Are you new in pattern cutting? Or do you want to practice drafting the basic blocks? In this post we review in quarter size how to make the basic dress block. You can find our instruction on our basic dress block here.

Before you make the dress block in the size you want, it may be an advantage for you to make the dress block into a quarter size at first. Then you can get used to the instruction before you make the dress block into a full size pattern. You can use the measurements we have inserted in our instructions on the basic blocks. It is a standard size 38 and all the quarter size illustrations are made according to the size 38. If you are in doubt about something, you can compare your drafting with the illustration.

Before you are ready to make the dress block into a quarter size, find the tools you can see in the picture. The instruction on the basic dress block, a scissor, an eraser, a pencil, a protractor and a quarter-scale ruler. 

If you do not have a quarter-scale ruler, we have a printable version here that you can print and cut. Print on a slightly heavy paper/cardboard. To print it in the correct size, print on an A4 paper with the page scaling set to none. If you want to print the instruction too, it should also be printed on an A4 paper with the page scaling set to none.

If it is the first time you use one of our instructions on basic blocks, we would recommend you to read the entire guide before you start. Look closely into the illustration next to the text as you read the instructions.

Our instructions on basic blocks are divided into two parts. The first part is an illustration of the completed instruction. Once you have made the basic blocks a few times, you will be able to use only this part of the instruction. The second part is an in-depth review of the instruction, where all the steps in the construction of the basic blocks are shown and explained. This is the part we will review below. You can read more about our basic block here.

The step-by-step review of the dress block starts on page 3 in your instruction. There you can see an illustration that shows the lines that will first be drawn on your paper. Read the instructions and draw the lines indicated on the page.

As a rule, when drafting the basic block or the basic sleeves, you always start by drawing the ‘boxes’ you have to work within and around. So you start by drawing all the vertical and horizontal lines that are indicated in the instruction.


On page 4 the instruction continues. A new 'layer' of guide lines and point has now been added. The text to the left of the illustration explains how to draw these lines and where to mark the points on your dress block.

On page 5 the last part of the construction itself is shown and explained. Here is added another layer of lines and points and all outer lines and darts can be drawn on the dress block. Only one step is left for you to do – the alignment (bust dart), which is reviewed on the next page.

On page 6, the alignment is shown and explained. The alignment of the dress block is the part of the construction that forms your bust dart. You must locate the part of the pattern on the front to be aligned. You can take a new piece of paper (it must be slightly transparent) and copy the part of the pattern you located and transfer it back on your dress block.

You have now made a quarter size dress block and you are ready to make the dress block into a full size pattern. If you want to make the dress block in a custom size, start by taking the measurements you need for this instruction. You will find a list of the measurements you need at the first page in the instruction. You can find a guide on how to take the body measurements here.
You can also use our measurement table if you want to make the dress block in a standard size. You can find our measurement table here

Let us know what you think!

Best regards
Helle & Christina





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