Just a short note here. I use the same pattern on most of the bodies I make.
I like this because it has shape and shoulders built into the pattern, which makes attaching the arms easy. However, this pattern can be easily altered.
In this picture, I have made the cutout much smaller. This still leaves me the shape for the shoulders. I added a horizontal cutout (dart) below the cutout and a vertical one at the bottom. I also added half of a vertical cutout on each edge where the two halves glue together.
When glued up, this changes the body from a slim puppet body to a full-figured puppet body. Same basic pattern, two different bodies.
I will add some foam to this to pad it out even more, but this gives me a much better shape to start my puppet out with.
Using the altered shape, adding a little padding and you now have...
No, not Homer's head, a full figured femme's torso!