It’s extremely rewarding been a seamstress. There is certainly nothing better than being able to turn a beautiful piece of fabric into a lovely piece of clothing. Whether it’s lace, denim, chenille, suede, chambray, cotton, or any other material that you fancy, sitting at the sewing machine and using an excellent sewing pattern to make your garment is something to be proud of.
Hand-stitching and creating good designs are most definitely incredible. However, there is a downside, and it’s a pretty big one; you’re not able to try on the garment until you’ve already sewn it. Unlike buying clothes from a store, you can’t return it and swap it for another size. So, what can you do to help avoid this problem? Find the perfect fit for you before you begin to sew.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re an experienced sewer or new to the game; sewing patterns are a great tool to utilize. However, they often don’t fit exactly how you want them to. This is where the use of a sloper comes in. It’s another handy tool for any seamstress that enables you to alter the pattern to fit your body the right way that you want.
What is a Sloper?
- A sloper is something that every sewer should utilize if they want to get the perfect fit. It’s a tool that can help you to create great-fitting designs.
- Also known as foundation patterns, blocks, and a basic pattern, a sloper is essentially a building block that follows the natural lines of a figure, most items of clothing are based on one.
- A sloper serves as the foundation used to make all patterns. It’s made using specific measurements. You can also use the to alter a commercial pattern so that it fits your measurements perfectly.
- There are three main types of sloper; Bodice, Skirt, and Pants. They are interchangeable, so you can create a variety of pieces such as a dress with the use of the Bodice and Skirt sloper.
Using a Sloper to Alter a Pattern
Contrary to belief, using a sloper is simple, especially once you have practiced a little. If you want to alter a pattern with a sloper, have a look at the following steps:
- Clearly mark out your seamlines on your commercial pattern.
- Use a separate piece of tracing paper or tissue paper to trace the sloper.
- Then place this tracing on top of the commercial pattern. It’s essential for the centers to line up correctly.
- Carefully adjust your sloper to meet up with the shoulders of the pattern you are following along the neckline.
- Adjust the vertical and horizontal parts of the pattern by folding the sloper to fit the outline of the pattern.
- Use a glue stick to secure the tissue paper you traced to the sloper pattern on top of your commercial pattern.
- You then need to return the sloper pattern to its original shape, make sure the tissue trace is attached firmly to the commercial pattern. It’s vital that you ensure all the sides of the sloper is secured to the pattern.
- Following the folds you’ve made along the sloper, cut the entire pattern out. Make sure you spread the slashes on the pattern, you can extend the sloper if you need to, to allow for more movement in the garment.
Top Tips For Using A Sloper Successfully
If you want to use a sloper perfectly follow the top tips below:
- Ideally, you should use a glue that enables you to reposition the pattern before it fully sets. It’s going to make the process of positions much easier if you do this and enable you to make the necessary adjustments with ease.
- Always work on a flat, sturdy surface such as a desk, table, or sewing station.
- Double-check your measurements. Accuracy is critical when using a sloper.
- Always take your time. You will have a better quality finished piece if you don’t rush and focus on the task. Rushing will nearly always result in a poorly altered pattern.
- Use a sloper that you know is the perfect fit for you or whomever you are creating the garment for. If you need to use a sloper that is from personalized measurements rather than a standard fit.
- Bear in mind that it’s going to take some time to understand altering commercial sewing patterns. However, practice makes perfect, and with a little bit of patience (like with all sewing skills), you will become a master of altering patterns with the help of a sloper.