Drafting a Sloper or Pattern Block Part 2.5: the Skirt Muslin

So here is the Allspice Abounds skirt sloper. As you can see it doesn’t fit that well in the front or over the rear. A skirt must fit over the rear correctly or you won’t have a good hemline. This one came out so-so, probably because I did not have the full instructions.

Next was the LauraAfterMidnight version. Much better! I like the way it hangs flat in the front and smoothly over the rear. Somehow it ended up a little short on the waist and too big in the hips but those are easy alterations.

Here’s LauraAfterMidnight after a little alterations. I really like the placement of the front darts. They are placed a little farther apart than usual. The skirt fit my hip well that way.   I think I found my skirt sloper!


Drafting a Sloper or Pattern Block Part 2: the Skirt

So drafting the skirt was WAY easier than the bodice. I should have started there. Most of the blogs and skirt drafting were very similar so I ended up doing two that had different dart placements.

The first was Lauraaftermidnight’s Blog. Hers is based on a drafting book called Metric Pattern Cutting by Winfred Aldrich. I have seen many posts on this book so it seems to be a favorite among pattern drafters. Might be time to buy it. So I whipped up a skirt sloper just by following the pictures.


Next I found a drawing of a dart variation on Allspice Abounds’ Blog.   There were no instructions but based on the picture and the instructions on the other blog I could make an approximation in my measurements. Hers is based on the Handford drafting book. It is probably a good book but a bit pricey at over $100.


I just guessed at the length because first through the hips is what matters in a skirt.  You can adjust from flare to pencil and vary the length as you want.  So these were pretty easy. Let’s see how they fit when translated to muslins.

Creating a Dog Coat Pattern

I took a hiatus from my sloper drafting to make some dog coats for our new puppy. He came from the Bahamas and this is his first winter in Colorado. I took advantage of the sales on polar fleece at Joann’s to make him a couple of coats.

First I had to measure him, which was the biggest challenge as he definitely did not want to stand still for me. He thought it was a game. The 4 measurements you need are back length (collar to base of tail), back depth (middle of back to level with belly), center of chest to the placement of depth measurement, chest depth (collar to bottom of chest in front) and the length from back depth final to center of belly with 1” overlap (for belly fasteners).

Then I drew a line the length of his back, marking the starting point as O for origin and the end as point 2. Then I drew a line perpendicular from O, the length of his back depth and marked that point 3. Then I drew a line from point 3 to the left. On this line I measured out the center of chest to back depth measurement and marked this point 4. Then I measured up from point 4, parallel to back depth measurement line, and marked this point 5. Then I used my armhole curve ruler to draft a neck curve from point 5 to O. I used my hip curve ruler to draft a curve from point 3 to point 2, making it deep enough to cover his body. I then estimated a width of his belly straps and got a length where they would overlap under his belly. These can be flexible and you just adjust where you put the Velcro. I make 2 rectangles to use a belly straps.


After cutting out the pattern with the back on the fold, I place the fabric on him and pinch the front together. I sew a seam right down the front of his coat so it is closed and I just need to pull it over his head. Since he is very wiggly this will help it stay on. I try it on again and it fits great. I use a pin to mark the belly strap location.

Using my serger to bind the edges, I start with the neck hole and the belly straps. You don’t need to bind fleece but it just makes it look neater. I pin the belly straps into place and serge around the rest of the coat. I put I back on him and estimate where the belly Velcro will go.

I sew on the Velcro with a fairly big square, the fuzzy (loop) side towards his body and the prickly (hook) side away from him in case it isn’t attached accurately. All done! A simple fleece layer to help keep him warm. If I get enterprising I will try a coat that has a nylon outer layer.