Blending Sizes 101: Bodices (adults)

Blending sizes in adult bodices is similar to children sizes, except there is a difference in how you blend for height. Adult sizes also need to look at cup sizes and bust adjustments, but that part will be a separate article! Today we are looking at blending sizes between upper bust, waist, and hip sizes, plus what to do when you need to adjust the length of the bodice for side waist.

In this example, we are looking at three different sizes. We will use the red line as the upper bust size, the orange line as the waist size, and the green line for the hip size. In a dress bodice that ends at the waist you wouldn’t worry about the hip, but this is a tee bodice to show hip as well. The horizontal line across the bodice is the lengthen/shorten line for side waist adjustment.

First, draw a vertical line at the armscye point of the upper bust size. In this case, that is red.

Next, draw a vertical line at the waist point on the waist size line. In this case, orange. If you were using a dress bodice that ends at the waist, the waist line would typically be the bottom edge of the bodice.

Finally, draw a vertical line at the hem at the hip size line.

Draw in the new bodice. Draw the neckline, shoulder, and armscye using the upper bust size line. Then connect down to the waist size line, then the hip size line.

If you are not adjusting length, that’s it! You can blend the line you drew connecting the points so it is nice and smooth. For adjusting bodice length, you will begin by finding the lengthen/shorten line on the bodice piece. Boo and Lu patterns are drafted for an 8″ side waist. Usually, you will add/subtract half the difference between 8″ and your side waist measurement. So if you have a 9″ side waist, you would add HALF an inch. If you had a 10″ side waist you would add 1″. If you had a 7″ side waist, you would subtract half an inch. Side waist is measured on the side of your body from the upper bust line to the waist line.

Cut your bodice pattern piece across the lengthen/shorten line. Then spread the two pieces apart (or overlap them) the needed amount.

Re-draw the line connecting the two pieces. Slide a piece of extra paper under your cut pieces and tape them together if you are lengthening.

Blend your line as needed. You’re done!

That’s it! Blending sizes on a bodice is much easier than it can seem. All Boo and Lu patterns will also include instructions for blending sizes specific to that pattern. This tutorial should give you a good foundation for how to complete the steps. In another article in this series, I will show you how to do bust adjustments, adjust skirt length, sleeves, and more!

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