Moulage 4: Prep

Surprised and delighted, I received my book a few days earlier than expected. Primarily to check the high hip and low hip levels, I took measurements a 2nd time.  This time I took the circumference measurements at my levels not the standards.  I also measured the distance between levels. My high hip is about 3″ down from my waist and the low hip another 3″ below that. So 3 and 6 rather than 4.5 and 8.5.  The second thing I was looking for was the progression of circumferences. It seemed like my tummy rounded out immediately under my waist rather than smoothly increased in size between waist and hip. I confirmed this (and the hip levels) by measuring at 1″ intervals below my waist.  Surprise to me, I’m 3″ larger  1″ below the waist.  I really do round out immediately! There were minor differences in several other measures.  I decided to keep the upper body measurements as is, because that part of the moulage is looking really good.  From waist below, I adopted the new levels  and measurements. At the waist, I opted to use the larger tummy measurement and work on closer fitting with darting at the first fitting.

I photocopied several of the pages which pertained to moulage. I’m nervously confessing to this because I could be violating some copyright or another.  My purpose however, is not to share but to have a place on which to scribble.  I took my copies to my easy chair and worked through the calculations.  There is something to be said about making these without one eye and part of the brain still trying to watch the video which discusses the very calculations I’m trying to compute. I worked in pencil so I could erase as needed (and it was).  Once calculations were made and checked, I took all back to my cutting table in the Stash Room.

Id like to say it was easier and faster to map out the moulage this time.  It was. took me 2 hrs 20 minutes as opposed to about 6 hours the first time.   Part of that is of course the previous practice and gained understanding. But partly it’s because I had all the information right there. At my fingertips.  I was not watching a video or making calculations. The photocopies pages were a stroke of genius.  Several times I said to myself “Wait. When did I plot G or K or k.” The instructions in the book are pretty much in alphabetical order and it was easy to check back and see where I had missed a point. Even at that, about a third of the way through I started crossing through the line as the point was plotted so that I did not accidentally skip points.  On the back, I opted to slide the shoulder over 1/4″ now instead of waiting for the first fitting.  I knew from Moulage 1 that the front would gap.  The solution is shifting/sliding the back shoulder over 1/4″. The wider back neckline will pull on the front and remove the gaping.  I had another objective in mind as well.  I knew that my back waist length combined with my shoulder length and armscye measurements would make it difficult for me to create a nice smooth armscye curve.  Previously I’d increased the shoulder dart to 1″.  That extended the shoulder line enough to draw a nice curve on paper but it made for a deep dart. By sliding the shoulder, I needed only add 1/4″ length to join up with a nice armscye curve.  As a result, my shoulder dart need be only 3/4″.  Somehow a 3/8″ dart is not nearly as awkward as a 1/2″ deep dart. For Moulage 4 I erased fewer times, but I did have occasion to erase. My finished moulage was much cleaner than the first moulage.

Visually, I compared Moulage 1 with Moulage 4.  Overall I could see the waist was a little differently shaped; the side seam came up higher as well as the armscye. That did make it easier to draw the armscye.  However,  I once again could not connect the back armscye points without extending the shoulder line the extra 1/4″. As noted in the previous paragraph, this gives me a nice armscye curve but requires a deeper dart when stitching.

As nice as the drafted moulage looked, I traced with a Sharpie creating a Clean Copy  First o work with. Also,  I want to be able to go back to the original draft if I need to make corrections. I hung the draft up and started working with the clean copy.  I made a few changes.  The back and front shoulder slopes were different. As Suzy pointed out, these really need to be alike, for most people. The shoulders have to sewn together. Fabric will ease, but unless you specifically need/want a deviation, the shoulders need to be balanced.  I removed 1/2″ height from the front and added it to the back. This then requires that the shoulder slopes be redrawn; lengths verified and darts centered. Which brings me to this tool:


It’s used for centering.  I purchased it several years ago and use it occasionally. Enough to keep it around. With moulage, I gave it a real work out. 0 (zero) is located in the center of the ruler. Measures extend from the center (0) to the ends on both sides of zero. It has both metric and inches.  I used the metric side because that was side which evenly and easily divided 5-1/8″ into 2 pieces. I turned it around and marked the 3/8″ darts on either side of zero.

Shoulder correction made in red ink.

I made an additional change on the front. I did the shoulder slope then opted to redraw the side seam as if a waist dart would not be used.


When redrawing the front side seam, it assumes a more typical shape i.e. wide at bust, dipped in at waist and wider again at hip. However I think that the drafted waist with the wonky side seam is more me shaped.



6 thoughts on “Moulage 4: Prep

  1. “The second thing I was looking for was the progression of circumferences. ….From waist below, I adopted the new levels and measurements. ”

    Your jaw will drop when you try on this new moulage and see the effect of this!! Excellent move – you’re now drafting for your individual body. Am looking forward to seeing the next rendition.


  2. I just took a draped tshirt pattern class with Lynda Maynard, and I think the back and front shoulders can have different slopes. If your current draft doesn’t work so well. You may try a draft with different slopes and see what happens.


  3. I know a smidgen about copyright law- I’m no lawyer but I have some experience with copyright (both music and lierature). No worries about making copies for yourself to scribble on (or line the cat box with or whatever). That’s considered fair usage; you’re not copying it so you can avoid buying it – it’s already yours. You’re not copying it to present as your own work, to sell or to hand out to all your friends and family, those copies are for your use alone, and so long as you make fewer than say, 250 copies (there’s not a set limit – it’s case by case basis to determine what’s reasonable/fair use, and someone would have to take you to court to establish that anyway), just relax & copy away!


  4. Long time reader here, trying to be better about making comments: I deeply admire your process and determination. I am just really getting into addressing fit issues, accepting that it isn’t always my limited sewing skills, so I am learning to work through issues to get to TNT options. It is comforting to know that not everyone sees straight out of the envelope. I cheer for you when you reach each step of success, and cheer you on when you are still grinding through your journey. Thanks for sharing so much with so many. BTW, is there a school in your area that has fashion design? Maybe there’s a teacher or student who you could hire to help you with some fitting, even if taking pictures of pinning…or a church f2f fat matter that much have people looking for occasionally odd jobs….just a thought- which you may have already tried since I haven’t read all of your archives. One of our prior churches had a sewing group- I had job and 3 children so I was not active, then we moved.


    1. Thank you. I’m in a desert as far as sewing is concerned. I’m the only dressmaker for miles around and for many years. When we first moved here, people came to see my machines and were awestruck. So no local help. The ASG’s have all disbanded. There are a few quilting groups but quilting is not the same as dressmaking–they wouldn’t know where to measure the arm for an armscye any more than I did. I depend upon the internet and friendly people like you. I’ve posted pics of my rear in pants at least 500 times because your opinions gave me the solutions!

      Thanks for dropping by, hope your sewing is going well.



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