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Got a sloper? Still buy patterns?
How do you use your personal sloper with a pattern?
bananaoil
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bananaoil  Friend of PR
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NY USA
Member since 7/9/05
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Date: 5/16/09 8:04 AM

Where do you begin when you want to beat a pattern into submission? On one hand, it is helpful to have multi-sized patterns, but when I try to make it conform to my personal sloper, I soon have shorted out an important cerebral circuit for the day when I try to meld my personal sloper with a commercial pattern. Am I the only one who just gives up and traces design elements from patterns (neckline, sleeve shape, cuff) and retains the critical elements of the sloper?
I'm approaching this once again using a Simplicity "It's so easy" top.SImplicity 2643
I have my sloper traced on poster board and the pattern laid on top. The only point that looks safe to match them up is the center waist mark. I can see my shoulders don't slope as much as the pattern's. Chest, bust waist and hips run across three sizes it looks like but wait, those are cutting lines.BbbzzZT! And it looks like my bust point ... is higher? HOW is that possible? I've been sewing over thirty years!
I would like to hear from those of you who buy patterns and use them with personal slopers. Actually, I've never taken part in the discussions much (I mostly look at the pictures) so I'd be happy to hear from anybody at all.
I realize that I may have this backward and once you have a sloper, the point is not to spend time altering patterns but making or copying your own designs.
I guess I"ll find out.

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bananaoil

Sickofitcindy
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Sickofitcindy
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NY USA
Member since 5/1/08
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Date: 5/16/09 4:57 PM

I just bought a Kenneth book on cd which has a chapter on using your sloper with commercial patterns. I haven't tried it yet but read through it. The way he described it makes a lot of sense. I also purchased a book on cd by Linda Maynard (I think) here on PR and she has a whole "book" on this. I'm sure it'll make sense too, she just delves much deeper as the whole book is about that and it was a bit much to read in one sitting. She has more examples. Either of those may be of great help to you.

Everyday Sewist
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Everyday Sewist
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In reply to bananaoil


Date: 5/16/09 5:06 PM

Quote:
Am I the only one who just gives up and traces design elements from patterns (neckline, sleeve shape, cuff) and retains the critical elements of the sloper?


No, you're not the only one.

I have a very hard time "morphing" patterns to slopers. I either keep it very simple, copying only the neckline and/or sleeve shape, or I don't use the sloper at all, and just alter the pattern instead.

The same goes for pants. When I try to adapt the pattern to the sloper, I end up almost redrafting them. So I prefer to either adjust my sloper to look like the pattern picture (without using the actual pattern pieces), or I just use the pattern and alter it to fit me, without using my sloper.
-- Edited on 5/16/09 5:07 PM --
Nancy K
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Nancy K
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Date: 5/16/09 8:48 PM

I have the KK cd moulage book, but I don't have a sloper, partly because after reading several articles on using a sloper to adjust a commercial pattern I was even more mystified than when I started. PR is selling a cd book on how to use the Kk moulage. I haven't seen it so I have no idea if it is any better than anything else I haven't understood. Cidell made a sloper for her pattern making class and she used to it draft a dress she copied from Anthropologie. Johanna Lu drafts her own patterns after taking a pattern making class, and I assume she has a sloper too. It seems that while not easy, it's easier to make your own pattern from a sloper than to adjust a commercial pattern. If anyone has a clue I'd like to know too.

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www.nancyksews.blogspot.com

nancy2001
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Date: 5/16/09 9:24 PM

I don't have a sloper but I do have a basic shoulder princess pattern which I use as the base pattern for all other jackets. I create a Frankenpattern by combining the new neckline, collar and lapels and grafting them onto my old shoulder princess pattern. I've done this three or four times in the past few months and believe it's worked well for me.

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No sewing project is ever a complete success nor a total failure.

Miss Fairchild
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Miss Fairchild
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In reply to bananaoil


Date: 5/16/09 10:27 PM

The thing I have found with my sloper while I am comparing it to a store bought pattern, is where I am going to "sit". How does the shoulder on the pattern relate to my shoulder? How much ease is at the side seams? If you look at a sloper as being a quarter section of you, then place that quarter section on your pattern piece, you will see where you are going to "sit" in that pattern.

Threads has an excellent article on using your sloper as a fitting tool, although I can't remember the edition.
Try this link: Threads sloper The article shows the comparison between a pattern and a sloper. It's from this article the Aha! moment occurred for me.

I love my sloper and use it a lot. I was working with a Butterick jacket pattern, and wanted to see how much ease was in the back. I also wanted to see where my curved shoulders would sit. From that, I had great results and did a review. I also use my sloper with Lutterloh patterns, but I'm tending more toward drafting my own things; mostly because I hate to do the same alterations over and over on paper and doing them in muslin, for what little I would have to do with a self-drafted pattern, is much easier.

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bananaoil
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bananaoil  Friend of PR
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In reply to Sickofitcindy


Date: 5/19/09 11:43 AM

GAAA! I only have a sloper/ moulage because I have those Kenneth King CD's. I gotta look at those again!
I should have mentioned I used his CD/book to draft this sloper? Moulage? thing that fits me.
-- Edited on 5/19/09 11:49 AM --

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bananaoil

Leslie in Austin
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Leslie in Austin  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/19/09 12:40 PM

A couple of problems with comparing your sloper to a fashion pattern is 1) making sure you're using the correct block and 2) being able to see what design changes have been made in the pattern. Has there been fullness added anywhere? Is the shoulder wider as part of the design? Have darts been rotated to an unusual place and been left unsewn? I find those things hard to see sometimes.

First thing to consider doing is making the right block for each type of garment you like to wear. (i.e., a coat block, a shirt block, a knit tee block, etc.). Any good patternmaking book will instruct you on how to do that. I use Helen Armstrong's book. Other's like Connie Crawford's.

Then, instead of fighting the sloper to pattern fight each time, consider getting the fitting shell pattern (or very basic similar garment pattern to the one you want to sew) for each pattern company you want to sew from. Cut off the SAs, then adjust that to match your block, making note of the changes needed. I.e., raise the bust (lucky girl), change the shoulder slope, etc. Then, make *those* changes to your pattern.

Good luck and have fun!
-- Edited on 5/19/09 12:41 PM --

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Leslie

Kay Y
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Date: 5/19/09 1:02 PM

Kathleen Fasanella, who has a website called Fashion Incubator, sensibly says that using the basic fitting block (sloper) to draft wearable patterns of different types is a bit of a waste of time. It entails returning to zero (reinventing the wheel) every time. Instead, develop basic styles which you can then modify to suit. This way you go through the work of figuring out a well-fitting jacket (as opposed to a blouse, or a sheath dress, or a t-shirt) only once. It makes good sense to me.

minggiddylooloo
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minggiddylooloo  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/19/09 1:08 PM

I'm in the process of making a sloper for DH. I have a lot of pattern drafting books and hope that by the end of this year to have a complete and accurate sloper. Since it's for a guy there aren't as many changes I can do design wise (hubby is relatively conservative with his clothes) but I hope to begin work on my personal sloper in 2010.

I used Jack Handford's book since that's the one we used in my computer drafting class, but for my hand drafting course we used Connie Crawford's text.

I also have a few books where it teaches you how to morph a basic sloper into other designs. I've personally never tried to use a store bought pattern and merging it together with a sloper. Personally I think it would be easier for me to slash and spread my sloper pattern out to "match" the design elements of RTW or a store bought pattern.

One thing that I really liked was drafting for a half scale dress form and playing around with details before doing it on a real body. Fortunately my drafting software allows for things to be printed at half scale so I can actually draft my sloper with real measurements and then print/sew on a mini level to work out the kinks.

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