[Module 4] Create the Base Template | 6. Draft the Back

The following instructions will take you through creating the Back Base Template draft step by step as you did for the Front draft.

The Back Base Template can be drawn on the same sheet of paper as the Front if the paper is large enough, and the Lower Hip line can be drawn in line with the Front Lower Hip Line but not all guide lines are going to line up with the front once it is drawn mainly because the front has extra Darts taking up space on the paper.


Drafting Below the Waist

Step 1

Draw a line parallel to the right edge of the paper lengthways approximately 1- 2 inches from the edge. Or start a new sheet of paper to do this if you prefer.

I simply line up my ruler with the edge of the paper and draw down the other side, shift the ruler up and complete the line.

This line is going to be the Centre Back so label it somewhere in the middle.


Step 2

Set the paper portrait so that the line drawn is on your right.

At the bottom draw another line perpendicular and squared off from this Centre Back line a couple of inches away from the bottom of the paper. Again I line up my ruler with the bottom edge of the paper and draw down the other side along the length of the ruler.

If you are drawing the Back draft on the same piece of paper as the Front then this line may have already been drawn out.

This line is going to be the Lower Hip line so label it.

Check the measurement of the Back Lower Hip from the calculations table then measure this out from the Centre Back and mark the measurement.

This side of the diagram is going to be the Side of the pattern so label this side as the ‘Side’. Write down the measured amount next to the lines label.


​​Step 3

Find the measurement for the Lower Hip Depth.

Measure up from the Lower Hip Line along the Centre Back Line and mark this measurement on the Centre Back Line.








Step 4


Draw a perpendicular line at this mark squared off from the Centre Back Line, draw it a couple of inches longer than the Back Waist measurement actually is.

Label this line as the Waist and write down the Back Waist measurement and the Back Waist Dart width and also write down the amount for Centre Back shaping which is 3/8”, the same as the Waist shaping next to it, obviously you can change this amount if required, this may change anyway during fitting the Test Garment.


Step 5

Calculate Back Waist + Waist Dart + Waist Shaping (3/8”).

If the Back Waist Dart works out to be < or = 0 then use ¼” for the Waist Dart.

Always consider using a Waist Dart as it is going to break up the pattern and allow you more flexibility in shaping/fitting and creating a Princess line seam.

Step 6

Measure this amount along the Waist Line from Centre Back and make a mark on the Waist Line at this point.








Step 7

Mark the Waist shaping amount 3/8” from the Centre Back on the Waist Line.

Then from this point mark half of the Back Waist measurement this will be the Back Waist Dart Centre Line eventually.

From that point mark the Dart Width measurement (i.e half of the Dart with marked each side of the Dart Centre Line, you can see how one side of the Dart Centre Line has been measured and marked in the photo).

Step 8

Here you can see how both sides of the Dart, the Dart Legs have been marked either side of the Dart Centre Line. Draw a perpendicular line from this point squared off from the Waist Line down to the Lower Hip Line.









Step 9

From the Dart legs on either side of the Centre Dart line mark points 3/8” below the Waist line.

This will be an allowance for Waist shaping.

Draw short lines down to these two marks from the Dart legs.

Measure and draw a line 3/8” lower than the Waist line from Centre Back to the new line for the inside Dart leg.

(This line is parallel to the Waist line).

Draw a line from the new line under the outside Dart leg to the Side Waist point, this will be a diagonal line.

You can change the amount for Waist shaping if you wish, I like 3/8 as it is an amount that is not too fiddly to work with but not too wide that it takes out too much fabric, this amount may change anyway in the back after a fitting, lots of people have a sway to the back and this will be accounted for in the fitting. Having this Waist shaping in place gives you a Guideline when fitting the Back and a starting point to work from if a sway back is pronounced. I have to take out inches at this point for my garments to fit properly and get rid of those extra folds you can get at the Waist Centre Back. More about that when we look at fitting.


Step 10

Measure a mark on the Centre Back Line down from the Waist for the Hip Bone Depth.

Draw a line perpendicular from this mark and squared off from the Centre Back line a couple of inches longer than the Back Hip Bone measurement.

Label this line Hip Bone and write down the measurement next to the label.


Step 11

To work out the Waist Dart length measure the distance between the Hip Bone Line and the Lower Hip Line and work out approximately what 2/5th of that measurement would be. An easy way to work this out is to change the measurement of inches into eighths as we did in the Front. Lets say the distance is 4", that would be 4 x 8 (the number of eighths in an inch). 4 x 8 is 32, so that is 32 eighths 32 / 5 because we want to break this number into fifths, is 6 with 2 left over (ignoring the leftovers because we want an approximate amount) 6 is 1/5 so 2/5 is 12 eighths or 1 1/4" Make a mark at this point on the Centre Dart line.

This point denotes the end of the Waist Dart.

Draw in the rest of the Dart legs for the lower part of the Waist Dart from the line marked 3/8 below the Waist down to this new measured mark.


Step 12

Measure the width of the dart on the Hip Bone Line and add that measurement to the length of the Hip Bone Line.

Mark this point on the Hip Bone Line measuring from the Centre Back Line.

This is to ensure that the Hip Bone Line is measured correctly not including the space that the Dart takes up.


Step 13

Measure the distance between the Hip Bone Line and the Lower Hip line and work out approximately 1/5th of the measurement. Remember to make it easier transfer the inches measurement into eighths.

Mark the 1/5th measurement down from the Hip Bone Line on the Centre Back line.

If you have not done so already extend the Back shaping line down to the bottom of the Waist Shaping, this is a short straight line parallel to the Centre Back Line. Then join from there to the new mark made at the Centre Back Line. This line will be drawn on a diagonal.

This will form the Centre Back shaping for below the Waist.


Step 14

Draw the side by joining the end of the Lower Hip Line and the Hip Bone Line using a straight line.








Step 15

Draw the side by joining the mark on the Hip Bone Line to the Waist Line using a straight line.












Drafting the Neck Area

Step 16

Mark on the Centre Back the Centre Back Length measurement up from the Waist Line.

At this mark draw a line squared off and perpendicular to the Centre Back, the line will be around 10” long.

Label this line the Base Neck Line and note the neck measurement for the Back Neck Width.














Step 17

Mark a point along this line from the Centre Back for the Back Neck Width measurement, label the point ‘z’.

Draw a line perpendicular and squared off to the Base Neck Line at point ‘z’. The length of the line is the measurement of the Back Shoulder/Neck Intersection measurement. Label this new point ‘x’.


Step 18

At point ‘z’ lay down the ruler to draw a 1 inch line at a 45 degree angle going in a right and up wise direction on the right side of the last line drawn. Can you see how the 1/2" squares on the ruler line up with the Base Neck Line and the Back Shoulder/Neck Intersection to get that perfect 45 degree angle. The mark is made right on that diagonal line like a little 'T'.

Label the end of this line ‘y’.












Step 19


Draw the neck line in. Join ‘x’ to ‘y’ to the Neck Base Line, flattening the line off at the Neck Base Line 1/2" before getting to the Centre Back Line to allow a smooth transition across the Back of the Neck.

You can do this by hand or use the French Curve to do this in two passes from the top to the middle then from the middle to the Base Neck Line.

You may need to smooth out any peak in the middle. As I am using pen I have put short lines through the curve I no longer need but if you are using your pencil just rub it out until you are happy with the curve.

If you can’t hit y because of the gradient of the curve then don’t worry it is just a guiding point.


Drafting the Shoulder

Step 20

Calculate Shoulder Length + Shoulder Dart width.

Place the ruler at point ‘x’ and pivot the ruler down to the Base Neck Line for the calculated measurement.

Label the line Shoulder Line.


Step 21

Mark a point halfway along the Shoulder Line for the centre of the Dart.

Mark the Dart legs on either side of this point each should be half the Shoulder Dart Width measurement away from the Centre Dart mark.

(If you don't have a Shoulder Dart as you may be drafting for a child for example just mark the centre of the Dart).