The construction of the three parts of my fitting toile–fitted sleeve, bodice and straight skirt–is completed. Now I have to hem the skirt and sleeve an then assemble the three pieces.
During this process of fitting myself I came up with an expedient solution to the old problem of not having someone available to pin the toile up the center back. I thought, I’d just reverse the opening and pin from center front. That is why you see the opening from neck to below the hip line in the photo below.
Today I tried on the bodice. It fits comfortably. My dress form has an additional one inch added to the measurements so that my fitting toile will not be tight. The next skill to learn is adding style ease to each draped garment.
I am using the techniques described in the 1947 book Precision Draping by Nellie Weymouth Link. I supplement what she doesn’t cover with what I learned from Draping for Fashion Design by Hilda Jaffe and Nurie Relis.
Illustration of the basic straight skirt from Precision Draping by Nellie Weymouth Link.
I have pinned the skirt and sleeve onto the bodice to give you an idea of how it is coming together. Can you see the differences from a modern fitting toile? Here is a hint for a topic we will cover later on: the skirt is not a pencil skirt. It is a straight skirt with one dart each side of center front and one dart each side of center back. In this toile I tried to use two darts at each side of the back but they are too small. Initially I thought the back skirt dart was much too big but next practice I do I will follow the Precision Draping method instead of forcing a modern approach to the skirt darts. One thing you will find if you use this method is that the skirt darts are very long, about 6-7″ or so. It takes some time to get used to the sight of them. In the end if the fit is just right that is what really matters.
So far I’m doing ok!
Basic fitting toile made using a majority of techniques from Precision Draping by Nellie Weymouth Link. Trueing, marking and adding ease to bodice came from Draping for Fashion Design by Jaffe and Relis. The sleeve was drafted using the French Fashion Academy system.
The front bodice looks a little loose. That is because the sleeve has not been put in yet. The bust dart apex has to be lowered a little but other than that I’m confident for the next phase once the toile is complete.
Dress form lines marked with glass head pins and lace tape.
When I no longer use pencil to mark the seam lines and style lines. Instead I mark with straight pins. To better discern where the apex and the key lines are I used a combination of lace seam tapes and glass head pins. Once the muslin or tissue paper is used I can better feel where the lines are.