Moulage Fitting continued

OK, this is as good as it’s going to get fitting a moulage by myself.

Adjusted muslin 2:




So I’ve taken in all the suggestions I got on Pattern Review & Artisan Square – including feedback from the Master himself – Mr Kenneth King! OMG! This is what I’ve done:

  1. Reshaped the under-bust princess seam to better match my curve. This fixed most of the loose folds I had under the bust on the front.
  2. CF waist was still a bit low, so I removed the FBA length adjustment from front. On side front this length removal tapers to nothing at the side seam.
  3. Adjusted the armscye curve. This fixed a lot of my back underarm draglines. Ironically, removing tiny bit from the side seam just below the armpit so that the side seam is straighter also removed the remaining dragline at the armpit. You’d have thought it was too tight, not too loose!
  4. CB waist was also a bit low. Making a Sway Back horizontal dart across the waistline fixed this & also helped removed the back draglines above the waist and some below the waist.
  5. The remaining draglines at the back below the waist were more difficult to get rid off. I tried all sort of combinations & I’m still not sure if it’s 100% there yet. But this good-enough-for-now fix involved letting out at the back princess seams below my high hip while taking in at the side seam from under-bust all the way down.
  6. Finally, the lopsided shoulder adjustment seem to affect the neckline & shoulder-width as well. The lower shoulder side’s neckline is closer to my neck base, so the shoulder end point is further in. I redrew the neckline & upper armscye on the higher shoulder side to match. Interestingly, most low shoulder adjustment instructions don’t mention this potential side-effect of making one shoulder more sloped than the other. But Cabrera-Meyers’ “Classic Tailoring Techniques: A Construction Guide for Men’s Wear” has a different approach to low shoulder adjustment which also fix this side effect at the same time: The whole top area roughly above the bust line on the lower shoulder side is tilted, so not only is the shoulder lowered, but the neckline and shoulder is also further to the side. Interesting that they didn’t just tell you to pad out the lower shoulder.

There still seem to be minor wrinkles. But after reading Suzanne Stern‘s 8-9/1993 Threads article on fitting a custom dress form cover, I’ve decided to stop fiddling.

She worked as première main for Jacques Fath, one of the original Paris couturiers, so should know what’s she talking about. In a series of articles she demonstrated how they’d customize a dress form to mirror clients’ figures. The dress form cover is essentially a skin-tight draped moulage.

She mentioned that even in a properly fitted moulage / muslin sloper there might still be persistent minor wrinkles that wouldn’t appear in the final garment; that the wrinkles are due to the light-weight nature of muslin, especially when not all parts of the garment are attached yet – eg sleeves, skirts; and that there’s no need to spend unnecessary time trying to pin these away.  (The articles are available on the Threads Archive DVD.)

One thing you may have noticed is that I’ve got a CF seam here and the zipper has been moved here from CB. Much easier to fix the back without that stiff separating zipper in the way. Plus much easier to zip in & out too!

Still need to transfer these changes to the patterns. I might test the modified patterns again in another muslin. Maybe I’ll use  heavier weight ticking so the result can be used for the paper tape dress form I plan to make soon. Two birds one stone – love it!

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A Moulage Fitting without the Master

…Sadly. I wish I were still living in NYC. If I were I’d sign up for one of Kenneth King’s Moulage class. As it is I have to make do with the Moulage CD book by itself. Don’t get me wrong, the first (actually make that two) muslins are pretty good. But it would have been even better to get that expert tweak and learn to read the wrinkles – what need to go and what can stay. Because for us novice it is so easy to overfit. Or want to overfit. I know they Photoshop skin wrinkles out of fashion photos. Do they do the same with wrinkles in the clothing?

Anyway, I need your help. Especially if you’ve taken the Moulage class with the Master. I don’t have a Fitting Buddy here in London. So I’m trying to fit myself and could do with your second opinions. (On the Birthday Wishlist – a replacement dress form. Big Bertha has become a little bit misshapen. This time I might try Connie Crawford’s paper tape version instead of duct tape double.) I’ve posted on both Artisan Square & Pattern Review boards already. But doesn’t hurt to get the word out again here does it! So the Moulage….

First the back story:

I actually made two muslins. The first one I panicked when my front pattern step 10 came out looking really funny:

I ended up moving width to the front bust from the back bust (instead of using the formula given). While my OH isn’t exactly a perfectionist with measurements, a difference of 5″ between front bust & back bust seems too great to be just inaccuracy.

This first muslin seemed fairly good, but there were still some wrinkles:

In the name of science (yeah right), I decided to start again & try to stick to the instruction more closely. But as the front pattern looked too narrow after step 13, I again deviated. I mixed in the instruction given for D-cup+, but used the standard amounts given for waist dart end point (L’) and the armhole dart (T’).

Standard instruction:
Bastardized D-cup+ instruction:

What’s not shown in the pattern photos above is the lowering the left shoulder & armscye following the instruction in Special Cases section.

So here is muslin 2:



I’m not good at reading muslin wrinkles, and have a tendency to over-fit, so could really do with your second opinions. Keep in mind this is meant to be skin-tight with zero ease.

What looks off to you?

What needs fixing and what needs to be left well alone?

Do you think I need to…

  1. Do a little bit of sway back adjustment?
  2. Scoop out back armscye a bit more?
  3. Lower right shoulder & armscye a little bit?
  4. Shorten the CF a little – is the looseness under the bust normal?
  5. Make front lower armscye curve more shallow – is it normal to have such a gap there or should it be closer to the arm crease?

Thanks in advance for your feedback & help! 😀

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