At the end of the moulage class at The Sewing and Design School, I had a complete set of custom master patterns. They are priceless! The blue indicates the moulage, the pencil indicates the bodice sloper, and the green indicates a jacket sloper. These master patterns can be used to design my own patterns or alter the fit of commercial patterns. My current goal is to learn to draft a few basic bodice styles. Then I can mix and match those with different skirt styles to create a variety of customized dress patterns.
First, I traced the bodice from the master pattern and stitched it up in muslin to evaluate the original draft. The fit is on POINT! The dart depth, length, and placement are perfect. The front and back length are exact. Waist and hips are correct. No full bust adjustment or sway back adjustments are needed! The only thing I noticed is that the underarm area is wide and spacious. Perhaps the slopers are drafted to accommodate sleeves or I may have made a mistake. I’m not sure but I know that I want to experiment with a sleeveless bodice so I’ll take that into account when I make some design changes.
I traced a second copy of the master pattern so I could experiment. I made three modifications.
1. scooped out the front and back neckline
2. reduced the side seam at the underarm and graded to nothing at the dart for a closer fit
3. reshaped the armscye to make it sleeveless
Since I’m experimenting and learning as I go, another muslin was needed. I stitched this one in a cotton chambray and included a lining. (click to enlarge)
I’m very pleased with the outcome. I’ve never had a pattern fit so well on the first try and to think…I drafted it! This basic bodice can be modified in so many different ways. Make a v-neck or scoop it out. Add sleeves or make it strapless. Let out the bust dart for a boxy crop top. There are so many possibilities with this basic bodice and the best part is that it will always fit!
I’m heading to NYC in just a few days for a sit-and-sew with Kenneth King. EEEEK! I’m so excited! I’ll learn tried and true pattern drafting techniques. I want to get his feedback on this and then take it to the next step. Updates to come.
For details on making a moulage, click here.
Update 7-22-2016 – Read about my experience in NYC with Kenneth here. He made some minor adjustments to the neckline and the shoulder seam of the bodice. He also taught me how to omit the side bust dart. The bodice now has 1 dart under the bust. We did the same modifications to the neckline and shoulder of my self-drafted princess seam bodice. It’s not pictured on this page but you can see the results here.