create a garment by modelling and draping fabric on the stand. 

This project will help you to use a different technique to create a pattern for a chosen garment

Project Overview

You will create a front and back bodice block by draping fabric directly onto the stand. Following the directions below you will mark on the neckline, armholes, seam lines and darts. then transfer the calico ‘pattern’ onto paper. 

This pattern new pattern can be trued up to ensure that it all matches and lines up correctly before recutting the whole bodice in calico and making it up again to double check the pattern.

Using this process you will create one simple garment from your capsule collection. You will need to choose an appropriate fabric to create a toile for your simple draped garment.

Once you have created the draped shape you will transfer all construction lines and any technical information including grain lines and notches so you will be able to re-produce the garment in your finished fabric.

You will produce and present a well finished draped garment as part of your 8 garment capsule wardrobe.

You will record and review your work in your Sewing Journal.

Download and print off the project brief and keep it in your sketchbook.

Create a Draped Garment on the Stand

Draping on the stand – Creating a Basic Bodice


The term ‘draping’ refers to the way a garment design is created rather than the type of fabric it is made from. Essentially a piece of fabric is draped over a mannequin and then shaped and moulded to create the desired effect.

Clothing has always been created this way, think of togas, saris and even kilts. It is a quick and easy way to wrap the body in warm and decorative cloth. 

The art of draping to create patterns started to be used more widely during the nineteenth century. But it was truly refined in the early part of the twentieth century. During the 1930’s Madame Vionnet pioneered the use of miniature mannequins to develop her creative ideas and to design various garments. And so began the golden age of bias cutting. A simple piece of fabric could be pleated, folded, draped and gathered to create stunning and beautiful garments, many of which can be seen in the V&A. 

Draping garment ideas is a quick and effective way of trialling ideas or communicating your ideas to others. It can be much easier to drape and pin a piece of fabric to illustrate an idea or point than trying to draw and describe what the fabric is doing. 

It can also be used as an alternative to flat cutting as a way to create basic blocks. 

The basic premise of draping is that you create the shape you want directly onto the mannequin and then use those shaped calico or fabric pieces to transfer the shapes you need onto paper. You can then true up the paper pattern and remake it to double check the fit and styling of your garment or block.