Drafting a Bodice Sloper for Knits

 

At the end of Suzy’s class for a bodice sloper, she tells you how to take your woven sloper and design a knit sloper. Two slopers for the price of one!

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Here’s my drafted knit bodice sloper. It’s very curvy and should be tight fitting. She suggests tracing it onto colored tag (I use poster board) so that you can easily see that it is a knit sloper.

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So I did up a practice garment for a knit top because I want to make a knit flare dress. I have to check the fit first of course.

Drafting a Short Sleeve Cowl Blouse

 

I was so excited to have a sloper block so I could start drafting my own patterns! I also want to learn how to use my block to help alter readymade patterns to fit better.

I wanted to draft this cowl blouse for this lovely silk I bought at Britex Fabrics in San Francisco.   I traced my sloper and followed the directions in Suzy Furrer’s pattern drafting book to make the cowl blouse. I altered it by making the hem 1.5 inches below the waist. The rest I did by following the directions.

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Here’s the first pass that I whipped up in muslin. It won’t have the same drape but it give me a good start. I felt it was a little loose in the back so I think I will do the darts.

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Before cutting that beautiful silk, I’ll make one more sample out of less expensive fabric but one that I might still wear. I am going to drop the hemline another inch and then add a 1.5 inch hem allowance.

Not bad for the first sample.  I am going to do another one that includes the cap sleeve pattern that I will draft for it.  This process has helped me discover where there were challenges in construction as well.

I decided the hem needed to be longer and I added cap sleeves.

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Cute so far.  The final silk blouse had some challenges.  It was harder to sew than the polyester.  I used a tissue stabilizer to help feed the fabric.  I also has some problems with the hems  I have such a hard time with hems on bias cut fabric.  I think i need to just do a narrow hem and leave it at that.  I used french seams for all of the side seams except where the zipper is.  I used two layers of fabric for the sleeves so folded back on each other there is no hem.  I also added a small pleat into the cap sleeve for a little mote room.  You can’t even tell its there really but it helps with movement.  I tacked down all the facings so they didn’t flap.

 

Over all for a first drafting project this pattern turned out really nice!  I am so excited to wear it with my Style Arc Erin Culottes.

Drafting a Sloper or Pattern Block Part 5: the Sleeves

 

I decided to try a couple of sleeve tutorials as I always have Suzy Furrer and Craftsy to fall back on!

So I drafted a basic sleeve from Suzy Furrer’s book because she drafts a sleeve off the basic bodice sloper. It is a very custom sloper where the armhole curve for the back and front are often different for someone like me that has somewhat forward sloping shoulders.

Then I drafted a sleeve from Madalynne. Her tutorials are well written and thoughtful. The sloper went together easily and the back of the armhole measurement is slightly longer than the front. The only issue may be that that is doesn’t fit my bodice sloper because it is not drafted off those measurements.   It was drafted off my commercial size for the sleeve cap and then incorporated my bicep measurement and sleeve length. The layout of the blog could have been a little better as I had to constantly scroll back up to the pictures to follow the instructions.

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Next was a sleeve from Trantanphat. It was a totally different type of sleeve with these interesting darts at the elbow. What was unique about this tutorial, other than the darts was the fact that you enter your measurements in the first page and they calculator figures out all the other measurements for you. (It does a lot of the math!) This is kind of handy and speeds up the process immensely.   Again, this one is not based on the sloper measurements so it will be interesting to see how they fits.

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These should be interesting to fit into the sloper that I have from my Craftsy class.  I did use Clothing Patterns 101 tutorial for my cap sleeve. The easiest sleeve yet! We’ll see how they turn out.  There are also some good tutorials from Threads and Craftstylish.  I read those but didn’t draft them.

Now to test fit these into my sloper bodice!

Drafting a Sloper or Pattern Block 4.5: the new Bodice Muslin

 

Here is the Suzy Furrer bodice in final form on the dress form! Now I have a great set of bodice blocks. I am going to finalize them by fusing with interfacing on the back so they can stand up to a lot of use.

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So I learned that you make a moulage first. It is a sloper that has like a second skin fit to get the person’s exact body shape. Then she turns it in to a sloper by adding just a bit of ease to make a close fitting garmet. Suzy says you need to add this ease every time so if you do it once you have a good sloper to start all you designs from.

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Here’s my sloper finally done on poster board (get 2 for $1.00 at Dollar Tree!) I hang mine on a clip pant hangar in the closet or on the wall to protect it. This was so good and so much fun that I think I will go back and make new skirt and pant slopers from her book that I bought or just buy the Craftsy Class for those too!

Drafting a Sloper or Pattern Block Part 4: the Bodice take 2

I was not happy with how either of the blocks had turned out so I talked to a few people about moving on to a Craftsy class. The reviews for their classes were great so I will schedule the bodice drafting class.  I happened to find out they were offering a $30 credit towards a class and my class was free! I chose Pattern Drafting by Suzy Furrer. She has a bunch of classes on there for pattern drafting and I might just take them all.

I have been loving this class. I take my time and watch the videos sometimes twice before I started drafting. I developed my bodice blocks from the videos and finalized them with marker for cutting lines. I put the darts in a different color so I could visualize them easily. I love that this block has 3 darts for the bust outline to really make it form fitting. She has another class on dart manipulation that teaches you how to play with these.

Suzy has great instructions on how to transfer the blocks to the muslin as well. She has you trace and cut out the pieces in a princess seam and allows for proper fitting.

Now I am ready for the test fit!

Pyramid Dress Pattern

I have been eye balling this pattern for over a year and I finally got it for Christmas. It is the Center for Pattern Design’s Pyramid Dress, which I had seen in a Threads magazine article.   I loved it but was reluctant in my ability to work with bias cut fabric and afraid to spend $28 on a pattern that I was going to mess up. I kept looking for the perfect fabric and finally found some I think will work. My husband bought me the pattern for Christmas and I am ready to go.

I chose Vogue Fabrics Linaire in Sand. It has a nice loose weave that should collapse nicely on the bias. It is a polyester that is washable. I like most fabrics that come in contact with the skin to be washable, leaving the dry clean only fabrics to the jackets. This pattern went together pretty easily. I serged the edges of the fabric to prevent raveling.  The instructions were relatively simplistic and written for someone with experience. It did not have pictures for the steps as some others do. For someone who is visual like me, it can make it harder to not have a visual cue. It is also a good pattern to practice putting sleeve gussets in. The dress ended up being pretty long on me but that’s okay. If I make another one I can always shorten the square.

To go with my dress I made a slip of stretch charmuese with a pattern from Lekala. I haven’t worn a slip in years and didn’t own one. Since my fabric tended to be see-through I wanted a little extra layer. I made it out of a bright contrasting color so it could be seen at the neckline. This company has a ton of nice patterns but I have never bought a custom pattern that I had to piece together before. It is pretty easy to order the custom pattern online but I had some problems with the email delivery. Despite the problems with getting a confirmation number and the emailed pattern, the company was very responsive, found my order and resent it.

IMG_0815The pattern seems to have worked out well. It is like the pyramid dress pattern in that the instructions are simple and without pictures. Good for experienced sewers or people that are good at visualizing how to put things together.  I did not like and could not figure out how to put together the straps they had so I used some nice ribbon that I had instead.  It won’t be seen much any way. I bought another pattern from them as well that I hope to complete.

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Drafting a Pattern Block or Sloper Part 3.5: the Pants Muslin


 

Here is the Sewing.Wonderhowto.com muslin. As you can see this one did not fit too well. It was too tight in the thigh and in the rear. Not good. Even if I adjusted the leg width, which is easy, the fit in the crotch and rear is the most difficult and should be correct.

Here is the Burdastyle.com muslin. It has the best fit of all the blocks. It just needs a little taking in on the hips to smooth it out. A few adjustments on the legs as well to improve the fit would make it better.  I find it hard to tell with muslin fabric since it doesn’t hang and nice as pants fabric.  So far this is my choice but I will compare it to my adjusted pant pattern that I love and see how it compares.

Here is the InthemoodforCouture.com muslin. This one was the most difficult as it called for adding darts later. It would definitely need them. The rear was too small and pulled the side seam back even if I put darts in the front. I don’t think I will go with this one.  I didn’t even bother with the darts.

I haven’t decided yet if I will use the Burda sloper yet or if I will spend the money on a Craftsy class for pant drafting. I am enjoying the bodice class so much that if those come out well I probably will buy the pant class too! If you don’t want to spend the money on the class then try the Burda Style tutorial for a nice pant pattern.