Lesson 7 : Construction Process


Draping is also a method of pattern making where in a muslin cloth is used to drape over a dress form or a model. It is a three-dimensional process of pattern making. Draping allows the designer to freely and accurately express his/her ideas. Proportion of design details can be related to the human body and their effect is clearly visible.

The medium for draping is usually muslin, plain weave fabric of unfinished cotton. The direction of the grain is easily visible and its relatively low cost permits free use for experimentation.

The pattern maker simply constructs a pattern by pinning and manipulating fabric onto an appropriately sized model/dress form. Draped pattern can be marked with pencil lines and the finished muslin pattern can be used repeatedly. This often requires more material and time than flat pattern method, but can be far less frustrating. It affords the patternmaker the luxury of putting fabric on and examining how it looks and hangs before finalizing the design. No bodice block measurements and special steps of adaptation are required.

Tools & Equipment Needed:

  • Dress form or a model
  • Types of muslin
    1. A coarse weave of medium weight used by beginners because the grain is easily recognized.
    2. A light weight finely woven fabric used for soft draping.
    3. A heavy weight firmly woven fabric used for draping tailored garments. This is also known as toile muslin.
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Plastic ruler
  • French curve
  • Hip curve
  • L-Square
  • Dress maker’s pins
  • Tracing wheel
  • Tracing paper
  • Pencils
  • Style tape


  1. Easily visualize the effect of style when draped on the dress form
  2. Design and style can be modified if unappealing and unattractive
  3. Designer can express his/her skill and creativity freely
  4. Usually fits accurately


  1. Expensive method
  2. Dress form is essential
  3. Dress form with different sizes is needed
  4. Unsuitable for commercial production
  5. Possibility of wastage of cloth
  6. Coarser and thicker fabrics are not suitable for draping
  7. Process is elaborate and time consuming
  8. Suitable only for production of designer garments
Last modified: Wednesday, 16 November 2011, 7:06 AM