Pattern Draping on the Stand: Sweetheart Bodice

Started practicing pattern draping again this week.  Haven’t attempted it for more than a few years now.  It’s difficult so I really want to master it as best as possible.  I know that’s going to require practicing a whole lot more but there’s something about it I love.  

I have no problem buying/using a professional or free pattern, but there’s something satisfying knowing you created it yourself.  I love the technical side of sewing so I think that’s why I appreciate the process.  It reminds me of an intricate  puzzle that needs to be conquered.

I am in no way even close to saying I know how to drape or draft my own patterns, but i have done a few semi-successful pieces over the years.  They’re successful in that they look like garments, but the fit is always an issue.  I think one of the things adding to this is that I have an adjustable dressform. It’s great in the sense that it can fit multiple sizes but this then leaves openings at all of the major seam lines.  It’s very difficult to get an exact measurement.  I can always go in afterwards and fix it on paper, but I’m trying to learn the drape method.

For this attempt, I chose a bustier because it would require a few things I specifically wanted to practice:

  • Sweetheart neckline
  • Fully lined without visible seam allowances
  • Using boning
  • Inserting a zipper between main and lining fabrics

It also requires little fabric so it wouldn’t cost much.  I was able to make it with a remnant and some muslin.

I used a spool of ribbon to trace out the lines on the dressform.  I wish I had the teeny tiny width ribbon instead but I just used what I had on hand.  My dressform doesn’t come with a princess seamline so I had to create my own with the ribbon…definitely needs better placement:

When it came time start draping the muslin, the gaps in the dressform made it difficult to determine seam lines as well as get a tight fit:

I also tied a string down the side of the dressform to mimic the side seam:

I had a remnant of some Satin on hand, and I used some mulsin as the lining (since this isn’t meant for wearing, just practice).  This was also my first attempt at using boning.  It wasn’t too bad, but I hated how curled it was.  I saw a tip to iron it flat so I’ll try that next time:

Overall, I’m pleased that it resembles a real garment lol.  I think if I’d used fabric other than Satin, it would actually make a cute little crop top or something.  The Satin just makes it too prom-y to wear out.  I need to work on keeping the seams from puckering as well.  I don’t like the shape of the neckline, so I need to play around with getting it how I want.  I also don’t know if I care for the center front seam.  I may try another one using just a single piece for the front panel.  I would also opt for a better/more fashionable zipper if I were to make one for wearing:

See you next time!


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