Making a moulage

After my very first make back in December 2016 (a pair of self-drafted shorts out of a bizarre pink/purple stretch suiting) I quickly learned that making nicely fitting things wasn’t nearly as simple as some sewing youtubers would have you believe. I began looking into how I could get up to speed on fitting and voila…

Craftsy course: Patternmaking Basics – The Bodice Sloper

I first read about creating a body double in this blog post on Mary Funt’s blog Cloning Couture. It references Suzy Furrer’s bodice sloper class on Craftsy as a clever way to create her own custom body double dressforms.

Then I kept seeing more reviews and recommendations to the same course popping up on a bunch of blogs I thought looked credible… So when I saw it reduced to under half price in the Craftsy sale just after xmas, I snapped it up.

It sounded like a nice involved sewing-related thing I could get busy with on dreary January nights, perfect for during the week when I’m stuck in Bristol, away from home and my sewing machine.

What is a moulage?

Just to quickly explain the idea behind the technique, basically first you learn to create a skin-tight garment called a moulage (lit. “mould”), one that is made to your exact measurements and fits you so perfectly as if it was a second skin.

This moulage will mimic the true shape of your body, its armholes, shoulders, chest, waist and hips will all fall in all the right places for your exact curves. This can then be used as a basis for a less tighter fitting (but still very fitted) garment by adding industry standard wearing ease to it at the right places. (Ease is just a fancy way of saying “room to move” by the way.)

Because you make sure that the moulage fits you perfectly, after adding in this ease, the resulting garment called the sloper will still fit you really well. The shoulders etc will all fall in the right places, but with a bit of room to breathe and move around in.

Then you can use this sloper as a basis for all your other self-drafted patterns, by manipulating the pattern to create different styles.

Handy ways to use a moulage/sloper

Suzy also explains that another way to think about the sloper is that it is the minimum size of pattern (and therefore garment) that will fit you on every point of your body.

So you could use it as a way to double-check flat patterns that you buy to make sure that they will be wide enough for your hips, small enough for your waist, to check where the shoulder will truly fall on you, or if the armhole is right… etc. Just super useful overall!

I already watched the course in full and all I can say is so far so good! I’m very impressed with the thorough and easy to follow instructions, and keen to see what my results will be.

I’ll be posting updates on my progress with this technique, so stay tuned! x

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5 thoughts on “Making a moulage

  1. maryfunt says:

    Thank you for the reference to my work. You will enjoy Suzy’s class and find it extremely useful. I absolutely loved visiting Edinburgh; such a beautiful and friendly city.

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    • sewze says:

      Hi Mary, of course, I love your blog! I had a total fangirl moment just then, seeing you coming over this corner of the internet, hehe. I also saw how you recently visited this neck of the woods, glad you had a great time. Scotland is definitely my happy place!

      The course is very good indeed. although like you said, getting correct measurements proved really really hard. My first try turned out exactly the right shape for me, but depending on what time of the day I try it on, I find there is a huge amount of ease (2″ on both sides) from the waist down… surely I can’t shapeshift THAT much! One to figure out before the next progress post I guess!

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      • maryfunt says:

        Yes the correct measurements are critical and it does take some practice to take them. I’ve used Suzy’s method on several vastly different body shapes and gotten excellent results each time.

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      • sewze says:

        Out of interest, and this is something I meant to ask on the course forums too – how well did you find this method worked for men, if at all? I seem to remember seeing a male body double dressform on your blog, might be wrong. This is the only topic I found the course lacking on, there’s no mention of adjusting the technique for men.

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