waist to the top of the chair seat along the side hip.
31. Inseam: Measure along the inside of the leg from the crotch down to just below the ankle.
32. Out-seam: Measure from the waist to just below the ankle along the side seam.
33. Ankle: Measure around the ankle.
Your Dart Start involves a little math. if your full waist is 24 inches then you don't have to worry, it's just 3 inches. For any larger than that, you must add 1/8 inch to that original 3 inches for every inch larger than 24 inches.
Back Dart: 2 inches *
Front Dart: 1 inch *
* if the difference between your FULL WAIST measurement and your FULL HIP measurement 10 inches, then your dart measurements are as listed above. For every inch less than 10 inches, subtract roughly 1/8 inch from the dart measurement above. For each inch over 10 inches, add roughly 1/8 inch*
Check back for the next post: Drafting The Bodice Front