Flat Pattern from Draped Fitting Toile

Update on draped fitting toile

As things would go I no longer have muslin with which to sew up the fitting toile.  I thought it would be good to share photos of the flat paper pattern created from the draped toile.  I have two orders for muslin coming in so I should be able to start after Labor Day.

I am amazed how much the resulting pattern reflects my imperfections.  Which is a good thing, because it means the results will be accurate.  I think you can see the little upward curve my abdomen takes on the front skirt.  This is where the surgical packing was placed to repair an incisional hernia.

I always find it so interesting to see how an individual’s resulting pattern or drape varies from the examples given in a book.  For example, I have sloping shoulders which results in a need to lower the armhole so I can move my arms freely.  A standard set in sleeve is usually a bit too high up under the arm to be comfortable when you have sloping shoulders.

Here are the photos for your review.  Please feel free to ask me about the process of transferring the muslin to the paper pattern.  Since I’m such a geek who loves every part of this process I’m happy to provide additional information.

Photos of the paper pattern


This figure comes from the book by Nurie Relis and Hilda Jaffe that I am using for creating a draped basic toile.

The front of my basic skirt only has one dart instead of two.  I noticed with this system there isn’t such a curvy fit over the hip.  This might work out better for me since there is a 1940s skirt I’d like to make that doesn’t have any darts in the front.  It is not quite a pencil skirt but is definitely not flared or A-line.  It is a style I’d definitely like to try.  I think a skirt like that would be good for weekends and busy days.

The back of my toile has two darts as in the example given.  I am looking forward to seeing how this fits and looks.

Notice how the shoulder dart is very small and the amount by which I had to lower the armhole.  There was an additional 1/2″ needed.  When I followed the standard instructions it was too tight.  Still I think a full toile is needed because a 1/2 toile is only good for spot checking a few details.

That small dart from the shoulder surprised me.  I thought it would have at least 1/2 to 3/4″ intake.  As it is I find it annoying to work with but since this is the basic I will go with the instructions.  When I actually start sewing, that little dart will be transferred into the vertical bust dart below or worked into other darts, tucks, or details.

I haven’t made the fitted sleeve with elbow dart yet since this is new territory for me.  I think the unfitted sleeve is a better start.  I need to see how this cap turns out when sewn into the armhole.  1 1/4″ of ease is quite a bit.  Even the shape of the cap is different from the one that resulted when I used the French Fashion Academy system to draft flat patterns.




Update on my fitting toile: Going with draping all the way


I am working my way through many fitting issues now that I have a custom made dress form.  The French Fashion Academy drafting system is not working out for me as it did in the past.  I have decided to try draping instead.  I think I am making progress with creating a basic toile.  I am using the updated edition of  “Draping for Fashion Design” by Hilda Jaffe and Nurie Relis as my guide.    I provided a brief review of this book in 2013 but will post about the updated version once the toile is fitted and finalized.

The difficulty I was having with the French Fashion Academy method is that the intricate series of steps and measurements needed so many tweakings to accommodate the changes surgery made to my body.  As in altering a commercial pattern, all it takes is one adjustment in an area to set off a series of adjustments needed to other pattern pieces.

Even the draped toile has been a challenge.  At least the results look flattering and for this reason I shall persevere.  The fit of this toile will be more relaxed since this is a system created in America where our concepts of fit are different.

The major challenges lie in positioning the darts.  For the basic I follow the instructions in Jaffe and Relis’ updated book.  The bodice front and back vertical darts are positioned at the princess lines.  The first darts near center back of front and back skirts are also positioned near the princess lines.  This may be technically correct but visually I think they look too close and unflattering.  After resolving all fitting matters I will try moving the first skirt darts and the vertical bust dart slightly to the left of the princess seam.  I think 3/8 to 1/2″ will be sufficient.  Or else right in the middle of the waistline of each piece.

The sleeve you see here is a combination of drafting and a little bit of draping that involves smoothing and easing the cap into place.  This is the unfitted sleeve.  I want to focus on the ease first.  Once that is worked out I will try a fitted sleeve with elbow dart.  Following this system I have 1 1/4″ of ease in the cap.  That is a lot.  But the instructions are to ease stitch the entire cap and work out shrinking the ease after the cap is fitted to the armhole.  This means removing the sleeve after all that pinning and easing to steam out the excess ease.  I have to see how this will work.

Stay tuned.  Slow but steady progress is underway…

Photos of the toile so far along with how the paper pattern will look after the drape is copied to pattern paper