Bella body block: Sewing Instructions

Bella is a block, not a pattern

A block is a basic shape on which other patterns are based. They are sometimes also called slopers, although purists will argue that a block and a sloper are different things.

Blocks are typically not made as-is but rather serve as a basis for other patterns so the instructions below will not go in depth about closures or finishes and are for the default Bella block.

Step 1: Mock-up Construction

  • Close the front bust and waist darts.
  • Close the back darts.
  • With sew the backs to the front at the shoulder seams, easing the backs to fit the front.
  • With sew the backs to the front at the side seams.

If you are making adjustments you may wish to sew the seams wrong sides together to make them easier to adjust.


Bella has a back dart only when it is needed, based on the measurements and design options. If the back dart is not needed then it will be omitted from the pattern.

Step 2: Try it on

  • Try it on and check the fit by pinning the back closed whilst wearing it.
  • Make any alterations and try it on again.
  • Repeat until you are happy.

If you do not have someone to help with pinning, you may find it easier to cut the front part in two with seam allowance rather than on a fold and sew the back seam up so that you can pin in the front when trying on.

Keep an eye out for anything you keep doing whilst wearing the mock-up, are you pulling it down? Constantly adjusting the shoulder? etc. Things like these are signs of where the pattern may need adjusting.

Sometimes you may need to wear the mock-up for an extended amount of time to get a better sense of the fit so don’t be afraid to walk around in it for a couple of hours.


Remember to treat Bella as a basis rather than a final product, so adjust what you need to get the desired look.
For instance:

  • Change the neck line
  • Add/change the closure allowances
  • Alter the dart placements
  • Add a collar

It is all up to you! Experiment and go forth!

Step 3: Make a paper pattern

  • Once happy with all your changes unpick your mockup and make a paper pattern based off of it.
  • Now you have a pattern you can use to produce a garment.

It is best practice to make a paper pattern from the mock-up if you have made any alterations, as this will allow you to clean up any lines but also means you have a pattern that you can keep producing garments from.