1930s Sew-along with Norma: Transferring the Drape Pt. 2


This posting completes the series Transferring the Drape.  It is part of the 1930s Sew-along with Norma.  My dress has evolved from a fabric drape into a flat paper pattern.

The pattern paper is pressed before the drape is pinned to it.  Then the rulers and patternmaking tracing wheel is used.  After transferring the front and back bodice to paper, the measurement of the shoulder lines is taken.  The back shoulder line should always be 1/2″ longer than the front.  For a sleeveless garment 1/4-3/8″ is good.  The drape worked out well in this area.  The front was 3 3/8″ and the back was 3 3/4″.

Transferring the drape to paper


1. I find that using the ruler guarantees an even line gets transferred to the paper.  It also stops the fabric from moving around.  The shallow curved ruler is good for transferring the lines of the upper part of the armhole.  I also used it to contour the hip curve at the side seams.


2. The Fashion Design Ruler is better used on the lower part of the armhole.  It also has a curve that can be used at the hip line.  Which ruler to use will depend on your preference and which rulers you feel comfortable handling.


3.  The clear plastic ruler can be used for drawing straight lines that aren’t too long.  For the skirt I used my 24″ L-square ruler.  But for the bodice along the shoulder seam and dart legs the clear plastic ruler was good.

When all lines are transferred to the paper, the drape is removed.  The impressions from the tracing are marked in using a pencil.  I recommend using a ruler along the lines to keep everything even and smooth.

The paper pattern

 The impressions of the tracing wheel  were not something I could photograph.  I’m also sorry the pencil lines did not photograph well either.  But I think seeing the finished shape for the pattenrs gives you an idea of how the process turned out.

drapetopaper21_zpse4oolo5fFront bodice and skirt of the dress.

 drapetopaper22_zpsxfixjicuBack bodice and skirt of the dress.

The bodices and skirts were pinned together at the side seams and measured to make sure they are each the same length.  Later I will review the paper pattern again to make sure the neckline curve is smooth at the shoulder line.  I will also look at the armhole curve.

So there you have it.  From all that fabric and pins to a paper pattern.  The next challenge is making the toile and checking the fit.  I will pick up on that soon.  I have a check-up next Saturday and since I go to a clinic I’ve no idea if I’ll have time when I get home to cut the muslin.  So stay tuned until then.  I’ll post any interesting 1930s fashion ads I find during the meantime.

Comparison to the original pattern pieces this style takes inspiration from







9 thoughts on “1930s Sew-along with Norma: Transferring the Drape Pt. 2

  1. Enjoyed the process, thank you.
    Your pattern is very similar to the back of the envelope. I am going to have to try this sometime – I have books with vintage dress photographs and it would be lovely to feel confident enough to make one.
    I have graded my ’30s skirt pattern, cut and fitted a toile and cut out the skirt in the linen. I am planning to do the suit jacket and matching blouse. Currently wrestling with the 1930s machine so I can start sewing.

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