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Forum > Fitting Woes > Back shoulder darts on slopers ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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Back shoulder darts on slopers
What to do with them?
BeeJ
BeeJ  Friend of PR
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Pennsylvania USA
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Date: 2/26/09 7:46 PM

I have a sloper (not a fitting shell) If I want to make a jacket or blouse that does not have shoulder darts what do I do about the shoulder darts in the slopers? I have seen many articles on rotating bust darts & waist darts, etc but nothing on shoulder darts. This is all rather new to me so I would appreciate some help. Thanks.

ryan's mom
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Date: 2/26/09 9:27 PM

If you're working with a natural fabric, you can simply ease the back dart to the front if it's not more than a 1/2". Synthetics don't ease as well so I'd probably just do the dart thing.

You could also transfer a smidge of the dart to the neckline too. I don't treat back neck darts any differently than a front bust dart. I'll rotate the shoulder dart to any place I feel like it, or split it in various places as well.

For example, I just finished a tunic yesterday. I looked at my armhole on the pattern and *knew* I'd have back armhole gape so I transferred the 1/2" of back armhole gape to the shoulder seam because that is an acceptable place to have dart shaping. However, I didn't stitch the dart. I eased the back shoulder seam to the front. The shoulder dart was't more than a 1/2" so this was fine and working with a natural fabric made this a breeze.

I think most back shoulder darts aren't much more than a 1/2". So if a back neck dart is 3/4", I'd rotate part of that shoulder dart to the neck and just ease in that amount there while easing the back shoulder seam to the front as well.

ETA--what do I use as my "apex point" on the back? The part of my shoulder blade that sticks out the most. Back shoulder darts are usually about 3 1/2 " long, but I rotate all my back darts from the point that sticks out the most on my back.
-- Edited on 2/26/09 9:29 PM --

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Big 4 Pattern size 12, RTW bottom: 6, RTW jacket 8, RTW top (no size fits me well!)
Measurements: 34 HB/36 FB (34C bra)/27.5/36 (and working hard to keep it that way.)
Machines: Sewing: Elna 760, vintage Kenmore Model 33 (1967), Janome Gem Gold 3, Singer Model 99, Singer 221/Featherweight. Sergers: Babylock Imagine and Babylock Enlighten. Embroidery Only: Janome 300E. Embroidery/Sewing Combo: Brother Dream machine. Coverstitch: Babylock BLCS. Straight Stitch: Janome 1600P.

If you think your sewing is better than everyone else's around here, get out of my way b****. I hate sewing snobs.

My blog: www.phatchickdesigns.blogspot.com

tlmck3
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tlmck3
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In reply to BeeJ


Date: 2/27/09 3:08 PM

I think what you are asking is if you need to add shoulder darts to jacket and blouse patterns that are not drafted with shoulder darts.

Unless your sloper tells you you need really, really deep shoulder darts or you are making a VERY fitted blouse or jacket, I wouldn't worry about the shoulder darts. A very fitted jacket or blouse will have either a shoulder dart or a princess seam drafted into the pattern. Patterns that are drafted without either are probably going to have enough ease in the armscye to take up that (rotated and released) dart. Your sloper has them because it has no ease. It needs the darts to fit over even your smallest bumbs. (your shoulder blades.) Since the armscyes on the sloper are high and do not allow for any ease, the dart is sewn at the shoulder. Blouses and jackets are much more forgiving than a sloper because of the ease that is drafted into the patterns.

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I am going for a level of perfection that is only mine... Most of the pleasure is in getting that last little piece perfect...Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just keep showing up and doing the work.

Chuck Close, painter, printmaker, photographer

Hope has two lovely daughters: Anger and Courage

St. Augustine

Luckylibbet
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Luckylibbet
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In reply to BeeJ


Date: 2/27/09 11:49 PM

Are you asking about drafting patterns from your sloper OR using your sloper to adjust commercial patterns?

If you are just using your sloper for adjusting commercial patterns, then "eyeballing" is sufficient for comparison, although it does take some practice to make sure you're eyeballing correctly.

If you are drafting, that's a different ballgame - and will have to think about resources to send you to.

------
Suo ergo maledicto

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. - Steve Jobs

BeeJ
BeeJ  Friend of PR
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Date: 2/28/09 10:02 AM

My main interest was in using the sloper for adjusting commercial patterns but drafting my own down the road. My sloper has minimum ease included. The patterns I have done seem to come out looking like the sloper and this was not the look I was going for. I could use some help to get rid of the sloper look alike.

ladybegood
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ladybegood  Friend of PR
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In reply to BeeJ


Date: 2/28/09 11:22 AM

Most patterns these days transfer the shoulder dart to the armhole: draw a horizontal line perpendicular to the center back starting 4 inches down from the back neck; draw another line through the center of the dart to this line; cut both lines to but not through their meeting point, leaving a small hinge of paper. When you close the shoulder dart, an armhole dart will appear, but you don't sew this dart. You basically just treat it like it is part of the armhole. You will also probably have to true your shoulder seam; just draw a straight line from the neck point to the shoulder point.

------
"Creativity is the residue of time wasted." Albert Einstein.
No wonder I just keep getting more and more creative!

Luckylibbet
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Luckylibbet
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In reply to BeeJ


Date: 2/28/09 2:02 PM

Take a look at this on-line Threads article - The Merits of a Basic Fitting Pattern. I referenced this article extensively after completing my sloper and found it very helpful. I don't use her method, but kind of the reverse - that comment will make more sense after you read it.

You might also want to take a look at De-Mystifying Fit by Lynda Maynard. She uses Kenneth King's moulage (that's what I used for my sloper) as the basis for altering commercial patterns. I personally have not read the book, but others have said it is good.

For designing your own garments, you will need a patternmaking book like Patternmaking for Fashion Design by Helen Joseph Armstrong or Connie Crawford's Patternmaking Made Easy.

HTH

------
Suo ergo maledicto

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. - Steve Jobs

BeeJ
BeeJ  Friend of PR
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In reply to Luckylibbet


Date: 3/1/09 7:32 PM

Thanks for your suggestions. I printed off the Threads article awhile back and have read it numerous times. I just don't get what to do about my arm holes on the sloper. They are much higher than the pattern where they meet the side seam. If I move the sloper down to meet the cutting line of the pattern at the side seam then the bust point becomes too low. I also own and have read many times the 2 books you suggested. It's so frustrating & confusing.

Luckylibbet
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Luckylibbet
California USA
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In reply to BeeJ


Date: 3/1/09 8:29 PM

It sounds like you need to add ease at the armhole of your sloper *before* you start comparing. You did say that your sloper has minimal wearing ease?

To do this, draw a point that is approx 1/2" to 3/4" out from the side seam and about 1/2" to 3/4" down from the bottom point of the armhole. Smaller frames use the smaller measurement. Also, about halfway down the armhole - right about upper chest level - mark a point about 1/2" out. Then re-draw the curve of the armhole using your curved dressmaker ruler. This will drop the bottom point of the armhole to the point where it is wearable.

All this assumes that your sloper has ZERO wearing ease. You didn't mention which method you used to make your sloper? Various methods have different amounts of ease built in, but the one I used produces zero wearing ease - you have to add that back in when comparing to patterns that obviously have ease built in.

HTH - and yes, it is confusing. Cheers! It will make sense soon.

I actually have 2 versions of my sloper - one that has absolutely ZERO ease and one that has my preferred absolute minimum wearing ease. I actually use the zero ease one more, as I can then eyeball how much ease is built into the pattern.

------
Suo ergo maledicto

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. - Steve Jobs

MarthaA24
MarthaA24  Friend of PR
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In reply to BeeJ


Date: 3/1/09 8:38 PM

First you need to match the center front & center back with the sloper to the pattern. Then you are to some degree lining it up at center back neckline being aware of shoulder seam and the front being more concerned with shoulder seam especially toward the neckline. On the front the neckline is more apt to be dropped than the back and at the shoulder seam as well. You shouldn't be worried about whether the sloper and pattern match at the armhole at sides seam. Dresses, blouses, jackets hang from the shoulders, unless it strapless, so that is the starting point. Your shoulders may be more or less sloped than the patterns, but there should be a place toward the neck that they match.
Depending on how the company made the pattern, they may have lowered the armhole. Are most armholes too low for you in patterns or clothes? You need to decide if the lower armhole will work for you. As someone said before patterns often have the shoulder dart thrown into the armhole adding to the roomier armhole that is part of the design.
My original sloper I drafted, but for my DD I'm going to use a company's basic fitting pattern to make it easier I hope. In altering this pattern I will be able to see how it differs from the orginal. By knowing that I should also know where the problems most likely will be in any pattern. I don't know how you made your sloper but if you know how it differs from a basic pattern sloper in your size, then you could keep an eye out for those problems especially.

------
Martha

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