Sloper Bodice Front

When drafting patterns, ALL patterns start with a master Sloper. Slopers are basic pattern shapes that can be manipulated to make anything. Again, all instructions are regurgitated from Patternmaking for Fashion Design pages 40-41, and if you need more instructions, I recommend the book itself.

And now we dig in to actually making the Slopers. We start with the detailed measurements taken which cover all aspects of the figure.

Standard measurement chart

Standard measurement chart

Since I am making a standard size 8 for my slightly not standard size 8 dressmakers dummy, I will be using the figures from the second column. However, when making a customized sloper just for you, use your actual measurements. As it’s custom made for you, use your EXACT measurements. If your number falls between sizes, you can use your actual number.

Now, making a sloper was an all new experience for me and I’ll admit to a little confusion while working through the instructions. Fortunately, the pictures were cleverly laid out as overlays on a shadow pattern piece.

Cleverly laid out

Cleverly laid out

The instructions are crystal clear as you read through them as the author literally tells you which number you need to draw the line. So for line A to B, you need the number from line 6 of the measurement chart, which is the full length line, front, as this is the front sloper bodice, plus 1/8”. A to C is across the shoulder measurement, line 14 on the chart, LESS 1/8”. At point C in the above diagram, draw a 3” line squared down (meaning 90 degrees at the junction). B to D is your center front length, with a 4” line squared out from the line. B to E is your bust arc, measurement 17, plus 1/4”. Square up 11” from the E line.

Change color pencils

Change color pencils

When drawing this out, I highly recommend changing colors on your pens. I did not do this, and I feel like that added to my general confusion. Line B to G is the shoulder slope measurement, G to H is the Bust Depth, and G to I is the Shoulder Length. The point at I will create a square to meet the line that comes out from point D. There is no set measurement here, just connect the lines at a 90 degree square. J to K is the bust span plus 1/4”. This is the bust apex and as you can see from the shadow pattern, this is where the dart will form. Point L is the halfway point from D to J, drawn out at a squared angle from the line. L to M is your across the chest measurement plus 1/4”, with a vertical line drawn squared at the end. B to F is the first leg of the Dart placement, with a tiny little squared down tick mark for rounding the bottom edge of the bodice.

Continuing on…

Continuing on…

I to N is the new strap length, plus 1/8”. I have no idea what or why there is a strap length on a bodice. N to O is the side length. This is another one of the measurements that confused me. I solved it by confirming the side length matched what the measurement chart said it was. But if there was any ambiguity, I would make sure the side length matched over the strap length. N to P is a bust adjustment. For a standard B cup, such as on my non-standard form, the line is 1 1/4”. The book also includes additional instructions for full bust adjustments based on cup sizes. O to P is a straight line, but the length should match the N to O line. If it does not, readjust until lengths match and redraw N to P so lengths match.

Finish the Dart

Finish the Dart

P to Q is your waist arc plus 1/4”, minus your B to F measurement. YAY….MORE MATH. Finish your dart legs.

French curves

French curves

Finish it off with french curves to create the rounded arm and neck holes. Do note: This is a straight pattern piece with NO seam allowances. So when you pin to cut out, make sure to draw in the seam allowances prior to cutting out, or the fit will be off…way off. So there is the front of the sloper.

For a speeded up video: