Draft a Basic Pattern Block

The following is used with the permission of Master Jose Fellipe Francisco - Un Sastre de Madrid. It is a method of drafting using a system of drafting known as "Old Thirds." This is only a small portion of a paper written by Master Jose. Directions for making a doublet pattern using his directions can be found under "1575 AD Elizabethan."

Body Draft

Step 1

Take the measurements. You must first have your tape. A length of ribbon or paper the full span of your reach should be enough. After you have your tape, mark one end as the end from which all the measures will be marked. Next begin to take the measurements.

  1. C = Chest at the fullest point, tape held level and over the shirt with 3-4 fingers of ease added in.
  2. W = Waist at the narrowest, with 2 fingers of ease added in.
  3. BL = Back Length from Nape to lumbar hollow even with the waist.
  4. SH = Shoulder from the side of the neck to the bony process.
  5. SL = Sleeve length from the bony process to the meaty point below the wrist.
  6. N = Neck all the way around, with 1-2 fingers of ease added in.
  7. H = Hand aroung the "duck" hand as though it were being pushed through a sleeve, with 1 finger of ease added in.
  8. BI = Bicep at fullest point with muscle flexed, with 2 fingers of ease added in.

Once these measures are marked correctly on the tape, write a name on it in ink. It is quite a frustration to find these ribbons with marks and not know to whom they belong.

Materials needed to make the draft are:

Step 2

Draw line AB using a straight edge and the BL length from the measuring tape.

Step 3

Mark point C and 1/2 AB.

Step 4

doublet pattern

Point D 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 finger widths below C. (2 1/2 is used for chests below 38" and 3 1/2 is used for chests over 46".)

Step 5

Square out from A, B, and D 1/2 chest (note that ease has already been added in the measuring.)

Step 6

Connect opposite points and label E, F, G as shown.

Step 7

Fold measuring tape to 1/3 of half cheast and mark point H from line EFG.

Step 8

For point I use 1/3 half chest plus one thumb width from line ABD.

Step 9

Square down from these points to line FD; mark points J and K.

Step 10

1/2 of J to K = L.

Step 11

1/4 of J to L = M.



Step 12

1/6 Neck plus one finger width = A to N.

Step 13

A to N = E to O and E to P.

Step 14

For separate collar on entire garment, raise point N 1 finger width above line EA.

Step 15

Square in from P and O to point Q (for garments of earlier period this whole square can be set back from the center front to create a more curved chest fit, the visual difference is minimal.)

Step 16

Connect P to O with a quarter circle line (this should measure approximately = shoulder or 1/6 waist).

Step 17

Draw guideline two and a half finger widths below line HI. Label R and S.

Step 18

O to T = shoulder measure to mark (or guideline).

Step 19

Make a mark about half way between I and S (note that you may need to draw a horizontal guide line through this point as the shoulder measurement does not always meet this exact point.)

Step 20

N to U = shoulder measure to mark (or guideline).

Step 21

K to V = halfway between S and K.

Step 22

Connect U to V with a gentle curve. Maintaining approximately 90 degrees at point U.

Step 23

J to W = 1/3 R to J; move W one finger width towards center front.

Step 24

Connect T to W; W to M and L to V with a smooth curve maintaining 90 degrees at point T.

Step 25

Determine where you would like the side seam of the garment.

Step 26

Square down from point L. This denotes the actual side of the garment. A side seam may be place here for other styles of clothing.

The basic block is complete.

In order to find out if the pattern will fit correctly, measure the armhole and mark back of parchment. AS armseye. The armhole = 1/2 chest measurement.

Sleeve Draft

It should be understood that both halves of the sleeve are drafted on top of each other. After drating, one of them is traced.

Step 1

sleeve pattern

Draw line A to B using SL mark from measure tape.

Step 2

Point C is 1/2 A to B.

Step 3

C to D is two and a half finger widths below C.

Step 4

E equals 1/2 C to A.

Step 5

Square out from E, A, B and D

Step 6

Centered over point E, mark 1/2 bicep plus 1 finger fullness. Place a guide mark.

Step 7

Mark point G two and a half finger widths below A.

Step 8

Mark point F half way between A and G.

Step 9

Square out from F.

Step 10

A to H and A to I are both 1/4 armscye measurement from the body Draft.

Step 11

Connect A to H and A to I with a gently curving line.

Step 12

Connect G to H and G to I with a gently curving line.

Step 13

Mark a point two fingers toward J and label B.

Step 14

B to J = 1/2 hand measure from measurement tape if not using a buttoned cuff.

Step 15

B to J = 1/2 Wrist plus one or two finger widths if using a buttoned cuff. NOTE: This line will change angle when the outer edges of the sleeve are drawn.

Step 16

Add measurements of line BJ and bicep together. Divide by two. The resulting measurement is the elbow width.

Step 17

Center the resulting measurement over point D. Label the ends of this line K and L.

Step 18

Connect K to H and L to I with straight lines. These lines will pass close to the marks for the bicep but may be slightly larger or smaller depending on the size of the sleeve cap. Use a straight line from elbow to sleeve cap. Women will likely have a smaller bicep than sleeve cap and should gently curve the line from elbow to sleeve cap. This makes a graceful and attractively snug fit without constriction of the wearer. Connect J to K and B to L.

Step 19

Lower point B until a slightly curved line can connect the points J and B with approximate 90 °ree angles at both. Be sure to correct the measurement so that it is still 1/2 the hand measure.

NOTE: This is a half and half sleeve with the seams on the front and back of the arm. Traditionally, a tailor's draft is done with both halves drawn on top of each other. At the cap, the upper curve is the out-sleeve and the lower curve (through point G), is the under-sleeve pit/scye.

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