Drafting the Dress-Form. Part 1.
So I have equipped myself with rulers, patterns, scissors and markers of two different colours, and it’s time to start drawing a grid for building my dress-form.
I draw a vertical line (the middle of the dress-form) and draw a horizontal line (the shoulder line) in the upper part of the sheet.
I will use a red marker for all values of the front of the dress-form and a black one for those of the back.
I start from the front and the back shoulder widths.
The front shoulder width measurement is 33cm. I divide it in half and get 16.5cm. I mark it on the shoulder line left and right of the vertical line.
The back shoulder width measurement is 31cm. I divide it in half and get 15.5cm. I mark it on the shoulder line left and right of the vertical line.
I mark the shoulder length (10cm) inwards from the ends of the front shoulder width.
I mark the neck base to bust middle measurement (23cm) down from the end of the shoulder length (point A) and draw the bust line.
The bust middle measurement is 18cm. I mark 9cm on the bust line left and right of the vertical line (points B and C).
Then I draw a perpendicular line through the end point of the front shoulder width (point D).
And I mark the front shoulder slope measurement starting from the bust point (point B) and up to the shoulder tip. It is 21cm in my case. I mark point E on the perpendicular line. We can see the shoulder slope now.
This way we have maintained both the width and the height of the shoulder. I join the points.
And I transfer the construction onto the other side of the dress-form.
I mark the bust front measurement left and right of the centre. My client's bust front measurement is 46cm, so I measure 23cm in each direction and mark the notches.
Let's see how much falls upon the back. My client's bust circumference is 86cm. I subtract the bust front measurement (46cm) and get 40cm. This means 20cm from each side of the dress-form will fall upon the back. I mark the notches.
Next I step 8cm below the bust line and draw the under-bust line.
Let's make calculations. The under-bust front measurement is 40cm and the under-bust circumference is 78cm. Therefore 38cm will fall upon the back (nearly as much as at the front). So I'll do the same thing I did with the waistline, stomach line and hip line: mark the entire circumference in quarters.
I mark 19.5cm on the under-bust line left and right of the central vertical line.
It's important to check the location of cups at this stage. I have always told you there should be 5-6cm between the cups and the side seam. I want to mark the location of the cups first. Let’s assume the side seams cross the bust line through the notches of the bust front measurement 23cm from the centre. I mark 6cm inwards from those notches and get the end points of the cups.
I draw the waistline in order to check if the cups are placed correctly. The waistline is usually 10-11cm below the under-bust line.
By the way the golden mean principle tells us that the distance between the under-bust line and the waistline should equal 1.5 of your palm width. My body is more or less close to my client's body so I can easily check if I've chosen the right location for the waistline.
I draw a low neckline that will leave the entire centre of our dress front open.
I put the first cup in place with regard to the low neckline. I will shape it with the help of an arched underwire before setting it in.
I mark the location of the underwire and outline it.
Of course these are only preparatory markings. Later we will determine the location of the cups more precisely.
I refer to my client's nape to waist measurement to double-check the location of the waistline. In her case this measurement taken from the waist up to the seventh cervical vertebra is 38cm. I step 1cm below the shoulder line and mark it. Now I can see that my client's waistline should be 2cm higher than it is.
I re-draw it and move the under-bust line up to the level of the cup underwires.
Determining the location of waistline is a very important step in dress-form construction. The thing is measurements often lack perfect precision. I have already brought the waistline in correspondence with the nape to waist measurement and now I'd like to check its location with regard to the back shoulder slope. This measurement equals 43cm; it is taken from the point where the waistline intersects with the spine and up to the shoulder tip (i.e. the outer end of the shoulder seam).
I can tell I need to adjust the location of the waistline again: and namely, shift it down by 1.5cm. I draw the final location of the waistline.
I mark a half of the waist circumference on the waistline. My client's waist circumference is 68cm so a half of it makes 34cm. Therefore I need to mark 17cm left and right of the centre of the dress-form.