Lessons From Mary Poppins: The Good of A Sloper II

(oops forgot to take off my glasses)

If I didn’t scare you off with Part I and you’re curious about making a sloper here’s my quick and dirty explanation. They actually sell basic sloper patterns that you can use to fit your own body but what I did was have a friend pin a bunch of fabric to me, mark it all up and make a custom sloper out of cheapo fabric. Here are the basic steps

  • Take a piece of fabric that is big enough to cover your front and back top.
  • Slit a hole in the middle so your head can go through so part of it hangs over your arms and you’ve got fabric covering your torso in the front and back.
  • Have a friend pin the fabric to you so that it fits like a tight shirt. Have her mark the shoulder lines, a high neckline and right around your armholes. Under, to the side of the boobs and in the curve of your back have her pin and mark all around the pins, this will help you make the darts.
  • Now that all the lines are marked have her free you and lay your pattern out. Cut the front separate from the back.  Fold each piece in half and even things out with a ruler and artist curves (or just try to smooth out the curve freehand). No one is even so just average things out it should fit okay since most patterns are made by cutting things on the fold. Copy it onto some paper or more cheap fabric.
  • You should have something like this. This can be used as a pattern if you just one one dart at the bottom you can “transfer the darts” basically close the side dart so the paper touches and there is no gap which will increase the dart at the bottom.
  • Now use this as your pattern but add a seam allowance (5/8 is a good one) and cut the back in half so when you put it on it will be like a backwards vest or a bodice before the back zipper/fasten is sewn in.
  • Baste all the pieces together including the darts.
  • Try it on and make adjustments to improve the fit. Feel free to fool around with the fit, neckline, etc.

Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of this since I did mine about 5 years ago. I remember reading an article about this in Threads a few years ago but the search results aren’t turning it up. If any of you guys have helpful links or pictures please put them in the comments or email me the pictures and I can update this post.

(I used the same base pattern for both Mary Poppins layers as this dress above)

Once you have a sloper you can manipulate it to make any silhouette and you’ll know that it should actually fit. Cool huh?

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