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Learn How To Sew: The Basics of Draping

So you already have a dress dummy with your measures (see our tutorial on how to make one here!) and don’t know where to start?  Don’t worry we’ve got you covered.

Let’s take as an example of pattern drafting a basic top

You’ll need:

  • Ruler
  • Masking tape (the reason I ask for masking tape instead of cello tape is that the first do not adhere permanently on paper, so you don’t take the risk of ripping it)
  • Kraft paper or thick tissue paper

And of course grab your favorite sewing machine!🙂


Follow These Steps:

1. You’ll have to wrap your entire dummy with craft paper and put masking tape joining the parts.


2. You just need to make one side of the pattern because when you cutting on fabric the center of the pattern will be folded. Put back the half part of the basic sewing pattern on the dress dummy and block it with masking tape.


3. Trace the line on the shoulder with a marker and then divide this line in halves. Mark it, because at this point the seam will cross through.


4. Trace the line of the armhole at the backside.


5. Trace the line of the armhole on the front side.


6. Here is the line of seam traced with a marker, at the front side. From top shoulder till the length of the top, all the way down, as well as the waist!


7. These are the pieces of basic pattern of the front side. Put them on the paper, block them (make them flat), then trace the new lines, as in the picture. ALL lines around the edge of the pieces must be added 0.5 inches; this is called SEAM ALLOWANCE, which is the space between the edge of the fabric and the stitches. You must to trace the line before cutting your fabric or your garment will be smaller than the pattern.


8. At the back side you have to trace the new lines too, like on the picture and add the 0.5 inches of seam allowance.


And that’s it you’re done! If you want to recreate your favorite clothes, this tutorial will help you.

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