Seeing fashion silhouettes change through the ages is a helpful tool when you begin costuming. It is also helpful when shaping the torso from polymer clay to reflect the shape of the period as it is constrained by the undergarments worn.
The basic geometic shapes from 1500 to 1890 for male and female fashion can be found in drawings at this web site:
Click on the links to the pdf documents for female and male fashion silhouettes; a great reference when you are planning, sculpting and costuming a doll.
Another site with information about silhouette that is useful when planning your doll is