Sometimes it’s real hard to understand the myriad of benefits of having a sloper. There’s a great blog talking about this, and it starts at the basics:
You have to know the rules to break them.
That’s what a sloper is all about. The sloper is like a rule guide. It has all your fitted details on it: how you fit through the shoulder, neck, upper bust, bust, midriff (what I call that area below the bust and above the waist), waist and if your sloper is longer hips. The sloper contains all the fitting dimensions, curves, shapes but not much fashion or style. It’s just the facts, mam!
From the sloper are endless possibilities. You can design straight from the sloper and create your your heart’s content or you can use the sloper as a guide to modify a commercial pattern. There are rules and techniques to obey when you are doing this, but the creation itself is pure you. This is the fun of a sloper, and the value of it.
But you do have to know how to use it. What I like to teach when teaching what to do with a sloper is that the sloper represents the fitting lines and the pattern (or your design) represent the style or fashion design part of the pattern. That sounds confusing, but it’s really not. When you lay a sloper on a pattern, then you ask yourself when the pattern is smaller/shorter/not fitting the pattern, what do you do? You fit the sloper line. When your sloper is way smaller than the pattern you can move your pattern so that you can incorporate your sloper to the fashion lines of the pattern.
I know. That sounds confusing. But for this month’s newsletter, I went through this in detail how to justify/reconcile the two lines so that you can create your own look – only it fits, cause you’ve reconciled it to your sloper.
So here’s the picture. You pick out a pattern, fabric and all the essentials and then you trek home with your goodies. You get everything out, and start with the adjustments on the pattern. You measure, cut, spread, add, minus and hopefully you have a fit. But you probably need to do a tissue fit, and at the least a muslin, to make sure…then you have other adjustments, and fitting the muslin again. Then more adjustments.
Here’s where the good ole sloper comes in. Picture taking the pattern out of the envelope, laying it on the sloper and making all your adjustments, then doing a tissue fit to check it out and if you’re still unsure (or uncomfy about what you see), do a muslin. Even if you do a muslin, you won’t have nearly as many fittings or issues with the muslin as you do when you are having to work cold from only a pattern without a sloper.
These tools are traditionally some of the best and most used tools to fit. They are used by professional sewists and without fail they work. Moulages, Slopers, Blocks and Mannequins are all great tools to use in the fitting process, but you do have to know how to use them and there is a learning curve. But honestly, I have a learning curve every time my software updates or I have to buy new software or a new computer, so learning curves aren’t all that ominous!
Get used to using a sloper and it will open up a whole new area of fitting and sewing for you!
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