How To Draft A Front Bodice Sloper: Update


I cannot express the importance of a sloper. A sloper, or block, is a basic bodice, sleeve, skirt, pant, or dress pattern that is made to fit a particular individual, size, or mannequin exactly and perfectly. It has minimal darts and is usually sewn with muslin or some other light-weight cotton fabric. From this pattern, other patterns can be drafted by slashing and opening, slashing and spreading, slashing and overlapping, or other pattern manipulation techniques (unless the design requires draping, in which case the pattern is made by draping and then trueing). A sloper is also a good tool to use throughout the design process because when patterns are manipulated, shapes can become distorted  and it’s a good habit to compare the shapes of the manipulated pattern to the shapes of the sloper pattern so that the original pattern shapes are maintained as much as possible. Throughout the design process, I’m constantly going back to see that the armhole depth/length/shape is as close to my sloper as I can get it. A sloper is also a good tool to use when dealing with commercial patterns – you can compare specs and pattern shapes and adjust the commercial pattern as needed so that it is as close to your sloper as possible.

Below I show you my method, which I have used personally, to draft a sloper. My method differs from a textbook  in the amount of ease that is built into the pattern. If a sloper is supposed to be the closest approximation of your body in fabric form, why add 2” of ease at the bust?  This is what every textbook I have read suggests. A sloper should be form fitting but also moveable. The amount of ease I build into the sloper pattern gives just enough wiggle room to allow easy movement while still being fitted.

Before I move on to measuring and drafting, I have a foreword. I believe that everyone is capable of drafting a perfect sloper, no matter their size. It’s all about getting the correct measurements from the get-go and meticulous fitting (this method will give you a very good fitting bodice but fine tuning the fit may be necessary to get it to fit perfectly). This stuff is simple for me because I worked with blocks, drafting, and measurements for 2 and 1/2 years when I worked in technical design for this company (I now blog for the brand) but I was in your shoes not too long ago. You can do it. I promise!


Okay, now let’s get started.

First, we need to measure. Just like I cannot express the importance of a sloper, I cannot express the importance of accurate measuring. Ninety-nine percent of the time, reader’s questions are answered by correcting their measurements. It’s not the drafting method that is incorrect – it is their measurements.

The first steps to measuring are determining who will take the measurements and time. I highly recommend that someone measures you but measuring solo is not impossible. If measuring solo, be sure to stand in front of a full length mirror while measuring (so that you ensure the measuring tape is level while measuring). I also highly recommend setting an hour aside to take all of your measurements. Spend one hour to get accurate measurements or spend six hours remeasuring yourself and redrafting your sloper because accurate measuring was not done on the first go.

The second step to measuring is wearing the correct clothing. Wearing only undergarments will yield the most accurate measurements but if someone will be taking your measurements, it is okay to wear workout/exercise clothes such as leggings and a tight tank top. Also, make sure that you wear the same bra while measuring and throughout the sloper fitting process.

Whether you wear undergarments or exercise clothes while measuring, I also highly recommend that you mark your shoulder line, shoulder tip, neckline, bust point, armhole depth, side seam, and waist line with a marker, pen, chalk, or pins. You can eyeball all of these measurements except for shoulder tip, bust point, armhole depth, and waist line, which I will show you how to find below. This will keep measuring points consistent throughout the measuring process.

Stance and breath is also important while measuring. Be sure to stand upright, on a flat surface, with feet slightly apart, and with weight distributed evenly. Also, breath normally while measuring as any large inhales or exhales can distort measurements.

Before taking any measurements, a waistline must be defined. To find the waist line, tie a string, shoelace, tie, or whatever string around your waist – don’t tie it too tight or too loose; tie it just right – and wiggle around to let the string fall to your natural waist.

{FULL LENGTH} shoulder at neck to waist line

{CF (CENTER FRONT) LENGTH} hollow at center front neck to waist line

{SHOULDER TIP} ¼” from the end of shoulder (if you start to raise your arm, a hollow will form at the shoulder joint. This is shoulder tip – approximately)

{SHOULDER LENGTH} shoulder at neck to shoulder tip

{ACROSS SHOULDER} shoulder tip to shoulder tip – MEASURED on back – and DIVIDED by 2 (across shoulders for both front and back bodice sloper is taken on back)

{ARMHOLE DEPTH} shoulder tip to armpit (usually ½” to 1” below actual armpit). Using two l-square  rulers, arrange rulers as shown in diagram and measure. This measurement is the most often incorrectly measured measurement. Three quarters of the questions I receive are solved by correcting this measurement. Because of this, I suggest to cross check this measurement two ways. One way is to measure the armhole from shoulder tip to bottom of armhole on a very good fitting sleeveless blouse (measure straight and not measure along the curve). Another way to cross check this measurement is to compare it to ‘standard’ measurements. If the ‘standard’ armhole depth for a size 6 is 7 ¼” and armhole grades ¼” per size, use math to find the ‘standard’ armhole depth for your size. Are both of these measurements close to the armhole depth measurement taken on body?)

{BUST DEPTH} shoulder tip to bust point (bust point is the nipple. To find, poke a needle from INSIDE of bra/tank top to OUTSIDE and mark

{BUST SPAN} bust point to bust point, divided by 2

{BUST ARC} CF to bust point to armhole depth/side seam. I do not advise to measure from CF to bust point and then pivot measuring tape up to armhole/side seam because the hollow in between breasts cause the measurement to be larger/bigger, especially if your breasts are very large. In theory, this measurement should be taken from the ‘bridge’ between bust points at CF but this is very hard. So I suggest to measure from bust point to armhole/side seam and then add this measurement to bust span measurement (make sure that bust span measurement is ½ of bust point to bust point)

{SHOULDER SLOPE} CF waist line to shoulder tip. Be sure that to keep measuring tape taut and extend it straight from waist, over bust point, and to shoulder tip

{SIDE SEAM LENGTH} armhole depth to waist line

{WAIST ARC} CF to SS along waist line

{DART PLACEMENT}: bust span less ¾”

Now, let’s start drafting…


Step 1:
A-B: Full length
A-C: Square a line out from point A equal to across shoulder
Square a line down from C equal to 10” (this will be a guideline for drawing armhole and side seam)
B-D: CF length minus 3/8”
Square a line out from D equal to 4” (this will be guideline for drawing neck)


Step 2:
B-E: Shoulder slope with E falling somewhere on C guideline
F-E: Shoulder length with F falling somewhere on A-C line
Square a line down from F with line falling somewhere on D guideline and label G (make sure that F-G line is perpendicular to F-E line)
G-H: ½” diagonal line that is at a 45 degree angle between F-G and G-D lines
Using a curved ruler, draw neckline with line passing through points F, H, and D. It is okay if line does not follow F-G exactly near the intersection of the shoulder seam at neck. Front neckline will connect with back neckline and it’s more important that the neckline is a smooth curve from CB to CF or vice versa. But it is important that necklines intersects CF at a 90 degree angle.
E-I: Armhole depth
I-J: 2”
Square a line out 5” from I and J (this will be another guideline for drawing armhole and side seam)
E-K: ½ of E-I
Square a line out from K to A-B line and label L
K-M: ½”
E-N: Bust depth (on E-B line)
O-P: Bust span, squared from CF and passing through point N


Step 3:
O-Q: Bust arc. Draw a line from point O to point P, then pivot line upwards to J guideline and mark Q
(this is where most people run into problems. O-Q line should pivot upwards and if it doesn’t, two reasons are the cause. The first is the armhole depth. If the armhole depth was measured incorrectly – most overestimate measurement – this will cause line to pivot downwards. If this is the case, carefully remeasure armhole depth and be sure to cross check measurement as described in measuring section. The second has to do with petite vs. normal height. If your torso is petite, then the guidelines need to be reduced to accommodate for a shorter bodice. This drafting method was designed for a person of ‘normal’ height.’ If this is the case, shorten I-J line to be 1”)
P-R: P-Q plus ½” with R falling somewhere on I guideline
R-S: Side seam length with line passing through point Q
R-T: ½”


Step 4:
B-U: Dart placement squared from B
U-V: 3/16” squared down from U
Draw a temporarily line (you may change line later) from S to V
To find point W, subtract B-U from waist arc measurement. With this measurement, measure from point S on S-V line and mark W
Draw a line from point P to point V
P-X: P-V (it is okay if line extends past point W because left and right dart legs must equal. This is where you may have to change S-V line)
T-Y: 1/8” squared out from T (the diagram does not show this step because drawing 1/8” is very hard to see/draw). This is the ease added to bust. It may not seem like a lot but 1/8” ease on front and back will give ½” in the round
Using a curved ruler, draw armhole. First, draw the top of the armhole with curved ruler touching points E and M and then draw the bottom of the armhole with curved ruler touching points M and Y. After, eyeball and true the shape. The armhole should curve slightly inward from shoulder seam to mid-armhole and then scoop to meet the side seam. The armhole should intersect side seam at a 90 degree angle. This will ensure that front armhole transitions well to back armhole and that the base of the armhole is flat. But it is okay if armhole does not intersect shoulder seam at a 90 degree angle. Just like neckline, front armhole will connect with back armhole at the shoulder seam and it is important that it transitions well. 

Lastly, true the waistline by folding the dart closed (making sure dart intake is pressed towards CF) and redrawing waistline so that it is a smooth line from side seam to CF. The waistline should intersect side seam and CF at a 90 degree angle.

tags: Pattern Making Comments: 186

  1. Stacey

    This is an excellent tutorial!! Quick question – I had previously been using “European Cut” to draft a sloper and her measurement for center front measure over the bridge of the breast. Does your method have the measuring tape laying flat against the body in between the breasts or does it measure over the imaginary bridge that exists if you were to connect the apex of each bust with some sort of bridge. Make sense?

    • Maddie Flanigan

      Your question definitely makes sense! I don’t mean to sound rude in any way but my mentor always used to say, “use your common sense.” So, for this question, ask yourself, “What will the fabric do?” Will the fabric collapse in between the breasts or will it lie over the “imaginary” bridge? You have to think like this when drafting patterns because essentially, patterns are a paper representation of fabric. So, to answer your question – yes, measure CF over the imaginary bridge.

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  3. Ines Despoina

    Hello Maddie, congratulations on your wonderful blog! My question is if I can use this basic pattern to sew a coat, or what alterations should I make. Thank you very much!

    • Maddie Flanigan

      Ines, yes, you can use the basic block/sloper to sew a coat, but there are so many alterations that would need to be made that I couldn’t narrow it down to a few. The silhouette, fabric, and fit will make every alteration different.

      • Ines Despoina

        Thank you! :-)

  4. Deanna Pryce

    Hi Madalynne: this morning I wrote you a big long note regarding, well..all kinds of stuff size, fit and design and drafting related…..I don’t see it now. . would you mind letting me know if you saw it…if not, I’ll repost….thank you

    • Maddie Flanigan

      Deanna, I didn’t receive the comment. Yes, please repost!

      • Deanna Pryce

        HI Madalynne: You may want to grab a cuppa tea or coffee – and maybe a peanut butter cookie with that while reading my post; it’s a little windy……
        firstly: thank you so much for taking the time and effort of creating these tutoials-much appreciated
        I’m going to make this a little briefer than the post that didn’t get posted…..
        Well,…the other night I was having problems with my RS line sloping to the right instead of swinging out…now it’s midnight and I’ve rechecked all of my measuremtns, all of my lines…even shortened the I-J line to 1 inch..(I’m 5’4″ – I don’t consider myself petite as I have rather long legs and rams – but my upper torso-crotch to shoulders is either short in the waist or long in the crotch…what is the difference? that’s my first question to you…I grew up always thinking I was long from my crotch to my naval as overalls and coveralls – aka pitsuits were all the rage back then and they always pulled in my crotch area! I would have to extend the straps on my overalls to the longest point in order for them not to but then the waist now sat on my hips!!), Well, I still couldn’t get get the R-S line to swing I took a break and re-read your tutorial and the comments. It turns out there were a few others that had the same issue with the R-S line -which is actually an issue with the PQ and PR lines;In our case the PR is longer than the PQ. So I made a few changes to my line as you had suggested to some of the other peeps on here: 1. increased bust depth to 26cm, 2. increased PR only by 1/4 – forget what that is in cm,. instead of the half inch and 3. increased my IJ line from 1 inch to 1.5 inches, 4. kept my armhole at 7 inches. and guess what? the RS line finally swung out!! I was so happy that I went to bed, exhausted and relieved!
        so here’s the dealio Madalynne: I’m just wondering if all the other people that had the same issue might be of the same body shape – and that is NO CHEST! I have no bust per say – I’m a Double A and my back is extremely wide in comparison to the rest of my frame; so wide infact, that I rip out all of my cotton shirts like the HULK! and once when I went for a proper bra fitting the sales lady suggested to me that whatever exercises I was doing I should stop! nope, I’m not a swimmer – I know they tend to have broad backs, matter of fact I sink like a rock!
        I know we can’t take a poll on body shapes and bust size but it would be interesting to know whether this Line swinging in or out and to what degree it does so is directly related to how generous our bust line is.
        Well, hope you enjoyed your cuppa and cookie while reading this….I look forward to your professional insight…
        Thanks so much,

        • Maddie Flanigan

          First, isn’t it a great feeling to hack away at a pattern and after shedding blood, sweat, and tears, you finish a final pattern :)

          You make a good point. Before answering, I’m going to let this simmer and incubate for a couple of days. Also, I’m currently helping someone with their draft. I’ll be back this weekend with my thoughts!

        • Maddie Flanigan

          So I thought about what you said a little more over the past couple of days and I hesitate to generalize what you experienced to a certain body type. Actually, when I looked back through the emails of women I helped in the past, most of them had a large chest. In patternmaking, especially this case, there are so many steps in both measuring and drafting that if you are wrong in one of them, the whole thing will be off.

          Let’s just look at the geometry of this draft. Where do the lines I and J come from? Well, they come from the armhole depth and shoulder slope. So the placement of I and J depends on these measurements. If you factor in bust span, that makes three measurements that if any of them is incorrect, P-Q and P-R will be incorrect as well.

          So, with your case, the case that your small bust was to blame, that may be the problem, but I don’t think I can say that it is for everyone.

          • Deanna Pryce

            Thank you for your thoughts and professional opinion Madalynne. I see now that one or two of the women that were having similar difficulties actually stated they are large busted..I guess the one thing we did have in common were our errors! LOL!

        • Vanessa

          Hi Deanna,
          I have the same problem. RS lines curves inwards instead of outwards. I have a short torso, small waist, big bust and wide hips. So I guess that’s a totaly different bodytype.
          Nevertheless, I won’t give up!

  5. Kat Skinner

    Thanks for this great tutorial – please definitely post a lot more like this. It’s really helped me learn the basics of flat pattern making – now to just find some more difficult tutorials :D

  6. Deanna Pryce

    Hi Madalynne: Yesterday I made my first muslin from my slopers! my hubby actually thought it was pretty!! Then I re-made it and finally, remade it again. With the first muslin Everything was out by exactly 3/4 of an inch! so I corrected the blocks and then on the second muslin only a few things were out – by 3/16th of an inch! i’m getting there… Now on my third muslin the back between my shoulder blades and waist is a bit um…bunchy- doesn’t lie as nicely as the front, yet I have ‘wiggle’ room at the sides and under bust line. ….hmm… I’m going to tweak it one more time!

    • Maddie Flanigan

      That’s awesome that you’re getting closer! When I made my sloper, it took 3 muslins in order to get the fit right ,but it definitely paid off. I use it constantly. Keep at it, girl!

  7. tiff

    Good Morning from the west coast. Thank you for all the time you took to post this great tutorial. And for your willingness to answer questions. I am having trouble with N, and then all that follows, dart placement, P-0. I have rechecked my measurements and found they were off. But as I start all over, I realize it would really help if i could understand the logic of where E and F should be placed. I’m unclear of what determines these points, yet they seem to effect later point locations. Any thoughts?

    • Maddie Flanigan

      Tiff, I’m sorry to hear that you’re having trouble, but I’m more than willing to help. It’s hard for me to give you direction when I don’t have your full set of measurements. Feel free to email me with all your specs and a photo of yourself and we can go from there. Once we figure out what’s going on, we can update this thread with your results.

  8. Amanda K

    Do you have any instructions for a skirt or pant sloper?

  9. Sophie

    Hello, just posting to say: thank you very very for this tutorial!!!

  10. Crab&Bee

    Hi Maddie! I’m working on a front bodice sloper today and was wondering if there are any adjustments that should be made for square or broad shoulders (mine are both). I’m getting a P point that is almost right next to N as well as a very steep neckline. Perhaps it’s another problem? Thank you so much for sharing your pattern-making expertise!

    • Maddie Flanigan

      Morgan, I’m so glad that you’re giving this tutorial a try and I’m more than happy to help you along the way :)

      There aren’t any adjustments for broad or square shoulders – if the measurements are correct, then the sloper will be correct too.

      You’re draft looks really good. Remember that it is just a starting point. When I drafted my block, the first pattern was a close fit, but it was very “textbook” and I had to make minor adjustments here and there so that it fit my body.

      If you want, you can send me your measurements and I’d be happy to look them over. I can usually tell if they “make sense.” I’ll be able to help you more on your front neck drop and bust arc questions if I have your specs.

      • Crab&Bee

        Hi Maddie! I made some fixes this morning (amazing how a night’s sleep can clear your head), and I went ahead and emailed you. Thank you so, so much for your offer to help!

    • sleepykisser

      Do you mind sharing the program you are using to draft your sloper? It looks so nice. I’m using pencil and paper hunched on the floor!

      • Crab&Bee

        Hi, I used Adobe Illustrator for my initial sloper. I’ve been using pencil and paper for my fitting refinements, though.

  11. Nicole Velazquez

    This is definitely complicated for someone like me who has never really sewn before, but Ive been so interested in making my own pieces I think this tutorial will absolutely help me out when I attempt to make what I’ve been thinking about. So thank you so very much, I will be coming back to your page often.

    Aside from bralettes, I have been passionate about attempting a maxi dress with back cut out. Can you offer me any tips in attempting such a piece as a beginning seamstress? my inspiration piece is a comfortable yet form fitting maxi with thick tank top straps and essentially a crew neck line.

    Thanks Again!

  12. Catherine Schneider

    I am enjoying your tutorial. A question. At what point should the PQ and PR lines intersect the I and J guidelines? I was not sure how to angle them. Thanks so much. Catherine

  13. Lois Holman

    I have the same question as a previous commenter. How should the PQ and PR lines intersect I and J? Otherwise the tutorial is great!

    • Maddie Flanigan

      I’m not sure what you mean; can you clarify? If PR or PQ are 9.25 (hypothetical), then when your tape measure hits line IJ at that number, you have your point. Does that make sense?

      • Lois Holman

        Thanks so much. I will try that.

  14. Kendall Mines-Melchior

    Is the Center Front measurement point the same for CF Length and Bust Arc? It looks like Bust Arc begins in the center but at a much lower point. Thanks!

    • Maddie

      The CF length and Full length are at a different points. CF length is from the bottom of the front neck to the waist while full length is from shoulder at neck to waist. Bust arc is measured from CF to bust point to armhole and yes, this line starts on the same line as CF length.

  15. Amber

    Thanks for posting! I’ve always done draping for creating my own clothes, but I’m working on some items for some other people right now, and for these patterns I’m working on my first slopers. I’m having problems EVERY time with the O-Q step and beyond. My PR and PQ lines won’t pivot up, no matter what I do. I’ve checked and rechecked my measurements. My I guideline ends up being where my J guideline ought to be. My armhole measurement for the one I’m working on right now is 7″, and I’m afraid to go any smaller, because I’ve already shaved off an inch. Bust depth is 9″, and center front length is 13.5″. Everything works beautifully up until I have to create that side/armhole section. My “dart” in the bottom (XPV) ends up being pretty much non-existent, because my RS line swings so far to the right. What am I doing wrong?!?

    • Maddie

      I’m glad you like the post and I’m sorry to hear about your troubles. It’s hard for me to give you advice without seeing the whole picture, so can you email me your full list of measurements and a photo of your draft? My email is on my contact page.

      • Amber

        Thanks for the sympathy. :) :) Your post helped. I decided last night to just shorten the armhole depth enough to make the lines slope up the way they were supposed to look, and it ended up fitting my model perfectly. The armhole depth I had written down was 10.5″, and I shortened it to 6″! Now I’m wondering how I got that far off. I measured her again, and it still looks longer than 6″ to me; more like 7.5″. I must be measuring wrong, but I’m not sure how. I measured from center back neck to reference point on the back to get 10.5″, and I used the method of a ruler under the arm and measuring from shoulder tip down to ruler to get the 7.5″. Then 6″ ended up working. Is that crazy, or am I?

        • Maddie

          6″ sounds so much better? If your armhole was 10.5″, then that would mean your armpit was below your bust point (you stated busy depth was 9″). See how important accurate measurements are? Glad it worked out!

  16. Kendall Mines-Melchior

    I have triple checked all my measurements and here is my issue. O – P is on almost the exact same depth as J with no upward tilt. I am 5’1 which is petite but I am also proportioned with a long torso and shorter legs. I don’t know how to fix this. I always buy regular size shirts.

  17. Jennie

    So, this is wonderful. But when I try to draw line O-P, I can’t pass it through point N because O-P is too short. What’s going wrong, please?

    • Fadzi

      Exact. Same. Problem. I’ve tried re-measuring and keep running into this!

  18. Malinda Lloyd

    Does this still work for those of us who always need to do a full bust adjustment?

    • Maddie Flanigan

      I believe that if you have the right measurements, the tutorial will work, regardless of bust size.

      • Kelyn

        Your blog is my go-to for almost all of my drafting needs.Thank you for all of your help. I’m full breasted [DD cup] and where I’m getting hung up is E-F. My measurements: FL=17″, Across Sh. 7/ 3/4″, CF=15″, Sh. Slope=19″. My Shoulder Slope reaches past my C guideline. Where should I go from here?

        • Maddie Flanigan

          I’m sorry to hear about your troubles! In order to give you an answer, I need to see/evaluate all your measurements. Please email me a complete list of your specs and we can go from there.

  19. Angelina

    Hi Maddie,

    Thank you for sharing your valuable info here with us. I have never literally done any real pattern drafting whatsoever before and this my first attempt. (I’ve done some rough sketching before for my first peasant top and that’s about it).
    I’ve been following along with this tutorial so well, but got stuck at Step 3, “P-R: P-Q plus ½” with R falling somewhere on I guideline”. Excuse me if it doesn’t make sense but I’m not quite sure how to proceed from there. Is it a measurement or just a guideline? Thank you.

    • Maddie

      You draw a line from P to Q that is equal to PR plus 1/2″ and falls on I guideline

      Does this make more sense?

      • Angelina

        Ok, I see. Now I can carry on. Thank you once again.

  20. Fab Kat

    I am recking my brain trying to figure out where I went wrong. I am having trouble with point O. Should point O extend from point A or should it start from point D? If point O should extend from point D then it is not fitting online A-B for me and I don’t know why. Please help.

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  22. Sammy

    quick question…what happens if the shoulder slope line goes past the guideline from line C?

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  24. Nona

    Hi Maddie, thanks for this thorough tutorial! What is the best way to go about deciding on the placement of the side seam for taking the measurements?

  25. Liisa

    Why, when drawing line BD, do we subtract 3/8″ from the center front length? It seems that if we measured accurately, this length should be the true center front measurement. What am I missing?

  26. Laura

    I love this tutorial! I need some advice – I want to start making clothes with a view to sell and I want to make a whole set of slopers (I left my old ones in another country!) and i was wondering what size i should make them. Is there a general size you should make all sample clothing? There are a lot of different sizing charts in my pattern making book and I don’t know which one to go for (eg. european sizing, 5cm increments, and high street fashion garments). What is a good general size to start with that’s say a universal 8-10? I’d appreciate any advice!

    • Maddie Flanigan

      The base size varies from company to company, but it usually is around a size 6. Good luck with your company!

  27. Jenny

    Yay! I measured and drafted this in one day. (That’s not to say that i didn’t throw away a copy). Now, to see if it actually fits and I didn’t need up the measurements!

    Also, I found your blog thanks to this tutorial and I’m so glad I did. You’re quite inspiring. :)

  28. Tyler

    What would you do differently on this if it were for a man? This is a really great breakdown of the process and I’m wondering if the same rules apply for men’s clothing, or if this cut is too feminine. My finished product definitely resembles a man’s tailored vest, but I’m hesitant about the darts. Great job on the article!

  29. Jasmin Desiree

    Thank you for this educational inspiring blog!

  30. Emmy

    Hi- so, I’m 5′, very petite, and so naturally while drafting this pattern my CF was short as it is. It measures 13in and with c being 10in, things look sort of weird. But because of this all my lines are running haywire, especially E-I. There would be no room for point j because adding point I takes up the entire rest of c. Among a plethora of other problems. What should I do?

  31. Elaine Bates

    I have just found this wonderful site. I will read over the rest of this great site later. Thank you very much Madalynne for creating this wonderful tool of information for pattern drafting. I am from Australia.

    • maddie

      Thank you for using it!

  32. Dona

    I am trying to decide the Letter D – it is just 3/8 of an inch? I can not get it to look right on the drawing? Have been all day trying to know if it is right or not.

    • Dona Porter

      I am sorry but I do not get e-mails on my phone and I had a problem this week with the e-mail. If you could let me know here, I would appreciate it. I just am not understanding about the letter D – how it is applied and what measurement is used. Thank you for your help.

      • Dona Porter

        I got it. I had to look at another sloper it see what I was doing. Sometimes it is just the small things that help us to see what is right in front of our eyes. I want to think you for putting this on line so that I could learn how to make clothes that will fit. I am a plus size, is there any thing special I need to do? Thank you!

  33. Vasu

    Hi Maddie. Looks like an amazing article. I have just stepped into sewing and i consider myself lucky to have come across your blog. wish to make the best use of it.

    Can i apply this drafting concept on Indian clothes ? Like a Kurti / Salwar kameez?

  34. rachel

    Dear Madalynne, I love your creations and blog. I am starting out designing patterns (I sew for many years already). On your advice I follow the book by Armstrong, pattern making for fashion design. I find it very clarifying for the whole process of flat pattern making. I am focusing on children’s clothes. I am just starting to practice (after I read a big part of it) but found that the basic bodices I design following instructions are so different from the majority of bought patterns I have been using all this time. Especially the shoulders and armhole curves are dramatically different from most commercial patterns. I would appreciate your insight on this.
    Thanks for sharing your process and work.

  35. Kim Baxley

    Hello, This is a wonderful tutorial. The problem I am having with this tutorial and all of the pattern drafting text books I have bought is that I am trying to draft patterns for dolls not humans. So when the instructions say measure the waste then add 5″ ( a made up example of course) I do not know where that 5″ came from so how do I translate the instructions to work for a doll? Or how do I figure out where the measurements are coming from so I can figure out how to adjust them? I would greatly appreciate any help :)

  36. Paula Taylor

    Maddie,I too am very appreciative of your wilingness to share your knowledge in this area! I was slowly but surely moving through your instructions, hit a few snags, but was able to figure them out, until I got to the dart legs. My current issues are: Step 4, U-V. How do you square on a point? Don’t I need a line to square against? And my X, (left leg of dart) was extremely high causing a sharp slant downward to the waist line–but pretty good alignment on my side seam.

    May dart legs are both the same length. I am busty, short waisted (I think), but pretty normal height at 5’5″. I think the solution might be to lengthen the CF (which as I measure in my bra, did not follow the curves of my bustine). What do you think? I played with armhole depth measures, settled on 6 1/2″ depth, and 1 1/2″ difference between I and J. Sleeve area looks pretty good. Side seam angles out, but left dart leg is high on the pattern. Your input is greatly appreciated!

  37. Paula Taylor

    Well Maddie, I gave it another try and I have something that resembles a bodice front this time. I tweaked some of my measurements, and I’m going to cut the muslim after I make the bodice back and see what happens! Thanks!!

    • maddie

      Good luck! Be sure to email me with the results!

  38. Pingback: {Creative Process} Vintage 60’s Dress: 2 step forwards; 1 step back – House of Pinheiro

  39. Saskia

    Can I ask how do you translate the paper drawn draft into something you can wear? If I cut the fabric (twice) as per the front and back bodice sloper, do I stitch them together at side and shoulder seams. If so, what sort of seam allowance is there? Or is this something I need to add to my own paper sloper pattern?

  40. Dorothy Fong

    Hi, Maddie,

    I have the same question as one person mentioned. I can’t figure out where point-Y is. Is it up from Point-T? Is it outside the sloper, to the left of Point-T?


  41. Jessica. E

    Hello Madalynne, thank you so much for taking the time to share. Your sleeve sloper helped tremendously, just finished my sleeve. The front bodice pattern has been going so well until i got to point O-P, where precisely am i to square the bust span from CF?? I tried it but my P-J line is sloping downwards. Can you give more insight please??


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