How to drape a bodice front


Bodice Slope front

Step 1: Begin the drape by lining up the apex marking on the muslin to the apex of the dress form. Secure it with 2 pins.

Step 2: Pin along the center front to the neckline, keeping the muslin bust level, level to the bust level of the dress form.

Step 3: As you pin the center front from bust level to waistline, make sure that you allow for bust ease, meaning that you do not pin the muslin flat to the form in the area between the left and right apex points.

Step 4: Continue to pin along the bust level from side seam to the apex. Secure your pins in alternating directions, this will help stabilize the muslin while you drape. Distribute the 1/8” ease between the apex and side seam.

Step 5 A: Pin along your guideline down to the waistline. Make sure that your guideline is at a right angle to the bust level.

Step 5 B: Once you reach the waistline, pick up a pinch of ease with a pin and secure it at the waist/guideline intersection.

Step 6: Place a pin at the armhole side seam intersection.

Step 7: Next, slash at the guideline from below the waistline to the bottom of the waist tape. This releases the high hip area.

Step 8: The waist dart is formed by picking up the excess with a pin at the waistline, at the bottom of the waist tape. Your muslin guideline is the center of the dart.

Step 9: Form the shoulder dart by smoothing the muslin up and over the chest area folding the dart flat with the dart excess on the inside. Be sure that you smooth out all wrinkles your dart seam should align with the princess seam. This dart method is different from the waist dart which was formed with the dart excess on the outside. Secure the dart with a pin at the princess/shoulder line intersection.

Step 10: Then, place a pin at the shoulder armhole intersection.

Step 10 A: Start marking the front muslin in a counterclockwise direction. Place a dash mark on center front/neckline and a few small dots along the neckline.

Step 10 B: Cross mark the shoulder/neckline intersection.

Step 12: Place a cross mark on the dart fold and on the body at the shoulder/princess intersection.

Step 13: Mark the armhole/shoulder intersection.

Step 14: Then mark the armhole, dotting along the armhole ridge. Stop at the screw level and place a cross mark.

Step 15: Place another cross mark at the side seam/underarm intersection. This is known as the tight body line.

Step 16: Cross mark at the waistline/side seam intersection and working at the bottom of the waist tape continue to place dot marks along the waistline until you come to the waist dart.

Step 17: Mark both sides of the waist dart and continue to dot the waistline until you get to the center front waistline intersection where you will then place a dash mark.

Step 18: To form the shoulder dart, guide the shoulder dart in the direction of the apex.

Step 19: Then smooth the waist dart along the guideline towards the apex.

Step 20: Mark the vanishing point of the waist dart 1” from the apex. Note that the fuller the bust the farther away the vanishing point of the dart is from the apex.

Step 21: Before removing the front muslin from the dress form, be sure that you have captured all of your markings.

Bodice Slope back

Step 1: 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.

Step 2: Make sure the fabric 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 5: Smooth the fabric over until the waist and side seam and pin there. Trace the waistline with your pencil.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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. 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.

Step 9: 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.

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