Drafting children’s bodice block

I’m no longer needed. You can do it all yourself 🙂 There are many methods of doing it. Here’s how I do it.

This block is for children between 1 and 10 years old and it ends at the waistline. It’s for woven fabrics but I will be making another one for knits soon. This pattern doesn’t come with sleeves. I’ll leave it for another time.
When it comes to developing figures blocks need more shaping and darts. I won’t be showing that here.

All values are in cm.

Equipment needed:
– Metric ruler
– Set square
– Grid / graph paper
– Pencil and rubber
– French curve
– Compass

Before we start let me give you a chart with standard measurements you can use. Of course, you can use your own child’s measurements but this is a good place to start with. You can download it here:

If you get confused with any of the steps, contact me on our Facebook group 🙂



I’m drafting a block for 18-24 months old children here. You can check with the tables which values I’m using.

Start from point N.

N-A measurement of the armscye depth (12.4cm)

N-W back length (23cm)

Square across from points N, A and W


Now I’m going to draw back width, armscye width and front width with added ease. The total ease for the bodice made from this would be 6cm around the chest. You can change ease values if you want your garment to be looser.

A-A1 back width + ease 1cm (10.9cm)

A1-A2 armscye width + ease 1cm (7.6cm)

A2-A3 = A-A1

A4 halfway between A1 and A2


Square down from A4 and A3. Mark Intersection points as W1 and W2.


N-N1 = A-A1 Square down to A1


A2-N2 = A3-N3 = A1-N1 + 1cm
This is determined by the fact that the front is longer by 1cm


I’ll be working at the front and back neckline now.

N3-N7 = N3-N8 = N-N5
This equals to 1/6 neck circumference+ 0.5cm (4.9cm)

N5-N6 1.5cm. This value is constant for all the sizes

Draw curves as per my illustration. This is a quite narrow neckline. I will be making it deeper later.


From point N1 measure 1 to 1.5cm down. This value is related to the shoulder slope. Mine is 1cm. If your child has got more sloping shoulders – increase it.


Draw the line joining N6 and S1 and extend it by 1cm.


A2-S3 = N-A -1.5cm (10.9cm)
Point S3 is also determined by the shape of the shoulders. For more sloping shoulders you can mark it lower.
Draw an arch to left and right. It doesn’t have a specific value. Just a couple of cm each way would do.


This is the trickiest part. It’s not difficult but it needs a bit more focus if this is your first block.
Measure your back shoulder length which is already drafted as N6-S2 and subtract 0.5cm. Using a compass draw an arc with a radius that equals that value and mark the intersection of two arcs as S4.
Mine N6-S2 is 7.6cm so I’ll be drawing a 7.1cm line here to S4.

But why is the front shoulder shorter you might ask. Yes, this is correct. Back shoulder excess will be eased in. This is the allowance for shoulder blades.


Points A5 and A6 are approximately 1/3 of line A1-N1.

From the point A6 draw a horizontal line to the left (0.5-1cm). This is to make sure that the movement of the arms is not obstructed. Mine is 0.5cm.


You can now draw a beautiful armhole using a french curve. If you don’t have one, don’t panic, just take your time and draft a very smooth curve joining all the points. Make it look similar to the one in the picture.


Now add a little bit extra to your front hem. You can add less than me.

W2-W3 1cm
W1-W5 0.5cm

Join points with a smooth curve. The beginning of it at W and the end at W3 should be at 90 degrees angle.


But we haven’t finished yet. What we’ve created so far is a fairly well-fitted pattern but for a garment with sleeves. You don’t need as much fabric at the armhole.

Can you see points Z in the drawing? I raised armscye by 1cm, mark point Z1.
Points Z2 and Z3 on the shoulders are 1cm away from the edge.
Points Z4 and Z6 are 0.5cm away from the curve and we also raised those by 1cm just like the armscye depth and mark them as Z5 and Z7

Test those values on the toile. You might end up adjusting them slightly.


Draft new armhole as per picture to the left (blue curve).
To me most important thing is that curves look really smooth. If you miss your point by 1 mm that’s ok but make your armholes pretty.


The last thing to do is to deepen your neckline. I made it deeper by 1cm all the way around and added an extra 1cm to the front so N8-X2 is 2cm. You make it even deeper at the front but don’t change the back neckline depth.

IT IS DONE NOW! Congratulations! Now test it, adjust it, play with it, make changes and find your perfect fit 🙂

Next stop will be blending the pattern but I’ll leave it for the next time. Good luck 🙂

If you need help with any of this, join our Facebook group here

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