Getting into Gingham Step 6

Now that we have adjusted the front and back and have a paper pattern, we can make a sample also called a muslin/sloper. A muslin can be made from any woven/stable fabric. I have always used woven, not printed, gingham because like with all of Nancy’s muslins, I can cut on a straight line and add exactly what she needs where she needs it.

When using actual plain muslin fabric, all the horizontal measurement lines are drawn so we can see drag lines. In this photo you can see that a jacket back yoke and bust and waistline horizontal line was drawn first and then cut straight across.

When so much is added at the back yoke to release fabric, it affects the lower horizontal lines and sometimes they need to take a horizontal tuck to make them parallel with the floor. If a sway back alteration is involved, it has to be done to the muslin and the paper pattern.

This dress muslin will be slashed at the top yoke line and added 3/4 inch, then that same 3/4 inch will be taken out at the waist. This was needed to be done to keep that dropped waist horizontal seam parallel with the floor and not droop down.

But before we slap that pattern on the gingham and cut away…let’s map out our exact body measurements and see what ease is there already. Remember, if you can pinch an inch on both sides of your blouse for wearing ease, that is 4 inches total or 2 in front and 2 in back.

Here is another copy of the last version of the front. I have measured the actual numbers from my measuring chart in red and joined the lines to see what is ease. If I use the outermost cutting line I will have a little more than one inch in the body and very little extra ease in the shoulders and upper yoke area.

Compared to the original front, you can see my narrow shoulders and wider side bust dart.

Now for the back…the back shoulder is 1/4 inch wider than the front to be eased in. I still have left the added center back seam if I want to use it instead of a fold for a rounded upper back adjustment (my usual).

The back armhole length measures 11 inches so when I changed the shoulder length to 5.25 inches, I kept the same 11 inches for the new curve so the sleeve will fit.

Here you can see the new cutting lines. My actual body measurement lines in red will be transferred to the gingham along with every other line…tedious, I know, but once this is basted by machine and then ripped open, we can see where we are ease-wise. Maybe we’ll get lucky and it fits perfectly snug enough to be a proper finished pattern or we have to add more ease and some horizontal slashing and speading but you will be glad to have those lines drawn. It is your choice to use the darts or not in the finished blouse.

I hope you are able to follow along or are printing out the pages for future patterns. Next time I will have the front and back in gingham with all the lines marked and basted and hanging on the duct tape dummy.

I realize that I didn’t address short-waisted or long-waisted measurements but at least those lines are marked on most patterns if you have to raise or lower the waist.

Adios from my two favorite buddies…


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4 Responses to Getting into Gingham Step 6

  1. Alex in California says:


  2. Erika Otter says:

    Thank you for all this detail! I wonder, why not make an armscye dart? Is an alternative read of this that there is enough room for the bust, but more reduction is needed between the bust and armscye?

  3. mrsmole says:

    Yes, there could have been an armscye dart but I’m trying to simplify this first sloper as a template for future patterns. Knowing how big a dart(s) is needed for this bust measurement, it also makes sense to choose princess seams which fit the best. Thank you, Erika, you are correct!

  4. Erika Otter says:

    Thank you! It’s nice of you to reply, and to share your wisdom!

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