How to draft half scale block pattern


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What is a half scale block pattern; one might ask?

A half scale block pattern is a scaled down version of your full scale block or pattern to half size or 50%.
It is useful for developing your ideas and for practising pattern making concepts. Note that you can draft a half scale bodice block for any size that you like; size 8,10, 12, 14, all the way to 26.

You can also draft a half scale block for any type of block; bodice, sleeve, skirt, dress, trouser etc.
You can also draft it for your individualised blocks and this will give a more accurate outlook when you test out your desired styles as opposed to using standard half scale blocks. In fact this is the best option for developing your bespoke patterns.

How to draft a half scale block

There are two ways that you can draft your half-scale block. They are:
a. From scratch using all your measurements you used for your full-scale block, but in this case, you would halve all the measurements.
b. Secondly you can also downscale directly on a copy of your full-scale block.

I will further illustrate the second method below using my front bodice block.

You can also use this method to scale down any of your block patterns; the back bodice, darted bodice block, sleeve block, skirt block, trouser block and dress block.

Check out my previous post on how to create the dartless basic bodice block here. I also created a video for you on how you can adapt your dartless basic bodice block to a darted basic bodice block here.

Details on how to draft a half scale block

Method a. Creating the bodice block from scratch – You can draft the half scale block using the bodice block making steps but applying half of all the measurements you used for your bodice block.
Method b. Directly downscaling your full scale block – This method is created directly on a copy of the full-scale block by down scaling the full scale block to the desired proportion. In this case, we are down scaling to half.
Note that you can also use this method to down scale to other proportions. For example two-third 2/3) scale, one-third (1/3) scale, quarter (1/4) scale, one-fifth (1/5) scale, one-sixth (1/6) scale.

I have illustrated below the steps involved for down scaling a full scale block directly, to half scale or 50% of original size;

  1. Trace out your full scale block

2. Label the reference points you used in the drafting of the full scale block as shown

Draw lines from all the reference points to the a central point. In this case it’s point B

Half scale block

Measure and mark the half way points on all the lines as shown

Half scale block pattern

Now connect all those points in the same way as the full scale block and you will notice you have created a half-scale of your original block. I also went ahead and marked the armhole depth line and the waist line on the halfscale block.

Half scale block pattern

I then went ahead and outlined the button stand and the folding allowance for the half scale block, as shown below

Half scale block pattern

Finally I went ahead and traced out the half scale block on a fresh piece of pattern paper and cut it out. I also cut around the full scale block. Below, I have placed the full scale and the half scale blocks side by side.

Half scale block pattern

I do hope you give it a try and please leave me a comment letting me know how you got on. I would appreciate also if you share photos of your draft with me.


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