The information contained on this page is copyrighted by Dale Rae Designs - February 2008
Copying (other than for your personal use) and/or Distributing this information is prohibited!
LESSON 1 - MEASURING YOUR DOLL
LESSON 2 - ANALYZING BODY SHAPE
Taking measurements is only the first step in obtaining the necessary information for creating a pattern that will fit properly. Because the measurements alone don't indicate the actual shape of various parts of the doll's body, analyzing the body shape becomes an important tool to pinpoint areas where potential pattern alterations
might be required. Regardless of whether you are working with a "mature" body or a child body, there can
be significant differences in the shape of the torso, hip curve, derriere, chest/bust, etc. I've provided some
comparison pictures with notes attached to help you look over your doll and do an analysis of the body shape.
Making notes on your measurement sheet is the best way to keep tack of this information.
The dolls shown here are included in the "MSD" category (the Mini-fee is actually a separate category-
but she is close in height to other dolls classified as MSD, so I included her) - all are in the 16" range.
You would analyze the same body areas on a SD size doll.
Take a close look at your doll from the front and note the differences in the following areas:
**Shoulder width and slope
**Neck length and shape
**Waist-narrow or wider (less or more difference from hips)
**Breast size and shape
These are all of the major areas that will affect how a pattern fits. Look at your doll carefully and makes
notes on the measurement sheet such as: "has large and full breasts, has sloping (or square)
shoulders, has a long torso, etc." These notes will help you when you start working on your pattern
and need to figure out what alterations might be necessary before you do a mock-up. Look for any
additional areas that might be a concern when making a pattern or fitting and note these as well.
Take a close look at the various curves of the hips (the shape of the hip from waistline to full hipline) -
American commercial patterns such as Simplicity, McCalls, etc. have a "standardized" hip curve that is
used to create all of their patterns - if you are creating a doll pattern from a people pattern that is published by
one of these companies, the hip curve on the pattern may not be similar to the doll you want to create a
pattern for. Likewise, if you buy a pattern that fits one type of MSD doll-and your doll has a different hip
curve t han the doll the pattern was created to fit- this could be a "problem" area and will need some sort
of adjustment to get the pattern to fit correctly. Especially so if it is a pattern for a slim skirt or pants.
Another way to look at the hip shape is to place your doll on a piece of paper (face up) and take a pencil
These outlines show that DIM Odelia has the closest shape to what most commercial people patterns have -
Looking at the side of the body shows the shape of the back and derriere (and the breasts) -
these different shapes will determine the alterations you might make to the crotch curve and/or
length in pants, the front or back of a skirt, etc.
1. DIM Odelia has a somewhat straight (or "normal") back shape but flares out
from the waist to the derriere - and note how her front hip bones "stick out."
2. Goodreau (resin) has a rather straight back and flat derriere - note how the ball
joints at the top of the leg protrude slightly.
3. Luts Mini-fee Soo has more of a "sway" back, small derriere and long torso - and the lower body
joints will perhaps need some pattern alteration to obtain a proper fit.
4. Narae (43cm) has a straight back and shapely derriere - not real full and not flat.
4. Angelregion Ami has a child-type body - no breasts and straight shape.
Look at all of the different breast shapes! Kind of like people.
All of these will require different shaping and placement and/or size of darts - and on the larger
busted dolls, a full-bust alteration will most likely be required. Angleregion Ami will require a child-
shaped bodice rather than a "mature" shaped one. This is where the shoulder-to-bust point,
shoulder-to-waist-over-bust, bust-point-to-bust-point, creating your pattern. These measurements
will guide you as far as bust dart placement and whether you will need to do a full bust alteration.
These pictures also show the different shoulder slopes nicely.
Another perspective to show the variety of breast shapes and sizes.
In addition to size and basic shape there is also a difference in lift, fullness (or roundness) and separation!
Even in child bodied dolls there is a variety in the shape of the chest area, shoulder, torso length, hip shape, etc.
Note the back curves and derriere shape on these 3 dolls - and especially note the full
derriere and the tummy on DIM Eileen. This type of shape requires a very specific fit
(in the crotch curve and length) for pants and across the front for skirts.
Also note how each doll is different in the area of where the leg fits into the torso.
May 12, 2014
Copyright 2000 - Dale Rae Designs