Friday, October 11, 2013

tutorial: how to draft an a-line pattern

It is really simple to draw an a-line top (or dress) from a basic bodice pattern.  You can download my free basic bodice pattern (sizes 18 months - 5T) HERE or you can use a pattern you already have.  I outlined my original pattern in blue to make it easier to see in the pictures.  I am working with the back bodice piece here, but the concept is the same for the front and back.  I would encourage you to draft the back piece first since it is easier to get an accurate length measurement.


1. Trace your pattern along the neck, shoulder and armscye.  The second picture just shows what you need to trace without the original pattern in the way :)


2. Draw the line for the new side seam as shown in the picture below.  The angle of the line is personal preference ... the red line is the one I used for the rest of the illustrations.  For a narrow aline move the line closer to the original pattern piece (green line) and for a wider aline angle it further away (blue line).


3. Draw a perpendicular line from the bottom of the armscye across to the center fold line (the edge of paper in my picture)


4. Determine how long you would like your finished top/dress to be (be sure to add a hem allowance) and make a mark on your pattern.  In the picture below, this is the bottom of the line that measures 14".  Then measure from the line drawn in step 3 to the mark you just made.  For me, this was 10 3/8".  It is not necessary for you to draw the blue lines like I did ... they are just for illustration purposes.


5.  Transfer that measurement to the new side seam drawn in step 2 and make a mark.  Again, you don't need to draw the line ... that's just overkill on my part :)


6.  Draw a gently curved line from your mark along the center fold and the mark along the new side seam.


7.  When you draft the front bodice piece, make sure to use the same measurement for the side seam as you did for the back piece so they line up correctly when it's time to sew. Unless asymmetrical is the look you are going for, in which case, you can use any measurement you want :)

And that's it ... you are done!  Enjoy your new pattern :)

13 comments :

  1. Awesome thanks!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. How do I know the bodice pattern I printed is correct size? What must the print settings be?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Open the pattern in Adobe Acrobat Reader and print at original size with no scaling. Do not print directly from Dropbox.

      Delete
  3. thank you so much! my daughter saw an aline dress she wanted and all the patterns i found were for size 10 and under, I had a bodice pattern that fit her proper so this was a cinch to draft

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad to hear it! I always love when there are no new patterns to buy :)

      Delete
  4. Do you only cut one back piece, or two? I'm wondering how you account for the closures on the back, as I'm use to adding snaps/ buttons for ease of wearing. Any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for the tutorial and the pdf.Now I am ready for my daughter's A-line dress!

    ReplyDelete
  6. After getting a drop foot brace in March, I'm having to refashion my clothing to including leggings. I was wondering how to add fabric to an already made garment on the sides to allow ease into my dresses and longer blouses because of the leggings added padding width, when a girlfriend sent me this on Pinterest. Now I know how to modify my dresses because I can visualize the addition. Thanks for the tutorial.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm pretty new to sewing... For the botice there is no mention of a seam allowance,
    What do you suggest?

    ReplyDelete