This teddy has a muslin rectangle pinned to her front and is looking a little like a voodoo doll at the moment. The muslin piece will become the front bodice. I make vertical slashes in the muslin around the neck so the muslin will lie flat there. I cut off some of the excess fabric as I slash and pin around the neck. Then using a length of pearl cotton thread as a mini style tape, I "draw" the neckline design by placing it in the approximate position I want and then adjusting it. I repeat the process for the back bodice. Then I determine and pin the side seam.
I want a gathered skirt for this dress, so I gather the top of another muslin rectangle and pin it to the bodice. I may play around with the gathering some to get the desired fullness, then mark the side seam.
I cut out a full pattern and pin it to the teddy to get a better idea of the look of the whole dress on her. When I am happy with the draped design, I use it to make a paper pattern. Then I’m ready to cut the dress out of the garment fabric.