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Pattern Making

birdlady1 | Posted in Patterns on

I am now doing the spread and slash and pivot method for the bodices.

I am also creating my pattern book notes and pictures which needs to be handed in at the end of the class term so the teacher can review it and mark it. 

1.  What I would like to know is when marking the information on your pattern for the bodices, (I note that in Helen Armstrong’s book, that on the centre front she put “cut on fold”.  In that case, when I mark Cut…, do I put Cut 2 self or Cut 1 self?) I know that cutting it on the fold will give me two front pieces but I just want to make sure I mark it down properly on the pattern piece. 

2.  Also, when we create a new dart for the front bodices, do we fold the new dart and take the wheel and perforate and trace the new lines across like example the Shoulder-Tip and Waist dart.  I know it does not show this.  I only see it where new darts for gathers, etc. are in the book.

3.  After marking the new dart legs with a dot and circle, do I also create the seam allowance inside it?

4.  Because I am doing 1/2 scales and Armstrong’s book indicated that you must do a new dart point at 1/2 ” from the old dart point, I wasn’t sure because I am doing half scale that the new dart point should reflect 1/4″ from the old dart point.  I tried it and it did not look right so I opted to go 1/2″ from the old dart point.  I hope that this is correct?  I seems to look correct using the 1/2″ mark doing it that way.

In my last class, because I was not sure of myself, I do not know if I was marking things or doing this properly.  That is why I would like to recheck everything.  I want to get as many top marks on my homework as possible.  Hopefully it will bring my total mark at the end up to where I pass this time.

I appreciate any information that you can provide.


  1. sewchris703 | | #1

    1.  According to page 60-61, you mark the front "1 self" because it is one piece.  The back is in 2 pieces so that pattern is marked "2 self".  Remember, this is patternmaking for RTW and pattern pieces are not cut on the fold.

    2.  Follow the  directions on page 69, figure 5, Tracing the Folded Dart.

    3.  According to figure 4 on page 71, seam allowances are created inside the dart legs.  This eliminates bulk in the  dart area.  If you do that then you don't need to do #2 above.

    4.  The new dart should be the same distance from the bust point as the old dart.  On the 1/2 scale bodice, that distance is 1/4".  On the full scale bodice, the distance is 1/2". 

    1. birdlady1 | | #2


      That was what I thought about the bodice front being only one piece but if you look at pages 90 of Armstrong's 4th edition which is the Shoulder-Tip and Waist Dart, you will see in figure 3 that it printed on the centre front "Cut on Fold".  Also if you look at the other pages, from 70 onward, it does state "Cut on Fold".  If you only cut one piece which I agree with you, then why have they printed "Cut on Fold". 

      Also, I am not sure that when you do the new dart line on both sides of the dart and place your new dot and circle, do you mark your seam allowances inside it?  Please see page 72, figure 3.  You will see that old bust point and the new one.  After the new dart legs have been marked as shown, you do then inside those new lines mark 1/4 inch on each side for the seam allowances?  Also, do you fold the new dart lines and at the end of the that dart take the perforated wheel and then trace the perforated lines or just leave that section alone? (see page 69 figure 6 for what I am trying to ask..."pencil in line).

      Thanks for your response.  It is helping.


      1. sewchris703 | | #3

        According to page 6, all original patterns are half patterns, hence "cut on fold".  It's the production pattern that is a whole pattern and doesn't get the "cut on fold".  Since you are working on original patterns for class purposes, your patterns need to say "cut on fold" if it's a half pattern.

        Page 72, figure 3:  You are confusing two different points--the bust point which doesn't change and the dart point which is 1/2" away from the bust point.  Most, if not all, single darts have seam allowances to reduce bulk in the finished garment.  They get 1/2" seam allowances unless they have an extreme curve according to page 60.  If the dart gets seam allowances, you don't have to fold and trace them.  Page 69 shows both methods.  Figure 3 shows the dart excess trimmed and 1/2" seam allowances added to the dart legs.  In figures 4 and 5, the dart excess is folded and traced.  The finished dart with a 1/2" seam allowance added at the waist is shown in figure 6.  You will need to add the punch and circle for the folded dart.  They aren't needed for a dart with the dart excess removed and seam allowances added to the dart legs.


  2. jjgg | | #4

    >>>1. What I would like to know is when marking the information on your pattern for the bodices, (I note that in Helen Armstrong's book, that on the centre front she put "cut on fold". In that case, when I mark Cut..., do I put Cut 2 self or Cut 1 self?) I know that cutting it on the fold will give me two front pieces but I just want to make sure I mark it down properly on the pattern piece. <<<Birdlady,When a pattern piece is cut "on the fold" you will end up with only one piece, not two. It will be both halves of the pattern piece. If you look at a commercial pattern it has a long line running vertically to the center seam and then arrows that come at a 90* angle to the long line. That symbol indicates the piece is placed on the fold. This is a home sewing symbolIn production (industry) sewing, as mentioned by another poster, the fabric will never be folded. You would have many layers of the same fabric and the pattern piece would be cut with the entire piece (in other words, you would have both sides of the front or back in one pattern piece). Also, the color of the markings on the pattern would indicated if it was fashion fabric (self fabric) or lining or underlining. Those are all noted in different color inks.For school purposes, I suppose it's what ever the teacher wants you to write. We were given very specific instructions on what we were to annotate on the pattern pieces - such as our name, the date, the class, the teacher , what the pattern piece was etc.

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