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Seriously need help understanding the text book Pattern making for fashion design textbook by Helen Joseph Armstrong

Stylez.sa | Posted in Patterns on

Okay first off i am a college student. I had problems with drafting my front bodice. The instuctions that I am following is from the book titled pattern making for fashion design by helen joseph armstrong. There is this part where the author writes ( * Ease : Total 1/2 inch at bust level when side seam is drawn. Like what i dont get it. Does she mean 1/2 down,up,right or left. And ever with these instuctions the bodice still comes out iregular. Now i done this before in school but never on my lonesome my teachers wont help me. although i pay a ton to go to school at the a.i. Please help. I dont this slope like 10 times and am still stuck. If anyone has this book and understands it. Help a sistah out.


  1. carolfresia | | #1

    Ease in a bodice draft

    I have an older copy of the Armstrong book, but can't quite find the sentence you mentioned about ease. However, I suspect that what is meant here is that, when you draft the front, it should end up being 1/2 inch larger across the body at bust level (from side seam to side seam) than the actual body measurement. This "wearing ease" is just enough so you can breathe when you put on the bodice. You need more ease in a garment, but you add that later when you're making a design.

    If your copy of Armstrong is like mine, here's where this comes in: When you are making the front bodice draft, the fourth step has you draw line  B-E, which uses the bust arc measurement, plus 1/4 inch.  You square a line out this distance from the center-front waist. This results in 1/2 inch total ease when the half-pattern is doubled to make a full garment (1/4 inch + 1/4 inch).

    I hope this helps! Good luck with your pattern drafting.

    Carol Fresia

    Threads Technical Editor

    1. Stylez.sa | | #2

      Thanks for the help.

      Okay I went back and read it, after reading and understanding your explination. Thank you so much i get it now. All this time I thought that she was talking about the dart legs. I have no Idea why. I knew that half an inch ease must be added for movement but I always did that step first. So that I can get it out the way. But I see thats not a good idea. That sentence is just telling me that once the side seam is drawn it will equal to 1/2 and inch. Am I correct ? anways I love you so much for this. Made it way easy and allowed me to see where i was not getting it. Ill try again lets hope this works for me. Keep in touch please.

      Sherwin Aime

      1. carolfresia | | #3

        You're welcome!

        Hi, Sherwin Aime,

        The instructions can be tricky to follow--I always have to read them through a few times. Part of what's confusing here, I suspect, is that she says "when the side seam is drawn"--which makes it seem as if you're supposed to be working on the side seam length. But she means "the side seam isn't there yet, but when it finally is, you'll have 1/2 inch ease." This ease is horizontal--across the front-- rather than vertical, along the side seam.

        I hope this is working out for you.

        Carol Fresia

        1. Stylez.sa | | #4

          More Help

          Helllooooooo :)

          Okay now i have a few more questions to ask. So does that mean When im done the pattern I dont have to add 1/2 inch because it already has it or is it saying add 1/2 after ?

          1. carolfresia | | #5

            Adding ease...

            Hi, again,

            I'm not sure as I don't have that edition of the book to refer to. I suspect it means that, since you added 1/2 inch during the drafting process, that is all the ease you  need...for the sloper. For a style garment pattern, you can add as much ease as you want.


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