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Front single dart working pattern part:2

by CJ Flores about a year ago in how to
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The construction of a working pattern

This is the moment I have been waiting for, to finally share my knowledge of constructing a working pattern. I never thought I would get to a point where I felt confident enough to share the process of creating a working pattern. I was fearful and full of doubt that I was capable of doing something like this. However, while I was creating the size 6 working pattern, there was something inside of me that blossomed. It felt like I had never given up on my dream of becoming a world renowned designer all those months ago. The confidence grew inside of me and I remembered why I started.

The skills and techniques I have learned, I will now pass onto you. I hope someday these skills help you become a great fashion designer. I believe in you and I know I don’t know you, but I know you are capable of great and amazing things. Anyway enough of the sappy talk, let's get into the working pattern.


Measurements are essential to any proper working pattern. They come from specific size charts. Size charts are not all the same. As you probably are aware from shopping from store to store, your size varies depending on the size chart they used for their working pattern. This generic size 6 will fit most size 6’s but not all. Creating your own working pattern is essential for proper fitting clothing. With a working pattern you can adjust everything for a proper fit. From bust, to shoulder slope, from expanding or tightening the side seam. All of that information will be a lesson later down the road.

In every working pattern, there is a list of specific measurements we will need. The following is a list of the measurements for the front single waist dart working pattern:

  • Center length
  • Full length
  • Shoulder slope
  • Neck strap
  • Bust depth and radius
  • Bust span
  • Side length
  • Shoulder length
  • Across shoulder
  • Across chest
  • Bust arc
  • Waist arc
  • Dart placement

The measurements I will be providing are for a generic size 6. Below will be the examples of measurements required and full details on how to create a front bodice working pattern.

Working pattern creation

The first step in making the pattern is to lay the paper onto a level surface. If you have a large self healing mat it can help with line work. A healing mat is also important for cutting patterns out as well. A self healing mat is a great investment. By placing the pattern paper on a self healing mat it will help with the next steps of the working pattern creation.

Full length measurement

Step 1. Full length measurement

The first measurement is the full length. The full length is measured from the shoulder to the waist on the dress form or client of the front bodice. On the size 6 working pattern the full length measurement was 16⅞ inches. For the full length we will add ⅛ inch of ease which will add up to 17 inches. On the pattern paper, you will measure 17 inches down the paper. After you draw the line, you will label the top and bottom of the line A and B

7 3/8 inch measurement for across shoulder.

Step 2. Across shoulder

The next measurement is across shoulder. This measurement is from center front to armhole. On the size 6 working pattern the across shoulder measurement is 7½ inches minus ⅛ inch. Which will equal out to 7⅜ inches. You will measure from the top of the full length line A horizontally, draw the line, then label the end of the line C.

3 inch line squared down.

From C, you will square a line down 3 inches.

center front measured from B mark

Step 3. Center front

The center front length is from the pit of the neck to the waist line. On the size 6 working pattern the measurement is 14 ⅛ inches. On the full length line you will measure up from B and mark D at 14 ⅛ inches.

line D squared over 4 inches

From D you will square horizontally out 4 inches.

Bust arc measured over from B 9 3/4 inches

Step 4. Bust arc

The bust arc is measured from center front to about 1 inch below the armhole, this measurement goes over the bust of the right side. On the size 6 working pattern the measurement is 9 ½ inches with an added ease of ¼ inch which equals out to 9 ¾ inches. From the bottom of the full length line, B, you will measure over the 9 ¾ inches and label E.

squared up from E 11 inches

From E you will square a line up 11 inches.

shoulder slope from B

shoulder slope at G mark

Step 5. Shoulder slope

The shoulder slope is measured from the bottom of the center front waist diagonally across the bodice to the shoulder tip. On the size 6 working pattern the measurement is 17 1/16 inches with an added ease of ⅛ inch which equals out to 17 3/16 inches. From the full length measurement at B, you will measure across the body diagonally. Make sure the line touches the C line, then label G.

Bust depth from G

Step 6. Bust depth

The bust depth on the size 6 working pattern is 9 ⅛ inches. On the G to B line you will measure down from G 9 ⅛ inches and mark with a dot.

H mark at 9 1/8 inches on G line

Shoulder length measured over from G to across shoulder line
I mark on across shoulder line.

Step 7. Shoulder length

The shoulder length is measured from full length at the bottom of the neck to shoulder tip. On the size 6 working pattern the measurement is 5 ⅛ inches. From G you will measure up to the across shoulder line and label I.

I squared down to D

Squared line from I to D

From I you will square down to intersect with the D line.

Bust Span squared line from H giving us J and K marks. J is measured from the full length line.

Step 8. Bust span

From the full length line squared over from the bust depth mark, is where we will place the bust span line. On the size 6 working pattern the bust span is 3 ⅝ inches with an added ease of ¼ inch, which equals out to 3 ⅞ inches. Then you will mark J on the full length line and K at the end of the horizontal line.

The L mark halfway between D and J

Step 9. The L mark

This mark is halfway between D and J on the full length line. It measures 3 7/16 inches. You will mark and label L

Across chest measured over from L mark

Step 10. Across chest.

Across chest is measured from center front to the middle of the armhole. On the size 6 working pattern the measurement is 6 ½ inches with an added ease of ¼ inch which will equal out to 6 ¾ inches. From the L line on the full length line you will measure over 6 ¾ inches.

squared line up from M

squared line up from M

Label the end of the line M and square a line up and down from M.

Dart Placement measured over from B

Step 11. Dart placement

Dart placement on the size 6 working pattern is 3 inches. From B you will measure over 3 inches and label F.

F line measured down 3/16 inches

From F you will measure down 3/16 inches. Draw the line and label F.

New strap measured I down to squared line E

Step 12. New strap

The new strap is measured from the pit of the neckline to the side waist. On the size 6 working pattern the measurement is 17 inches with an added ease of ⅛ inch, which totals out to 17 ⅛ inches. From I you will measure down to line E and mark when 17 ⅛ inches meets the E line, then label N

side length measured from N 8 1/8 inches up.

Step 13. Side length

The side length is measured from the bottom of the armhole to the side waist. On the size 6 working pattern the measurement is 8 ⅛ inches. From N you will measure up 8 ⅛ inches and label O.

P mark measured over from N 1 1/4 inches.

Step 14. The P mark.

From the N mark you will square over and out from N 1 ¼ inches and label P.

side length measured towards P.

Step 15. Side length

From the O mark you will make a line that is directed to line P that is equal to the side length N to O. It should be 8 ⅛ inches.

P to F line

From the P line you will draw a line to F.

P to Q line

P to Q mark

Step 16. Waist arc

So we are now at the point where we are making the dart. The waist arc on the size 6 working pattern is 6 ½ inches with an added ease of ¼ inch, which equals out to 6 ¾ inches. Then from this measurement we subtract the amount by the dart placement which is the measurement from B to F. This measurement equals out to a subtraction of 3 inches. Which equals out to 3 ¾ inches. From P you will measure 3 ¾ inches and mark. Label Q.

K to F line for first Dart Leg.

Step 17. Dart legs

From the K mark, you will draw a line to the F mark. Then you will measure the line K to F.

Second Dart leg equal to K to F leg.

The measurement K to F is the same measurement you will use on the next dart leg you will draw the line from K through Q. Then label the end of the new line R.

Bust point

Step 18. Dart point.

The dart has now been made. The point where the dart ends is the bust point. With pattern making we do not want the dart to end at the bust point. It causes the dreaded pointed dart and we do not want that.

Dart Point

From here, you will measure down ⅝ inch from the bust point, then redraw the dart leg lines to the lowered dart point.

R to P curved line

Step 19. Curved lines

We are now at the finishing three steps. What we will need are the french and curved rulers. This step is for the waist arc. You will draw slightly curved lines from B to F and R to P.

Armhole curve.

Step 20. Armhole

The armhole curve touches the G line, the square line of M, and the O line. You will use the french curve to align these markings, when you find a curve that touches all three marks, you will make the armhole curve. Do not follow the curve past the square line.

neckline curve

Step 21. Neckline

1/8 inch line in the center of squared line I to D

From the middle of the square line of I. You will mark a line ⅛ inch out. Then you will draw a curve from I to D that passes inside the angle line by ⅛ inch.

Finished Front bodice working pattern before re-trace

The working pattern creation is done at this point. You will cut the pattern out and re-trace the pattern off on a new sheet of pattern paper. Then you will add the necessary information on the pattern such as, grain line, cut on fold, size of pattern, pattern style, how many to cut, bust point, side seam, center front, if the seam allowance is included or not.

labeling the retraced pattern, Bust point, grain line, and cut on fold.

other various things needed to be added to the working pattern

Lastly, and we will go over it when we finish the back working pattern, we need to true the pattern, to be exact we need to true the dart on the front bodice.

To true the dart, you will need to fold the dart in a way that allows the dart legs to align. Always fold towards the center front or down from the side seam. When we get into the two dart working pattern, I will go further into detail about folding the excess. But for now we will focus on the one dart.

As you can see the dart legs are off by about ⅛ inch after truing. You will mark how much needs to be added or subtracted then re-trace and re-due, for this exercise, I have decided to wait to re-trace until the first fitting in a couple weeks when we make the sleeve working pattern.

And that is it for the front single dart working pattern.

how to

About the author

CJ Flores

Hello, my name is CJ D and I am writer. I love to garden, travel, and explore the world

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