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KK Moulage

Elisabeth | Posted in Patterns on

Over the holidays I got Kenneth King’s Moulage CD and made up a moulage for myself. DH watched the short video clip on what to measure and patiently measured everything on me calling out numbers and I wrote them down. I knew he would be good at measuring as he is a carpentry whiz but he was a little too good calling out 16ths of an inch! Drawing the moulage went well, KK’s instructions are detailed and there are lots of drawings. Then I sewed it up in muslin, put in a zipper and tried it on. Wow! I am so impressed, this works really well!

This CD book has been mentioned before on this forum and I think it deserves to be mentioned again. It is really an nice little package of amazing information. Kenneth shows how to draft your own dress, blouse, skirt, and jacket from the moulage. The moulage works for men too. He also shows how to use the moulage to fit commercial patterns.

Replies

  1. ShannonG4d | | #1

    I completely agree!

    I've done three personal Moulage from the instructions (due to weight changes), and have been amazed at how well they turn out each time.  This is a VERY valuable tool!

    Shannon

    1. mem1 | | #2

      how can one get it ???

    2. mem1 | | #3

      How can one get it???

      1. rekha | | #4
  2. customsewer | | #6

    I agree that this is a VERY VALUABLE technique. I'm doing mine over, owing to weight loss (yay!) and a weird body, leading to more tweaking than normal being needed.

    In the publication, Kenneth King suggests just throwing away the fabric moulage once you have the adjustments transferred back to paper, and made the corresponding sloper.

    Don't do that!! Keep the moulage!! After the inevitable interruptions of some months between sewing episodes, try on the moulage to make sure your body hasn't changed. If years have gone by, you will be able to see big changes, such as posture, as well as small changes in circumference.

    Also, make an additional fabric moulage, and use THAT as the basis for a duct-tape dress form. Firm, canvas-like fabric is better than t-shirt material, because the t-shirt lets you sag too much & you get a breath-maximum form, which will not relate as closely to your body and sloper.

    Customsewer

    1. ShannonG4d | | #7

      I agree about using it to make a custom form!  Mine gets "remade" every time I do a new moulage.  I also agree about the firmer fabric....denim is a good choice, as it is tough as nails but still easy to pin into.  If you can find a white denim, so much the better!

      Shannon

      1. Elisabeth | | #9

        Your moulage is the outer layer on the dress form? When I put on my skin tight moulage I started thinking how it would be perfect for a shell to be padded out on my dress from. Is this what you do? And if so what do you use for padding? Do you find that your denim stretches at all? How many questions can I manage to ask in one post?

        1. EileenB5 | | #22

          I used my moulange to "pad out" my dress form.  I used layers of  quilt batting and some thin upholstery foam and made it a little bigger than I needed.  The when I zipped up the moulange it all squished in to a perfect replica.  the first two trys showed gaps where I needed to add more padding, but the process is pretty intuitive.

           

          the scarry part is I can now see what I look like from the back!

           

          1. FitnessNut | | #23

            Good idea!

          2. Elisabeth | | #24

            Yeah, I can't say I want to see what I look like from the back these days either! But I am the available body in this exercise so it must happen. Maybe it will help me to like sewing for myself more. I would much rather sew for others.The two layered idea is great. I was looking at foam and batting separately but was having a hard time imagining the result of either. I would also like to be able to take the padded moulage on and off the dress form since I often use her as she is. Hmmm.

    2. Elisabeth | | #8

      What a good idea to keep the moulage as a "note" on posture and shape! Time is so subtle with the changes, we don't notice so easily what is happening. I think I will put a date on my moulage.

    3. SewNancy | | #10

      After reading everyones positive reviews of KK moulage I ordered the moulage, the pants draft (my personal mountain) and the basic sleeve.  Here's to great fit.

      nancy

      1. rekha | | #13

        Have you tried the European cut by Allemong (http://www.vestisbooks.com/)? I tried the method, but in both the KK and Allemong methods I found that if the shoulder width is anything more than 4½", the moulage is undoable!

        Edited 2/18/2005 3:49 am ET by rekha

        1. Elisabeth | | #14

          That's interesting. I'll be puzzling over that problem until I have time to look at the moulage again. I wonder how similar the Allemong book's method is to KK's? I have only heard about Allemong's book.

        2. SewNancy | | #15

          Gee, that sounds promising, I have narrow shoulders and they only measure about 4 1/2"  Why don't you e mail Kennerh King and ask him?

          nancy

          1. rekha | | #16

            I did, and he wrote back that I must be taking my measurements incorrectly. So I went to a local professional dressmaker and got her to measure me up, and no the measurements were not incorrect. In any case, KK comments that in his experience no woman, unless very tall will be more than 4½", so he no longer takes this measurement. It seems to me that it is critical that this measurement is correct to ensure a 'perfect' fit. I prefer Allemong's although there are 33 measurements to take. Once done all you have to do is to translate it to the pattern.

            Edited 2/18/2005 9:35 am ET by rekha

          2. SewNancy | | #17

            Don't you just love arrogant men?  I just bought the moulage, the basic sleeve and the trouser draft because of the positive feedback from this forum.  We'll see.  I am doing the pants first as I am frustrated with my lack of success in the this area.  I have a  new friend who used to be in the garment business and she says that she will be happy to help with fit and measuring.  I'll let you know how successful I am.

            I have never heard of Allemong, where did you pick this up?

            Nancy

          3. Elisabeth | | #18

            I think you will be very pleased with the basic moulage results. I was intirigued by the 4.5" shoulder statement KK makes, can't imagine how that can be. But the moulage worked very well for me and I decided to try this cd because I had heard good things about it. I have been curious about Allemong's book for a while but haven't heard of anyone who has actually tried it until now. I'm on a pattern drafting learning mission and have already tried Helen Joseph-Armstrong's Patternmaking for Fashion Design book where the bodice and skirt are separate and the bodice starts with darts. I like how the moulage starts out as a whole torso thing with princess seams. I did a trouser draft from Joseph-Armstrong's book and learned so much. I hope you let us know how KK's trouser cd works for you. If you want some interesting reading on trouser drafting take a look at this http://vintagesewing.info/1940s/4x-lgcm/lgcm-15.htmlAllemong's book can be found here http://www.vestisbooks.com/

          4. SewNancy | | #19

            Thanks so much for your encouragement. 

            Nancy

          5. MMsewing | | #25

            I also have the Moulage AND am scheduled to take the trouser seminar the end of March, but I have a question for you who have done several of these.  I understand and my Moulage(s) fit great, but I suppose I need more instructions (or creativity) in then making a garment from the Moulage.  How do you "transfer" these measurements to, say, a commercial pattern you like or do you just create your own?

            Thanks, Ladies!

          6. Elisabeth | | #27

            The cd has sections on how to create a basic blouse/dress pattern and jacket pattern from the moulage. There is also a section on using the moulage to adjust commercial patterns. I would love to hear how the trouser seminar goes. I suppose it is with KK?

          7. MMsewing | | #29

            Yes, Ma'am it is with KK here in Indy.  I will try and remember to let you know. The seminar is not until April and when you get older, well.... I will put you on my calendar! That should do it.  As far as the cd goes I that all printed and don't remember seeing anything about adjusting the Moulage to commerical patterns, but I go back a look VERY carefully! Thanks for the info! Happy Sewing!

          8. SewNancy | | #30

            Does anyone know where a list of his trouser seminars are?  I know he is in NY now and I wonder if he has ancy in NYC.

            Nancy

          9. MMsewing | | #31

            Nancy, I would go to his website and check. If you can not find anything, let me know and I will ask when he is here in Indy in April. sorry can't be of more help.

          10. MMsewing | | #52

            I almost forgot to get back with you. The trouser Moulage was just a great as the original.  It was a blessing that I had taken the original, as it made it A LOT easier to understand!  Piece of cake. Just did one this afternoon!  Still working on how to "transfer" all this information into workable clothes - but I am trying! I would high recommend taking the trouser IF you have had the original Moulage!

             

            Happy sewing!

          11. Elisabeth | | #53

            Good to hear the report! Sure must be nice to have KK at your side answering questions! I got the trouser cd and in the last couple of weeks have drawn one up and made some test garments. Definitely simpler to do than the moulage top. I like the trouser results so far especially the fit in the hips. I'm puzzled over the crotch with what appears to be very short extensions. I'll do another one soon, maybe I missed something. I like that the moulage method has no ease so you start from zero. Between pants drafting efforts I read everything I can find on pants fitting, over and over and over. It is starting to all fit together (no pun intended!). Then, yes, to make clothes from it all!

          12. organdy | | #54

            Hello all, thanks for this great info about making a moulage! I'm going to a dressmaker to have one made for me, having spent too many hours to count trying to fit a prominent tummy, very uneven hips and shoulders and scoliosis twists. My question : what did you wear when taking your measurements? 'foundation garments'? tummy controls? I don't always wear the latter, so it seems I should just have a real me moulage, right?

          13. Elisabeth | | #55

            Hi organdy! Interesting to see this topic brought back up after so long. I have recently brought out my moulage to use again for basic pattern drafting and for altering commercial patterns. In the video demonstrating how to measure that is included on Kenneth King's moulage the dvd the model is wearing a leotard. The full leotard and tights may be for modesty. Since the moulage fits like a second skin and will be the basis for a shirt or jacket pattern I really think one should wear the undergarments that one would normally wear under clothes and then add a thin leotard of one feels uncomfortable getting measured by someone in underwear.I have the CD book by Lynda Maynard called De-Mystifying fit. Ms. Maynard shows how to use the moulage to alter commercial patterns. The cd book includes lots of examples and is excellent in my opinion.Organdy, I think you will be very happy with your moulage. Do let us know how the measuring and draft turn out!

          14. organdy | | #58

            Finally, results and good news to report from MoulageLand. I did wear a yoga leotard and tights, and since the leotard was 'experienced', it worked. My dressmaker, Pat, said sometimes leotards 'squash' the bust too much, but mine was fine. The measuring process was quick, Pat used Kenneth King's moulage book for the measurements, taking both right and left sides because i am uneven.
            The second visit was the fitting; just one slight adjustment was needed and I waited for that and retried my 'second skin'. Then Pat created the sloper (2" ease at the bust and 3" at the hips for my full tummy) and at my third visit I picked up the sloper and the moulage.
            I am very pleased with the sloper and have made my first top - a quick knit casual blast of color - which fit great! Turns out I need a 2 piece back, because of my shoulder, spine and waist geometry. Interestingly, my armcycles are different lengths, an adjustment I've never made (having never known I had to) or read about even. I usually wear skirts; the moulage fits my hips so I have the skin-tight fit for my basic wardrobe elements!
            For someone like me who has fitting challenges due to skeletal issues, having a moulage is wonderful! I can concentrate on the fashion side, improving my technique and making well fitted clothes.
            I think the moulage investment - $200 for the fitted bodice/hip garment and sloper - was a worthwhile investment and I'm very happy with the results. I plan to make some silk blouses next from my stash, and I finally know in advance that they will fit great!

          15. jjgg | | #59

            Congratulations on getting a good fitting moulage. I did this once for ####woman I knew (using a different method from KK) who had very severe scoliosis, what a challenge that was! I made 4 separate quadrants and them matched them at the neckline. We ended up giving her a better fit, that she can then work from, so one side was much broader than the other, one side was much shorter than the other, it looked very bizarre but worked. My goal was to give her a straight (vertical) center front and center back line even though her spine was anything but vertical. Padding a shoulder to even it off was not an option since there were several inches difference. She just wanted something that would fit, so one sleeve was not 6 inches (I may be exaggerating here, it's been a while since I did this) longer than the other sleeve.

          16. Laura | | #32

            Hello everyone,

            After reading all the posts on Kenneth King's moulage I'm considering buying the cd book in the hope it will resolve all my fitting problems. I seem to spend days upon days adjusting  patterns (I use Burda magazine patterns and a fantastic Spanish pattern magazine in the same vein called 'Patrones' that has zillions of fashionable patterns in each copy: http://www.hymsa.es/ - go to 'guia de modelos' to have a very tiny peek at the patterns in the current issue) and making muslin after muslin. All this eats up almost all my sewing time (driving my boyfriend crazy in the process as he has to put up with the mess in a our very little flat) and I end up producing very few garments. I have various fitting books and although these have helped in many ways to improve my knowledge about fitting I am still in the eternal search of a book that will resolve all my problems once and for all. I don't find that any of the full bust adjustments proposed in my books actually work on me (I must have more than abnormal body!) and after a lot of trial and error I have found my own methods. I have a duct tape tummy which has also helped somewhat, especially with fitting the back as I have no sewing buddy and boyfriend with two left hands! Anyway, I recently draped the pattern for a basic bodice directly on my dummy which gave a good fit after only a few adjustments and I'd like to know how the moulage method differs from this. What does it look like? Is it cut to the waist and darted like a shell pattern?  How useful a tool is it in adjusting commerical patterns?I have been combing the internet looking for a picture of it, to no avail. I'd love to see an image if anyone has or knows where to see one. I've also read the description on his website, but it doesn't really help you to visualize the end product.

            Thank you in advance,

            Laüra

            ps I live in France, and as it is a French Couture technique, maybe someone knows how to get literature on the method here? I think Claire Schaeffer talks a bit about it in her book on Haute Couture.

          17. Elisabeth | | #33

            The moulage is a one piece abbreviated sheath dress type thing. It ends at mid hip where the dart shaping for a skirt has ended. The front has princess seams and the back has a shoulder darts, shaping darts on either side and a center seam that you put a zipper in. The fit is like a second skin, no ease. The equivalent of a moulage can be made by draping on a dress form and Threads has some earlier articles (also included in their Fitting Your Figure book - an excellent book, by the way) showing this method. I like the moulage because it is a one piece and because it uses princess seams to shape the bust. I am not a big fan of darts. I need to work with the moulage some more, practice a little, but my first impression of how it went together and fit is very good. Seeing how the measurements create a flat pattern is fascinating and I felt I learned lots about how measurement variations affect a flat pattern shape.KK addresses the full bust adjustment issue but I cannot remember what he said right now.In his cd book KK says that he learned the method from a woman named Simmin Sethna who learned it at the Ecole Guerre-Lavigne, now called Esmod.Attached is a picture of how the drawn moulage front would look. This is from the cd. There aren't any pictures of the finished product, it would be nice if there were so people can get a better idea of what it is all about.

          18. Laura | | #34

            Thank you for your description and picture, now I certainly see what it is. I visited ESMOD's website to see if I could see any images and found that they actually do a manual themselves, though there is no description of what the manual contains. I am tempted to buy this instead and have written to ESMOD to ask about the contents of the book. In the tiny cover picture I can see a little diagram of a pattern that ressembles very much the diagram you attached.

          19. FitnessNut | | #35

            I have a copy of the Esmod Women's pattern drafting manual that I bought in Montreal several years ago, just after finishing design school. Upon leafing through it, I discovered that my patternmaking courses at the International Academy of Design used a great deal of material from this book, and I continue to use their methods in my custom design/sewing business. It is a very good book, but I also use other patternmaking references as I don't find it complete. I think it cost me around $100 Canadian. (FYI, there has been much discussion in the past year or so regarding pattern reference books on this site....you may wish to do a search so you can read for yourself.) If there is any information I can provide for you, I would be happy to do so.

          20. FitnessNut | | #36

            Another thought.....you are okay with using metric, I hope? Naturally the Esmod book uses the metric system since it is French and I noticed that you are in France. Besides that, metric is far more accurate, not to mention the math.... ;-)Thanks for the link to the Spanish publisher. I love their magazine Lecturas, which shows runway shots of the European collections. It is a wonderful resource that I haven't been able to find here in Edmonton and I'd given up looking. Now I can get myself a subscription!

          21. Laura | | #37

            Thank you for all the information Sandy. I am OK with metric, indeed, I must admit that it is imperial that poses a problem for me! I am waiting for a response from ESMOD about the contents of their manual, because as you indicated it is  a bit more expensive than KK's book (€43.20). Just one more thing, I read a review in sewing.patternreview.com about KK's book and the reviewer said that King had developed his own methods for a D-cup and over that gave better results than the ESMOD method. Is this true? From you experience, does the ESMOD method work well for a full bust (as this is at the heart of my wanting to draft my own patterns)?

            Thank you again for you help.

          22. Elisabeth | | #38

            KK offers calculations for metric as well as imperial. I found the part about full bust. KK says:
            "Simmin insisted that, if the figure was measured properly and the system followed, the D-cup presented no problem. I found out differently - it seems that, for D-cup gals, they always felt squashed into the moulage, and even to me they looked uncomfortable." and he shows how he changes the moulage.
            What I don't like about this book is that it is on a cd. I ended up printing it all out and putting it in a binder. The good thing about the cd, though, is that there is a short video showing KK measuring a person and that is very helpful, no guessing what the instructions mean.

          23. FitnessNut | | #39

            The Esmod manual doesn't give specific directions for a full bust....rather, they just give a modification for a "prominent bust". I'm not sure how much it would help you, as it seems to be a standard princess seam alteration. Having said that however, it is a very good patternmaking manual with many entries that are not found in most books. This has been a very good basic pattern block for my purposes and I have found it easy to fit and work with. I can't give you any help comparing it to King's moulage, as I have no experience with it.My set of blocks is based on those in this manual. For individual clients, I grade and alter the blocks to their measurements before drafting a pattern for the chosen design (which I always fit on the client in muslin). For myself, I have a fitted block that I use to do my pattern drafting. Generally speaking, most clients would prefer to have as few fittings as possible....in a perfect world, the block would be fitted to them to ensure fewer alterations to the finished pattern. I hope this doesn't sound confusing to you.

          24. SewNancy | | #46

            I bought his books because I have some stubborn fitting problems that I have been unable to fix.  I am working on the pants first and the first muslin was the best fit out of the box than any pattern.  I am on my third muslin and think that this one will fix any remaining problems.  He has some different methods than I have seen before and I decided to just trust him and follow the book for a change.  It is definitely working.  I took digital, or rather a friend did of my rear so that we could easily asses the rear fit.  Very good idea. I have mirrors, but the pictures were easier to see.  His method for fitting the muslin is rather intuitive and I am pleased with it. 

            Nancy

          25. Elisabeth | | #47

            Oh, the digital camera, I'm so glad you reminded me. I'm going to make another moulage next week and that will be so helful. I'm glad your pants are working out, I'll have to get that cd sometime too. I have been practicing drafting pants from Joseph-Armstrongs book and while I got pretty good pants I am not completely happy with it all.

          26. FitnessNut | | #48

            I'm curious.....about how long does it take you to draft KK's moulage from scratch? I swear that sometimes it takes longer to grade or alter a sloper than it does to start from the beginning.

          27. ShannonG4d | | #49

            I've done a couple of them, for myself and for family members, and I can now do one in about an hour and a half.  The first one took about 3 hours, because I printed out the directions in very small print.....which is not a good idea....and had to squint to read it!LOL

            Shannon

          28. Elisabeth | | #51

            A couple of hours I think now for just the draft, not measuring etc. The first one probably took much longer as I figured out KK's instructions. I sewed up the first one and I have drafted two more for practice. KK says his personal best from measuring to sewing up and fitting is one hour and twenty minutes.

          29. SewNancy | | #50

            MY big mistake in the past has been not to make a copy of the pattern before I make alterations,.  This time every steip I have labeled with the date and  copy # and alter a copy.  Then I can go back to the preceding version if the current one isn't working for me.  I found that his method for marking the pattern wtih the changes is better than anything else I have used.

            Nancy

          30. Marion6422 | | #26

            Elizabeth, is your shoulder measurement more than 4 1/2 inches? 

            Has anyone used KK's instructions successfully whose snoulder measurement is larger? I was all set to get the CD when I read about this limitation.  I have really broad shoulders and although I don't know his instructions for how to take the measurements, I'm pretty sure mine are larger than that.

          31. Elisabeth | | #28

            My shoulder measurement is just under 4 1/2, at least the way my dh took it. The measurement is taken from what would be the inner end of a nicely fitted jewel neckline to the point that does not raise up on the shoulder when you lift your arm, sort of the hinge point. I need some practice finding these two points, they are like a practiced judgement. We can always email KK if we get in a jam with his moulages.

          32. opalmom | | #40

            In any case, KK comments that in his experience no woman, unless very tall will be more than 4½", so he no longer takes this measurement.

            Maybe its me but I find that rather rude of him to say.  I'm 5'4" and my measurement is 5 1/2".   Some f us are built rather sturdy.   It just irks me no end.    Thats why I draft my own patterns.  The only pattern company that comes close to working for my body is Marfy, but maybe thats cos European patterns are cut for people that aren't stick figures.

            the whole square peg/round hole thing.

             

          33. rekha | | #41

            >>...pattern company that comes close to working for my body is Marfy

            Tell me, does the catalogue have pattern details like Burda magazines?

          34. opalmom | | #42

            Not like Burda.....its basically the drawing, with a description of the style and then the patterns are not marked much either.

            Definitely need to know your way around a pattern to figure it out.    But the style, and the "ease" are perfect for me personally.

             

          35. rekha | | #43

            Must give it a try; many have sung Marfy's praises. Thanks.

            How's your moulage plugging along?

          36. opalmom | | #44

            Mine is done......I wound up doing it on "intuition" as opposed to anyones idea of what I should do.  LOL.   One night I got into a "mood" and draped my way through it and its perfect for me.

            Divine inspiration or my grandmother instructing from the beyond....not sure which but have found that is usually when I feel most...connected to the craft.

          37. rekha | | #45

            Brilliantly well done!!

          38. woodruff | | #56

            i have been measured by an instructor at The Sewing Workshop in San Francisco, and although I look like a fairly normal, athletic woman of 5' 4 1/2", my shoulders measure an honest 5 1/4". I am a monster, a chimera, an unknown quantity!

          39. rekha | | #57

            It's a myth to think that people should fall in the size ranges published widely. Although they are based on surveys they will never fit individuals, EXCEPT recently Japanese and Chinese are scanning people to get a better fit

  3. lwsews | | #11

    Ok, what exactly is a moulage?  What do you do with it?

    Lisa

    1. Elisabeth | | #12

      It is a method of pattern drafting. The description here http://thesewingplace.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=1994 explains it better than I can. I returned to sewing a few years ago after a long break and I felt disappointed in commercial patterns so I decided to learn pattern drafting in order to make my own. I'm still working on the learning, it is so interesting. The moulage, or any pattern drafted from an individual's unique anatomy, can be used as the basis of any design but, perhaps of more widespread interest, can also be used to adjust commercial patterns to fit that individual. It's a great tool.

  4. SJ | | #20

    what is a moulange?

    1. Elisabeth | | #21

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