Drape a bodice muslin

I followed some instructions from a website to draft a bodice muslin on my body double, with the somewhat vague notion that it may be helpful in making my shell top.

My biggest problem was where to put the waist line. I don't have a well defined waist and my narrowest part is my underbust. If I put the waist line where the pattern companies tend to put it, I would not have needed either a bust dart or a waist dart using this method, as my bust and "waist" are the same width.

My other problem was defining the shoulder point and armhole shape.

I decided to drape both sides, to see how asymmetrical I was. Now I'm not sure if my upper right side is wider than my upper left, or if I just didn't judge my centre point very well??

Here are some pictures of me wearing the muslin.

For comparison, here are some pictures of me wearing a muslin from a close fitting block made by a paper drafting method outlined by Winifred Aldrich. It is a much closer fit.

Now I am not quite sure what to do with my draped bodice. I am a little perplexed by the fact that it has a combined waist and bust dart, when my experience with paper drafting deals with these shapes separately. I can't really use it to make my shell top, because I need to drape much lower to the hip area. I did compare it to a Vogue fitting shell pattern, that I have never actually made-up...perhaps I would have been better just making the fitting shell, so that I could use it to adjust Vogue patterns, which are the ones I mostly use. It turns out that the waistline I chose is much higher than the waistline suggested by Vogue. I have a lot of trouble fitting the shoulder area...draping the bodice has helped with the square and forward shoulder issues, but does not really address shoulder length because I had trouble defining the shoulder point. So, all-in-all, not a particularly useful exercise.


  1. and Threads 137 (which arrived in my Toowoomba mailbox yesterday) has an article " From Sloper To shirt" - maybe they read blogs!

  2. I read that the shoulder point is where the *end* of your shoulder bone is. To find it start by firmly running your finger along your collard bone outward toward your arm/ shoulder. Do this with out a shirt or bra on so you can really feel your bones. When you run out of collar bone and start feeling you bicep bone, back up a little until you feel the very end of your shoulder bones. That is your shoulder point. Look up an illustration of an anatomical skeleton for clarity.

    As for waistline, take a piece of narrow or round elastic and tie it snugly around your waist where you normally would wear your waist bands. Bend over and wiggle about. It should roll into the spot that is considered you natural waistline.

    I was confused about this too. Hope this helps.