Week 20 – Skirt Sloper

So about a year ago, just after I moved into my new apartment that had actual space to sew, I got frustrated that my newly-made skirt didn’t fit quite right. I’d measured, I’d made a muslin, I did everything I was supposed to do, but it still tended to ride up at the waist, which is a problem I’ve had with every skirt ever. I love my skirts, but oh boy is that annoying. And isn’t the point of sewing to make things that actually fit you?

In the midst of looking for fitting information, I found reference to slopers and how to use them to help fit other patterns, and I decided that was the solution to all of my woes. I’d just make my own pattern based on my measurements and then it would fit, right?

I bought the full collection of Suzy Furrer’s sloper classes on Craftsy (skirt, pants, and bodice). They are really fantastic classes, but definitely pattern drafting classes, not fitting classes. There are a few fitting tips in there, and the discussion forum is (as usual) a fantastic source of information, but three attempts at a fitting skirt sloper later, I still didn’t have something that fit quite right.

So I moved onto the pants sloper class, because if you can’t fit a skirt, obviously the thing to do is to try to fit a pair of pants. Yeah, that didn’t work out so well for me. Finally, I just decided that I should stick to trying to fit existing patterns as well as I could, and I’d revisit the sloper thing later.

Since I didn’t have anything in particular planned for this week, I decided it was time.

I pretty quickly noticed that I had the same problem as last time I drafted the sloper – the side seam hung almost entirely in a diagonal line, with the back hem higher than the front. My fitting book library helped me figure out that a) I needed to substantially raise the center back seam to add length to go over my butt and b) I needed to eliminate the front darts completely. I have a 10″ difference between my hips and my waist, but that difference is not in the front.

Here’s the original back pattern piece (no seam allowances) on top of the final version (seam allowances included):


And the final back piece on its own:


I eliminated the center back dart that Suzy has you add in the class, because I was adding that second dart right by the seam anyway and really wanted the center back to be straight all the way up for closure purposes. I had to widen the existing dart to help make up those inches from the front darts, too. I tried moving it out further to the side so it would look more balanced, but it didn’t fit as smoothly out there. I pulled the second dart into the length I’d pinned out at center back, but it seems like it might be kind of long? I think I still want to play with the dart lengths on an upcoming sample skirt project, since the muslin is getting a little stretched from extensive pinning at this point.

The only thing I did on the front drafted piece was X-out the dart, so it really wasn’t interesting enough to photograph. That pretty much solved every front fitting problem I’ve ever had, and I’m kind of mad at myself that I was so fixated on making my skirt sloper “normal” last year that I didn’t just take the stupid darts out.

So that was my sloper adventure this week!


My new bra fabric kit arrived on Thursday, and it’s so pretty in the little package that I’m almost afraid to take it out and do anything with it. Surely nothing I make with it can be that pretty! But I’d like to learn to work with lace, and I love my last bra so much that I am excited to have another one.

I got more shaper fabric in that same peach, so that is another thing that I could start in on this week. And of course I want to make a basic pencil skirt with my new sloper.

And then there are the patterns. I went browsing other pattern sites while I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do this week (before deciding on the sloper project), and holy crap.

I want to make this dress like I’ve never wanted to make a sleeveless dress before in my life. I want to make basically every single thing in Deer and Doe’s current collection (with the possible exception of the skinny jeans, which are not a good look for me). I saw some versions of the Appleton Dress that 100% sold me on it, so now I want to make that. And I still have this great 1940s dress pattern and all the fabric/notions for it that I postponed work on after the great pants incident.

So, you know. I guess I should figure out which of those patterns I want to work on the most, because I can’t do all of them at once (or can I?)

Goals for next week:

  • Sloper test skirt – start to end
  • Print and cut out shaper shorts pattern
  • Cut out bra fabric? I might want to think harder about how to place the lace on this thing before I get started.



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