How to Equalise your Fitted Dress Block

How to Equalise your Fitted Dress Block

My women’s fitted block is a tailored, rather formal fit with the side seam sitting towards the back of the body.  The front block is 4cm wider then the back block.  This is a more tailored fitting and entirely appropriate for many garment types.  It’s especially fabulous when used to make a a corset block or tailored jacket block.  The PDF download from the website is the original block and ideal for your toile fittings before cutting any dress patterns.  However many designs will work better if you equalise your dress block, in particular drape dress designs.

In commercial practice I equalise this formal block to assist in standardisation and quality control.  This means the front and back bodice are made equal by shifting the side seaman shoulder seam forward and making them the same width at the hip line.  I’d suggest you do this after your fitted block has been tested and fitted to your individual needs.  It may be particularly important when trying some of the drape dress designs in my pattern puzzle posts.
To equalise the block trace out the front and back dress blocks, side by side as above.
  1. Shift the back shoulder line forward by 1cm and remove 1cm from the front shoulder line.
  2. Shift the side seam forward by 2cm – that is add 2cm onto the back side seam and remove 2cm off the front side seam.
  3. Eliminate the back shoulder dart by removing the equivalent width from the outside edge of the shoulder seam. Front and back shoulder should now be equal in length.
  4. Mark in the new dart position in the underarm area near the front side seam.
  5. Once complete the hip measurement on the front and back are equal.
  6. Walk your sleeve into your armhole and alter the notches accordingly. Now you have an equalised dress block for all your dress and shirt patterns.
Don’t hesitate to ask your questions in the comments section below. 

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Anita McAdam
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