As most call for men’s swimwear is just the briefs it’s probably easier to make a quick block just for the waist to hip region. This is the same as taking only the mid section from the full men’s block, only faster for those who aren’t interested in full leotards or catsuits (to be covered later). From this block you can make men’s swim briefs, swim boxers, pouches, thongs or g-strings … any style really.
There is no real performance difference between men’s and women’s blocks even though men show more physical movement than women (generally). For these reasons we still use 12% negative ease in men’s blocks. Some people do prefer 10% negative ease because it does allow for better sizing overlap, but I find the fit a little soft.
Just as womens’ cup sizes vary, so too do mens’ crotch volumes, although nowhere near as significantly as men would have you believe! Consideration does need to be given to men’s comfort and support as equally as it does for women. This really depends on the style of swimwear chosen so the varying ways of providing support for men will be demonstrated at the pattern stage. Some purists prefer to use a convexed center front seam on the front block but I disagree. Personally, I do not use a center front allowance in swimwear blocks for men and every company you work for will ask for a center front fold. In the subsequent patterns I will demonstrate how to add crotch room and support for men’s swimwear.
The process for drafting the block is fairly straight forward. Before you start each step, look carefully at the illustration for that step as it will help guide you through the instructions. At the end of each step your draft should match the illustration. If it doesn’t go back to the start of that step and work your way through again.
|1-2||Square down waist to hip measurement.|
|1-3||Square across one quarter waist *0.88 (12% negative ease).|
|2-4||Square across one quarter hip *0.88 (12% negative ease).|
|3-4||Join point 3 to point 4.|
|2-5||Square down one quarter waist to hip.|
|5-6||Square across one quarter of the distance 2-4.|
Mirror the illustration left to right to create identical front and back panels (front is on the right, back on the left). Mark points 7, 8 & 9 as illustrated. Also divide the blocks horizontally between waist and hip as shown …first in half and then half again to create 25%, 50% and 75% guide lines. These help for marking waist band and leg holes when it comes to making patterns later.
Mark point 10, one fifth of the distance 2-4 from point 7.
Now it’s a simple matter of joining the dots. I’ve demonstrated this using a red line. Remember that this is a block, which is why I’ve taken it all the way up to the waist. The leg line should cross approximately at the 50% line, connecting the points as shown. Place the front and back blocks against each other at the side seam to smooth out the leg line properly.
Next, place the back panel against the front at the crotch to make sure the leg line is correctly curved and smooth here also.
Retrace the front and back panels, keeping the guidelines on the block. Document the size (or custom measurements), date, authour and that no seams have been added. Again remember that this is a block from which the patterns for each style are then made!