Moulage 3 Done

Moulage 3 took 7 fittings and is not perfected. Although it fits better, it looks worse than Moulage 1. That’s partly because Moulage 1 was so tight I couldn’t breathe and wrinkles couldn’t form.

Seven fittings because I fit one area at a time in small increments.  At one point I despaired thinking I would not be able to fit using Suzy’s system. That changed as I realized the cross back and armscye measurements were wrong. I was surprised when I raised the low hip (by taking a 1″ deep tuck) and many drag lines below the waist just simply disappeared.


One of the last things I did to this moulage, was completely remove the front darts adding 1/2″ waistline ease. It had no effect on the downward dog wrinkles seen below the waist.  Which puzzles me because low-though-high hip could be taken in even more, at least another 1/4″. So I don’t think it’s not enough ease at the hip, but I’ve just proven (?) it’s not lack of ease at the waist.

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The sides are looking  good especially front views and above the waist. There are the diagonals below the waist and some horizontal lines at the back armscye. Not sure if the lines at the back armscye  result from armscye depth, or if the underarm base needs to be longer.  Another possibility, is that I will need round back alteration in addition to adding cross back width.  I would think the round back would be taking care of my the back waist length + the cross back width.

While this isn’t the near-perfection I was hoping for (especially after investing 4 hours of fitting on 3 consecutive days). It is better than I have seen in  the last few months.  I’m going to use this moulage to create the slopers Suzy describes in class because I think it will take a while to get the book and I still want to work with Suzy’s system. Personally I think these possible ‘dry runs’ will be helpful exercises.

I’m looking forward to Moulage 4 which I will do when I read the book along and with my newly printed measurement chart on which I’ve written the adjusted measurements.  I’ve made so many changes and discovered several critical measurement errors that I don’t think my moulage making is truly done. I really think I should get to the point of not having any deep wrinkles. Of course the fabric will develop some during movement but those two areas (back armscye and under waist) should not be this prominent IMO.


6 thoughts on “Moulage 3 Done

  1. It’s looking very good and FWIW, you’ll probably really enjoy Suzy’s book. I love the fact that I have both book and the videos for different components of the drafting (sleeves, collars, etc) and each complements the other in the learning experience.

    I believe those side folds could be pretty easily gotten rid of but you may not want to hear my explanation! If not, please just ignore and accept my apologies for intruding.

    If you look at the last side photo, you’ll see the front hem rising. At the same time, the side seam drops into a bit of a V. Front hem rising says there is not enough length over the tummy area/too much length down the side seam. The two appear in tandem – always. The folds reflect that.

    This can’t be fixed, however, by just adding length at the bottom on the front hem and I think that’s how you’ve been resolving the issue of rising front hem in the past. It’s critical that you add/subtract the body length exactly where your body needs it. It took me many years to realize this but what a game changer it was.

    Your pics show that your waistline is level & on grain. Therefore, you need the length below the waistline.

    To fix it, you need to, in essence, do a tummy FBA. There are a couple of ways you could do this.

    The easiest, because it doesn’t affect the side seam length is to slash horizontally from CF to side seam just under your horizontal waistseam. Slide the CF down about .5-.75″ (an open wedge). Put some tissue underneath the opening and tape. True the CF seam so that it remains straight, completely perpendicular to the waistline.

    I suspect that even after doing this, your pattern may need a bit less side seam length from waist to hem on both the back and the front but you won’t really be able to determine that until you’ve done the tummy FBA equivalent.

    The upper body, shoulder and bust look just excellent, btw.


    1. I’ve been paying more attention to the shoulder and honestly not sure if I have the answer for it. I do know that whatever is wrong at the shoulder will be reflected, amplified even, all the way down. Haven’t really zeroed in on the waist and below. I still feel like the waist is a bit low maybe 1/4″-3/8″ which will make a difference. I won’t know for sure until I take measurements again for Moulage 4. At which time, I will not use the standard lengths given by Suzy. I will use my personal lengths. What’s the point of making a personal sloper and using standard anything? I also look at that diagonal (V) and think back to Shirley Adams who said diagonals were a mismatch i.e. you had the ease just in the wrong place. But you’re right, I’ve been handling this through adding length at the hem and width at the side seam and you may very well be spot-on.

      Question though, Suzy has you make a 1/2″ waist shaping dart. Wonder if that should be more or less for the well padded body?

      Thank you for your comment and information. I’ll keep it in mind as I continue to work on moulage and fit.


      1. LOL, Shirley is right. It is a mis-match but a length mis-match as opposed to an ease issue. In this case it is btn the length of the side seam vs front/back.

        In terms of the front dart, if your figure doesn’t need the dart, then you don’t use it. Similarly, for those of us who are smaller in the back than the front, additional darting is needed back there. That is OK – we are fitting to our individual bodies and what they need at this point and following in the drafting.

        This may be more than you want to know but I can explain how I do & use these drafts. Take from it what you will and feel free to dismiss the rest:)

        What I’ve tended to do over the years for customers, and then had to apply that to myself over the past few years as I’ve had to re-make my own slopers, is to use the basic drafting system to get a basic garment. Then, I use that basic garment to do all my fitting with, transferring the changes needed back to my paper pattern. This can take several iterations but, for me, it was easier to start with clean copies and make a new iteration each time as I went along so that all the markings did not confuse me. For customers, that’s about as far as I took it but for my own or for those for whom I sew a lot, I take it further:

        Once that basic garment is fit the way I want it to – usually a tight moulage fit because that’s at the very core of everything for future drafting & use- then I transfer the adjusted paper pattern onto posterboard. All of the darts, adjustment lines, horizontal balance lines are transferred to the board using my pointed rotary marking too. I then outline the darts and lines in fine sharpie, label the pattern with name, date, weight, and any other notes and cover the postboard with clear mac-tac before cutting the posterboard pattern. I punch out the dart tips and sides so that I can mark the darts quickly when I’m tracing off the moulage to start a new pattern, it’s really easy to mark the darts.

        In essence, I guess what I’m trying to say is that I develop the basic draft (as per any particular drafting system) and then use that as a starting point to finalize my own personalized moulage through hands on fitting. The basic draft is the springboard. It takes considerable time and even more patience to fine tune that final moulage fit and get it “perfect” but, man, is it ever worth it. Believe me, I sometimes stopped short of perfection, thinking that it was close enough, but lived to regret it every blasted single time.

        From that moulage, I then make a sloper fit one and label & laminate it in the same way. (Suzy explains how to do this.) An important point here – one does not replace the other, at least in my sewing room!

        Both of these personalized ones are invaluable in my own personal sewing. They put the fun back in sewing again when I started using them. It is hard to believe I used them when sewing for others for all that time never took the time to do it for myself. Shoemakerès children!

        They hang on the door and I use them both a LOT. I use the Sloper one to check & alter ready-made patterns or as a basis for making my own patterns. I guess the industry would call it a Block Pattern. It has the minimum ease that I am comfortable with for tops and skirts. The very tight Moulage one is useful to check knit patterns with or to use as a starting draft when I am making new knit patterns.

        Just one last observation about shoulder discrepancies. You are very right when you say that the fit follows from there. Something that I have observed is that sometimes the low shoulder can be accompanied by a low hip on that same side. Itès hard to tell from your pics if this is the case with you – it is not apparent at any rate – good news! If it is, though, then the sideseams have to individualized in each garment through the abdomen and hip area. This is really easy to do in the construction and fitting but you just have to be aware of it.


      2. Gayle
        All great informatiom. I’m glad you shared. I also like that you develop the knit sloper from the moulage. SF develops woven slope from moulage and then downsizes woven to make the knit sloper. I’m nervous because I can imagine so many places things can go wrong. I will try SF instructions. I’ve bought fabric specifically for test garments, but I may be asking for more detail about your process.

        Thanks again



  2. Tend to agree with Gayle. wrinkles generally point to the point of stress and seem to me to be pointing to tummy. You have come a long way in my opinion. As you have found correct measurements are critical so I adopt the carpenter’s mantra of measuring twice before doing anything like cutting or plotting. 🙂



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