Darted Versus Dartless Bodice Block

 Is the bust fitting and back shoulder fitting darts (as shown on Diagram A) always necessary?

A number of pattern drafting methods have you draft the bodice block with a bust fitting dart in front and sometimes a short shoulder fitting dart at the back. The bust fitting dart may be positioned during drafting at the corner of the shoulder (Natalie Bray); At the corner of the Neck (Aldrich) or at the waist (Armstrong). 

It is not all the time that a garment require a bust fitting dart. Instead of transferring the dart elsewhere where it would create unwanted fullness, why not start with a block that has eliminated that step (of transferring fullness) yet remains fitted?

I have seen methods whereby the bust fitting dart is transferred to both the armhole and neckline thereby enlarging the armhole and neckline; I do not want that. Also, I personally think the shoulder fitting dart at the back is somewhat useless, I rarely use it.

This is where the “dartless” bodice block (Diagram B) comes in.  This block is simplified has it does not include a bust fitting dart in front and a shoulder dart at back. It can be foundation for a number of styles especially those styles that need not be clingy e.g fitted shirt, blouses, shift dresses, jackets etc.

Interestingly, for me, both A and B blocks are closely related because block B is the foundation on which I build block A. I know this won’t be so for a number of pattern makers but I always draft B first, then construct the bust fitting and shoulder darts on to it. So therefore they fit similarly and the same sleeve block fits into both. All the parts from A are interchangeable with the parts from B. That is I can select diagram A front (i.e with bust fitting dart) and select diagram B back (i.e no back shoulder dart) then combine. Smart pattern making! don't you think?

I have now made Block B (dartless) available for purchase in the pattern shop here. You can download the size 10 only for free here. The paid version comes in sizes 6 to 14, A4/US letter tiles and large paper size (A0).

Now you can draft all those styles you have been wanting to without worrying about what to do with the bust fitting dart.