My Own Personal Sloper

Posted on | September 23, 2014 | 6 Comments

When I was in design school, slopers were a way of life. I couldn’t go anywhere without them and they were updated every year to fit the dress form for each class.

I always wanted to make one to fit myself, but the method we used to draft them was a shortcut. It only really worked if you wanted it to fit a dress form. At one point I tried the Vogue Sloper, but I got frustrated with the fit and gave up.

Then came Craftsy and Suzy Furre’s skirt and bodice sloper classes. I picked them both up on sale a few months back and was fascinated with the amount of detail she went into, plus she is a fantastic teacher. I was so excited! I could finally draft my own sloper.

Of course, there was just one problem, I needed someone to help me measure myself first. A few weekends ago, I finally enlisted the help of my friend Kathryn to get a proper measurement session in.

Before I could get to the sloper, I first needed to draft a moulage. This is a very tight fitting bodice with no ease, it fits the body like a glove. Here was my first attempt.



Not bad by any means, but still needed a few adjustments. My back measurement was way too long and my side seam was a little high. I made the adjustments on my draft and cut out a second. Once I got my second moulage on, I realized very quickly something had gone wrong in the shoulder area. I had forgotten to add in 1/2″ to my front armhole. Whoops! So here is my third attempt.




Much better overall, especially on the back, but still had some pesky wrinkles in the armhole area. I removed 1/4″ from the shoulder and cross front to fix it up forgot to take a picture! Well, you get the idea!

After I was happy with the fit, next comes the drafting of the sloper. This is where a certain amount of ease is added to make a more comfortable fit. The neck is brought out and down, the shoulders out, and 1/4″ – 1/2″ is added to the side seam.


Here she is, immortalized in oak tag! I’ve already used her to help make some adjustments before cutting a muslin or two. I’ve also been reading up on pattern drafting. I’m so happy to finally have my own sloper! I don’t think I’ll ever need to buy RTW ever again!







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  • Caitlyn Myers

    She is a thing of beauty. Congratulations on potentially moving away from RTW completely. Last night I was on a rare shopping trip at the mall and debating whether to buy a pleated polyester chiffon skirt, a style that I’d been thinking about for a while, that was on sale. I had seen silk chiffon on Mood’s Web site for a not-exorbitant amount of money and fancied that I could create the same style skirt for a little more than the price of the sale skirt. My husband asked me honestly if I was prepared to deal with sewing slippery silk chiffon (plus whatever slippery material would go underneath it). I realized that I wasn’t ready for that yet, and also that replacing RTW with handmade seldom happens in one fell swoop; the fact that I sew and knit garments at all is a good starting point for that transition and not to be overlooked. It looks like you’ve made a big step in that direction, and I admire and applaud that. I look forward to seeing the lovely garments that come from your sloper.

  • Laura Chau

    I find it fascinating that they didn’t actually teach you how to draft a sloper to fit a person!

  • Melissa Wehrle

    Yeah, fitting on people wasn’t really something I learned in school! When we had to fit on models for the fashion show, let’s just say it was interesting.

  • Melissa Wehrle

    Thanks Caitlyn! Yes, it has been quite an adventure this year with my no RTW pledge, although I can easily see myself keeping it up past this year. It just takes baby steps and the fact that you do make some of your clothing is a great start. It also takes time and planning, but really just a lot of time!

  • Samantha Nagtegaal

    I was so excited when I started reading this post. I thought, oh, you’re making a moulage, that sounds familier. Then, as I carried on reading, I realised it’s because I’m doing the exact same course! It’s awesome to see how yours has turned out. I thought your first one was amazing, but the finished one is just perfect :) I’m at the stage where I’ve cut out the pieces of the moulage and have just begun to sew them together. Last night I sewed the bust darts, the two middle pieces together and one side. Suzy is fantastic, but I have found she sometimes omits possibilities for different outcomes, for example, with my measurements, I ended up not needing back waist darts, but she doesn’t say this is a possibility; I had literally got to that part and saw that my measurements didn’t require them, and someone’s question flashed up on the side panel who was in the same position. She said you didn’t need them, but if you want youcan decrease the front dart to add some to the back. I thought she could have mentioned that before I’d actually finished the front. But in general, the course is excellent. Can’t wait to see what you design from your blocks, I can’t wait to get my own started :)
    Xxx Sam

  • Melissa Wehrle

    Good luck with your moulage! Just be patient with it and make as many as you need. It’s worth it! Yes, Suzy doesn’t mention every eventuality, but that’s why Craftsy is so great. You’re still able to ask questions and look at what others asked.