Drafting a Sloper or Pattern Block Part 6: Summary of Lessons Learned


Wow, what an extensive project this was. It took a lot of time and a lot of trial and error to finally draft and fit a basic block pattern for myself. Once I got them all where I liked them I traced them on to poster board for durability. For the most part they will be traced on to paper and then altered to get the ease needed for the fabric.

The best bodice directions were: Suzy Furrer class in Craftsy

The best sleeve directions were: Madalynne

The best skirt directions were: Laura After Midnight

The best pant directions were: Burda Style

I am so excited to try and start drafting my own patterns!  I still have a few more blocks to make.  Suzy Furrer had several basic pant slopers she recommends and several sleeve slopers.  The thing with sleeves is they draft from the bodice so they probably have to be drafted every time.

If you read my post on the cowl blouse, then you probably saw my first pattern draft attempt.  My next step is to draft a knit pencil skirt.  Then I have a dress in mind I want to try.

Drafting a Sloper of Pattern Block part 5.5: the Sleeve Muslin


As you can see my Suzy Furrer sleeve muslin looks pretty good but I had some trouble easing the sleeve cap in to the sloper so it may have to be adjusted slightly. The height looks good but just a little wide.


Here is the Madalynne sleeve.


Here are some cap sleeves I am trying to draft for this blouse I am making.


I didn’t even make a muslin of the weird one with all the darts at the elbow.  I just never thought I’d use it.  Overall I think the Madalynne sleeve fit the best and had the easiest instructions.  There was less ease that needed to be worked in and it fit together the easiest.

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.


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.


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 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!

Drafting a Sloper or Pattern Block Part 1.25: the Muslin

Getting to this part took a little while because in the midst of all this I resized my dress form so my fit was accurate. I took my sloper bodice pattern and traced it on to muslin fabric, adding seam allowances all around. Stitch them up like a vest, closing the darts, and match the center front. I made 4 of each so I could match the different bodice fronts with different backs in case I like the Madalynne back with the Sewing.WonderHowto Front.

Here is the Madalynne sloper front with Madalynne back.  As you can see it is too wide across the back on the shoulders and there is a gap in the front of the armhole.  I could probably adjust the back with some darts on the shoulder.  I do like the dart placement on this front.

Here is the Sewing.WonderHowTo sloper front with matching back.  You can see it is too tight, even with the weird ease added in at the waist.  The side seam does not hang straight either.  It is a little too short and doesn’t hit the waist by about 1/2 to 3/4 inches.  So another one bites the dust.

IMG_0662So I put the Madalynne Back on because overall I thought it fit the best.  You can see that the side seam isn’t straight so this area would need some adjusting.






The I put the Sewing How To front with it that didn’t fit too well either. IMG_0663

You can see it pinned on and see that the dart is too far up on the breast and another dart is needed at the arm hole.

This is so frustrating.  I am not sure if the instructions just aren’t good for me or I can’t get the measurements right.

I just tell myself that patience will win out and I will find one that works eventually.


Here are the two fronts side by side.IMG_0664

Neither one fit that great.

Stay tuned for Part 1.5 another tutorial to try and Part 1.75, another muslin.  I’ll get to the rest of the slopers eventually.  I hope this is just the hardest one!