Moulage Fini

Seven (7) fittings later, I’m finished.  I’m not counting the fitting sessions of the 3 previous moulages.


Fit01 (above) was really a net of the changes to Moulage1 through 3.  I remeasured both circumferences and levels which confirmed the changes/alterations made to Moulage 3. The single significant change is that I opted to use the tummy measurement instead of the waist measurement when drafting the moulage.  That decision was a result of measuring the levels and realizing that my tummy was 1″ lower than my waist.  Most people will find 1″ down isn’t significantly different. For me, it was 3″ more circumference. I’m rather like the women with heart shaped bottom halves except my width is in front instead of at the top of the hip bones. I repeat, all the other differences were derived from the alterations which produced a relatively nice but not perfect moulage. I thought I needed only transfer alterations and perhaps a final tweak. All the hard work had been done.  I mean 3 moulages with 12 fittings, should I not be expecting near perfect from Moulage 4?

Fit 2:


But no, there I was slogging away alteration after alteration. Checking and rechecking my measure and calculations. Adding a yoke to the shoulder; pinching away fabric; letting out seams; or taking them in; on and on

Fit 3:


Until to my horror, I realized my alterations were creating the same issues that drove me to attempt drafting.

Fit 4:

I remember reading about drafting patterns several times. After endless plot such and such point at distance from distance/plot or up distances blah blah blah; the finish was always add seam allowances and  make a test garment aka muslin.  I mean even the pattern drafting instructions say after you draw it all out, then figure out the fit.

Fit 5:

This experience, painful though it was, has convinced me that my original impression was correct: Drafting is not a fitting tool –at least for my body– it’s a starting point. It something to have in your hand besides flat tissue or fabric.

Fit 6:

I can’t seriously  complain about Suzy’s class. Nor the book. Pattern drafting is comprised of a lot of information. I found that the book with instructions in a list to be a great assist to the class but not a replacement. No foolin’, having Suzy explain and demonstrate saved me several times.  I would have preferred drafting the back first. In the book, Suzy explains that the industry always drafts the front first. It’s a textbook. It’s an intro into a world for the would be designer, pattern maker, or other fashion industry individual. It makes sense that she wants to teach good habits up front. For the fashion industry, drafting the front first is the standard. While I’d prefer otherwise, I have to concur that she made the best decision i.e. teach these guys they way they will be expected to work. Give them the tools and habits they need to work.

The I give up, Fit 7


I stumbled on  standard levels.  Apparently from waist to shoulder, I’m pretty standard. Not below. That caused most of my issues with the first moulage.  When I drafted Moulage 4, I found that starting with personal levels (7″ instead of 9) made a difference in where the armscye settled and from there how the armscye is drawn and connected to the shoulder.

After all the time, effort, materials $$$, I expected a workable shell. I got nothing. I’m not using the one above (Moulage 4); and the one below


Moulage 3 won’t work either. Why? Because Moulage 4 is the physical ‘net’ of all the changes made to Moulages 1-3. The alterations combined of Moulage 1-3 put into a new moulage produced a horrible shell.  If I open up the seams of Moulage 3, measure and copy back to tissue, I’ll have the tissue for Moulage 4.  What’s the point in that? I already have a tissue of Moulage 4.

But, I must admit I understand patterns better. I understand where these measures come from and why certain lines look like they do and are placed where they are.  In the future, I may find the information helpful when making fitting decisions even if it has not been helpful in achieving a fitting shell.  My biggest regret is investing so much time. It’s not enough to measure and plot points. At some time, the knowledge of the body and its issues has to supersede mathematical calculations and precise drawn lines. I should have quit with Moulage 3.





2 thoughts on “Moulage Fini

  1. Okay Bev – I hear the frustration in your post so put off commenting initially. I’m sorry to read that you feel you’ve wasted both your time and money because I see remarkable and impressive progress.

    We’re obviously seeing very different things in Fit 7, for instance.

    All, and I mean literally ALL, I’m seeing is a smidgeon of excess length in the side seams from waist to hip.

    Shoulders and upper body are excellent. The Centre front length and width looks terrific. The Centre Back length and width looks terrific.

    That bit of excess length is from about the dart position on the front to the dart position on the back.

    If you were to pin that waistline seam a bit deeper – maybe .25″ max at the side seam and taper out to 0 by the time you reach the darts, you’ll get rid of those excess little folds.


  2. Suggest you put it away for a week or two; pull it out and try on again–maybe with Gayle’s suggested change–and see if it looks better to you. OR you can cyber slap me right now! :0



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