Draping The Basic Bodice: Back Piece


Today I am continuing with my Basic Pattern Draping series. I will be continuing from where I left off in my last post, where I draped  the front bodice piece and transferred my muslin to paper to create a rough bodice draft. Which I will fine tune later. Today, I will be showing how I drape the back bodice piece. It’s not as complicated as the front piece, so don’t worry!  To read my post on drafting a basic bodice front, click here.backdrape1

  1. The first step to draping your back bodice piece is to cut a piece of fabric 5 inches longer than your neck to waist measurement and about 5 inches wider than the center from to under arm side seam.
  2. Make sure the fabric is is on the proper grain line, lengthwise going down on the center back line and  the cross grain going across the shoulder line.Place the fabric on the dress form back and mark the spot where the shoulder line is. Draw a straight horizontal line across the fabric making sure it is perfectly on the cross grain. This will be your guideline to make sure your design doesn’t fall of grain and get all crooked and wonky.
  3. Pin the fabric down the center back line and all the way across the shoulder line to the arm plate. Put the pin at the arm ridge. Make sure it isn’t too tight. You can create a little ease here by pinning the shoulder line with tiny gaps.backdrape2
  4. Drape the back waist dart.Smooth the fabric over on the waist until the princess line. Now drape in a dart about 1.5 inches wide and 7 inches long. Mark the first dart line at the princess seam then measure over 1.5 inches and create and pin the dart . Clip into the fabric until almost at the waistline to make draping the waist dart easier.
  5. Smooth the fabric over until the waist / side seam and pin  there. Trace the waistline with your pencil.backdrape5
  6. Drape the neckline. Carefully trim excess fabric at neck until almost at the neckline and smooth fabric  over and pin until the shoulder line.. Trace the lines of the neck with your pencil.backdrapeneckbackdraptopdart
  7. Drape the shoulder. There will be some excess fabric from up there and you will need to drape in another dart at the princess line. It should be about 1/2 inch wide by 3 inches long.
  8. Mark all key areas on the muslin before removing from the form. Trace the neckline, shoulder line, side seam, waist line,and the dart legs and points.I trace the dart legs all the way up to the point. Trace the armhole at the ridges of where the fabric puffs up just outside of the metal plate at the center screw level, shoulder, and side seam.
  9. backdrapetruing
  10. Time to remove the muslin from the form and true it up! For the back, instead of tracing the whole piece like I did with the front piece, I simply taped the muslin to my paper. I made sure to add the 1/2 inch out at the side seam for ease and drop the armhole one inch, just like the front piece. I traced the darts with some transfer paper and added 3/8 inch seam allowances.

That’s it for today! In my next post I will be taking both paper pattern pieces and make sure all of the seams match up before I cut out a full muslin and fine tune the fit. Then I will be transferring those small changes to my pattern pieces. Finally I will transfer the perfected pattern to manila muslin so I can have a sturdy basic sloper which I will use to create a variety of designs in future posts.

PS. Does this blog look a little different to you? I switched to the Word Press platform. After attending Sewing Summit and learn all of the cool things I can do on WordPress vs. Blogger,I decided I would take the plunge.  I’m learning a whole new platform here so things may take a little while to get back to normal for me. One thing that did change was I lost all of my Google Friend Connect Followers. If you did happen to be following that way, maybe you could be so kind as to switch to following via e mail or Bloglovin’ ? Sorry about that. Another thing. My mom mentioned the blog seems to be loading slowly. Any comments on that?

Happy sewing!




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  1. […] Justine from Sew Country Chick continues her pattern drafting series with a tutorial showing how to drape the back of a basic bodice.  (Her first post in the series shows how to drape the front bodice.)  Once you’ve got the fabric draped and cut and marked, you’ll transfer that to a paper pattern for the bodice back.  Go to Sew Country Chick for the tutorial. […]