About a year and a half ago, I tried drafting a bodice block
for the first time. It worked out all right, got a lot of use and still fit me reasonably well, but I had drafted it without sleeves, adapting the armscyes for a sleeveless body from the start. Recently I thought it would be a good idea to at least have the option of sleeves (and I wanted to know if I could draft them) so it was back to the drawing board!
I started from scratch instead of trying to reverse engineer the armscye, and a few days of scribbling and sewing muslins followed. The main problem was trying to find the perfect balance between the sleevecap height and the size of the armhole, but after a few tries (and some advice from sewing friends, thanks guys) I landed on something I was happy with (it looks like it fits AND I can lift my arms!).
So what does one do after going through all that? Why, make a sleeveless dress of course!
|Look at this great picture from really far away so you don't see any details.|
I bought this cotton lawn along with the fabric for my black jeans
because it was pretty, and fully intended to make a floofy dress out of it. All I had to do was make my brand new block into a sleeveless bodice, scoop out the neckline and add two giant gathered rectangles for a skirt!
I'm quite pleased with how the fit on this bodice turned out! The instructions in the book I used were a bit... random at times. They don't tell you to go by measurements to place the bust point, but just say something like 'this much down and this much to the left'. I did it their way first and corrected this after the first muslin. I also changed the dart placement a bit and rotated the shoulder dart into the side seam.
The shoulder darts on the back were tiny so I just rotated them out entirely. I'd rather put that shoulder dart action into a back seam, especially on a print! I went with a v-neck in the back for this one, since that's nice when it's warmer. One thing I did make sure to do is mark the 'lowest' points on my block pattern, meaning te lowest a neckline can go before my bra shows/things get indecent. Same for how wide a neckline can get before I need extra action to keep bra straps in check.
I lined the bodice in cotton voile and used some leftover Venezia for the skirt lining. I did make sure to make the lining about half the size of the outer skirt since that was already poofy as hell and I didn't want to go too crazy! It gives a nice amount of volume now, and makes sure the cotton skirt doesn't stick to my tights.
I tried SO HARD to make the print match across the back, but the repeat was too big and I didn't have enough fabric. Boo! Thankfully it's not too obvious in this busy print, but it was still frustrating (because I know I can do it!). I do like how my poppy tattoo kind of looks like an extension of the dress. In black and white then.
All in all it's a pretty good first result from this new block. It fits well and I still have room for food. Maybe the next thing I use this for will have (gasp!) sleeves!
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