1. When draping a basic block, we drape only one half of the form. Later, we will cut out both sides to test the fit. But for now to drape the front, you will need a piece of fabric about 5 inches longer then the neck to waist on the form, and 5 inches wider than the center front to side seam. Before you start pinning the fabric on the form draw the CROSS GRAIN LINE near the middle of the fabric. Lay that on the form across the bust line and mark the APEX, or bust point. Pin the fabric at the apex, the center front waist, neck and apex points, making sure the fabric is on the STRAIGHT GRAIN and 45 degrees across on the center front all the way to the side seam arm plate.
2. Next, drape the waist dart. Clip the fabric at the princess line almost to the waist line.The line going straight down on the form between the CF (center front) and side seam is the PRINCESS LINE.
3 & 4. Pin at the side seam and center front waist points. First, make sure the fabric is falling correctly from the side seam armplate. It should hang straight down, not looking crooked.Smooth the fabric at the waist over from the center front waist and put a pin at the princess line. Now smooth the fabric over from the side seam waist to the princess line/ waist point. The fabric will gap because of the bust and that extra fabric will form the front waist dart. Fold the excess over and pin it shut.
The bigger the bust, the bigger the dart!
BTW my dress form is wearing a bra because it’s the same measurements as me except for there, so I padded it out with my bra. I do have a tutorial for padding your dress form if you find you are a little too curvy for it. My waist is a tiny bit bigger, and my shoulders are more narrow so when I make my final muslin, I will fit it on myself and make a few small adjustments.
To see my blog on customizing your dress from click here.
5. Pin at the side seam armplate and smooth the fabric up and over the armplate towards the neck. Draping feels like sculpting, smoothing things carefully, then pinning them.
6. Use your pencil to trace the side seam, waist seam and neckline. Clip into the fabric at the neckline to smooth out the neckline drape. Now pin at the shoulder armplate point and pin the excess fabric that has gathered up there between the should arm point and neck point into another dart on the princess line. Pin it closed. Mark the armplate screw and the middle of the armplate between the shoulder and side seam. Make sure you mark the spot where each dart ends as well as each dart leg.
7& 8 .TRUE UP meaning draw lines in with a ruler, your rough lines you made on the dress form.
You are probably wondering what the deal is with that shoulder dart about now, right? Will you have a weird dart at your shoulder ? Nope. We are going to slash the pattern and pivot the dart excess into the bottom dart. Another method is to pivot the shoulder dart into the armhole. Some designs need you to use a two dart basic bodice sloper as your foundation, and some need a one dart sloper as a foundation. Today we are making a one dart sloper. …
REDRAW the dart, ending it at the apex on the crossgrain line. Keep the dart the same at the bottom of the dart legs.
Now… iron your fabric pattern, and tape it to paper. If you have a cutting mat place it under the fabric between it and the paper. Use your TRACING WHEEL to trace the pattern lines. When you remove the fabric, you will see all of the little dots impressed in the paper and will need to trace them with your pencil and ruler, making sure to trace in the new darts. My camera couldn’t pick up the details. They are hard to see.
9. Above is my traced and trued pattern piece. To move the shoulder dart, cut through the CENTER of both darts until almost touching the apex. Pivot the top dart closed. The bottom dart will automatically become wider! COOL, isn’t it!? Once my dart was closed and my bottom dart got really big, I patched it from behind with some scratch paper. See number 13 below.
Are you new to Sew Country Chick and would like to keep up with the weekly tutorials and handmade goodness? Sign up for an e mail subscription here!