Moulage drafting and fitting

Here’s my progress on the moulage business!

The first challenge was getting help getting my correct measurements. My good friend Lau signed up for the task and for a first try, apparently we did quite well too! The only areas we didn’t get right were the neck length (which was my fault entirely for asking her to measure the wrong thing) and the cup size (which I still have no idea where we got wrong, but the calculations would have led me to believe that I have a concave chest, rather than the very obvious B cup that I am). This aside, I was ready to draft.

The next challenge was finding the physical space and means to do the drafting… The more I thought of it the less I fancied shelling out on bulky equipment, paper and rulers though… luckily I’m a designer by day and I work with graphics software all day long, so looking into whether it can be done digitally was the obvious alternative.

I quickly watched a bunch of videos on drafting in Adobe Illustrator, which I have access to at work, and I was all set. So my very first moulage was drafted fully digital, and I have to say, I don’t know if I will every bother trying paper… forgive my ignorance (if paper drafting has benefits, I’d have no clue), but it was just so so convenient!


I had some trouble matching up the final lines around the shoulder area but now I suspect this had to do with the erroneous neck measurement. After much angsty re-drafting I decided to just go with it and print the whole thing. I could always resolve any issues while fitting the muslin.

Overall, including printing, taping and cutting, I spent about three or four evenings from start to finish, first watching the entire course so I understand the method, then working through the calculations and the drafting of the moulage, then finally printing and taping.


At this point I had a paper pattern which travelled up to Edinburgh with me the following weekend, to make up a muslin. I cut the pieces out of a cheap leftover white poly cotton, paying attention to the grainlines, then sewed it up with a basting stitch and stuck a retro zipper down the CF so I can fit myself more easily.

This first moulage fit kind of okay, certainly good enough in my books for a first try. There were some very obvious issues with the shoulder, armhole and neckline – plus the hip area was way too roomy too… so I went back to the drawing board and followed Suzy Furrer’s detailed advice on troubleshooting the fit.


Some more printing, taping, cutting and sewing later, I had my moulage try #2, which was significantly more successful in the upper body front, but on reflection I ended up taking out way too much ease from the hip area and now it’s too small — see front view below.

All that is left now is to add back in half the ease I removed  from the waist/hip area, and lower the shoulder and armhole a teensy bit further, and I’m done.

The next step is to transfer these final amends back onto the digital pattern, and then create a sloper like I explained in the previous post. Once that’s done, I can take the sloper for a spin and try draft a fitted shirt!

I know, I know… I can hear you say… you couldn’t have chosen something more complicated.


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