Fashion Design through Patternmaking - The Sloper

The Sloper is the foundation to flat pattern clothing design. Begin at the beginning and cut your own custom patterns.
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  • Lectures 57
  • Length 2.5 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 12/2014 English

Course Description

This course will focus on the flat pattern method of fashion design. We will be making patterns for non-strech garments. Designing clothing in two dimensions requires a designer to drape a 3 dimensional foundational garment that becomes a working sloper when deconstructed and presented as 2 dimensional shapes. In this class you will learn to drape a custom foundation for any body. After the garment is draped we will correct the shapes and create a perfected sloper. Draping a Sloper is a pre requisite toward fully understanding how patterns work. Moving forward in the course we will use our slopers to explore the three major concepts of pattern making. 1. How to create shape. 2. How to create volume. 3. How to cut to the body.

What are the requirements?

  • You will need large format paper, paper scissors, pencils, erasure, colored markers, fabric scissors, straight pins and muslin.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Gain a better understanding of how two dimensional shapes translate to three dimensional garments
  • Learn how to use drafted guidelines for draping on the form
  • Use drafting guidelines transfered to fabric to drape the form.

Who is the target audience?

  • The course is the foundation of cutting garments, how to make patterns that work and how to see the relation ship between the 2 dimensional flat pattern and finished 3 dimensional garment.
  • Students who will benefit from this class include... Home sewers who use commercial patterns and would like more information about how patterns are created. Future younger students who may not be at the college level. Fashion enthusiasts who may not have formal fashion education in their communities. Students who may want tot study fashion but it may not be able to fit it into their formal academic course load. Cos-players and theatrical performers.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: The Bodice - Parts one and two of the FIVE piece sloper

Welcome to the course. This course will be composed of there main elements. 1. the Bodice, 2. the Skit, and 3. the Sleeve. You will become familiar with the drafting and draping procedures required to create custom slopers.


For this project you will need Pencils, Erasure, Rulers, Armhole Curve, Markers, Paper Scissors, Fabric Scissors, Tape Measure and Muslin.

Introduction to the Bodice
Section 2: Before we begin

Measurements are required before we can plot any guidelines. Learn to measure the front for length and width of your form or subject.


Measurements are required before we can plot any guidelines. Learn to measure the back for length and width of your form or subject.

Section 3: Bodice guidelines

To best help you understand the drafting/draping process we will begin on paper (two dimensions) by drafting the guidelines we will need to control our drape. Learning these guidelines is most important because guidelines are used for every part of the sloper. Guidelines are also important because they transferable, they apply to any form or client you will work with.


Draft guidelines for the back pattern.

Section 4: Prepare the Fabric

Learn how to find and rip the vertical length of your bodice draping fabric.

Horizontal length

At this point we will repeat the guideline drawings and apply them to our ripped fabric pieces.

Section 5: Draping

We will revisit the bodice drape on the form before we begin to drape.


Prepare the form by creating a bridge from bust point to bust point so that our drape will not fall into the cleavage of our form or model.


Starting at center front neck pin the prepared fabric to form along the center front line. Secure the bust point on the form in relation to our guideline marking. Then continue to drape the fabric to find the seams lines and our basic bodice shape.


Continuing on... Start at center back neck, pin the prepared fabric to form along the center back line. Secure the fabric across the shoulder HBL (horizontal balance line). Then continue to drape the fabric to find the darts and seams lines that make our basic back bodice shape.

Section 6: Truing your drape, Intro to drafting

Here we begin the truing process. Take the marked draping pieces and correct the shapes so that we will have strong lines that fit well together. In this step we will adjust the side and shoulder seams.


Correct and draw in the bust dart.


Correct and draw in the shoulder and lumbar darts.


Adjust the armhole and draw in additional ease at the side seam to prepare the the bodice for a sleeve.


Close out the bust and lumbar darts to correct the waist line of the bodice.

Section 7: Review

let's review. Before we transfer our corrected information to the planning sheet where we first established our guidelines this recap will look at where we started and what we are working with after our draping efforts.

Section 8: Drafting and Test fit

Now that we have draped and corrected our shapes lets commit the information to our planning sheet. We will lay the fabric under our drafting paper and trace our new lines.

*If you are working with paper that you can not see through. Lay the fabric on top of your guidelines and use a stiletto/tracing wheel to transfer the new lines. You can also use a push pin and make a series of punctures around the shapes marking your paper. Then connect those punctures to draw your new lines on your planning sheet.


Add seam allowance to the pattern shapes before we cut and assemble the shapes. Basic seam allowances are as follows. 1/4 inch at all faced edges. 1/2 inch at major construction seams, 1 inch at side seams for additional ease for on the body alterations.


Prepare the shapes for the test fit. For this instructional I will use pins to secure my darts and seams to create the shape my bodice will take. I chose to pin pep for the sake of time but also because wanted to be able to release the pinning to easily return to the flat pattern.

*If you choose to sew up your test fit use a long stitch length in case you need to deconstruct your bodice and return to two dimensions.


Place the assembled garment on the form and look at your work.

  1. Do the guidelines rest where they should?
  2. Hows the fit at the side seam at the armhole?
  3. Is there one inch of ease in the circumference out the body at the underarm?

On the planning sheet make the final correction to the armhole.

  1. Measure the front and back armholes.
  2. Determine the total length.
  3. Divide the total length so that the front arm hole measures 1/2 inch less than the back arm hole. (Example. front arm hole equals 8 3/4 inches, back armhole equals 8 3/4 inches. 8 3/4 + 8 3/4 = 17 1/2 inches. Divide the length into two numbers so that one number is 1/2 inch longer than the other. In this case our new armholes equal 8 inches for the front and 9 1/2 inches for the back.)
  4. Redraw your new armhole lengths on your planning sheet.
Section 9: Final review

Final review of the our bodice.

Section 10: The Skirt -Parts three and four of the FIVE piece sloper

Now we will move on to drape and draft our skirt pattern.


Here are the supplies you will need to complete this task.

Section 11: Before we begin

As before, before we can begin to draw our guidelines we need to take measurements for our skirt panels. In this step we will find the two sets of measurements we will use to set up our planning sheet.

Section 12: Skirt guidelines
Front guideline draft
Back guideline draft
Section 13: Prepare the fabric
Vertical length
Horizontal length
Mark fabric with guidelines Front
Mark fabric with guidelines Back
Section 14: Review
Se the relationship between the planning sheet and the fabric before we drape
Section 15: Draping
Drape Skirt front
Drape Skirt back
Section 16: Truing the Skirt drape
Overview of the truing process for the Skirt
True the Skirt front
True the Skirt back
Section 17: Test fit and Drafting
Adding seam allowance to our skirt
Assemble the front and back skirt panels
Test fit
Finalize the planing sheet
Section 18: The Sleeve - Part five of the FIVE piece sloper
Welcome to class
Supplies List
Section 19: Before we begin
Take arm measurements
Section 20: Sleeve planning sheet
Sleeve guidelines
Sleeve cap
Sleeve cap 2, the Curve
the body of the Sleeve
Section 21: Review
Recap of the Sleeve and it's parts
Section 22: Create the hard copy of the Sloper
Working with Oak tag
Prepare to commit the drafted sloper to Oak tag
Marking the Sloper
Section 23: Review
Final look at all of our Sloper pieces

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Instructor Biography

Prof. Anthony Riojas, Fashion Design through Patternmaking

I love to make patterns, plain and simple. As a creative person I have explored many modes of expression, Metal smithing, Fine Art, Photography, Public Access T.V. production, Theater, Stage Craft, Lighting design, Sound production, DJing, Ballroom dancing, Clowning and Flow but my favorite is Fashion Design, more specifically pattern drafting for clothing. It's just fun for me to look at something in a magazine in 2-d knowing that the model and garment is in 3-d and thinking about how it breaks down in 2-d as a flat pattern.

Flat pattern design is one of the most important skills a garment designer can acquire. Without the skill of drafting patterns you can not translate sketched ideas into reality. Understanding cut simplifies the design process when thinking in terms of the 3-d architecture you want to achieve with your garments or collection of garments. Silhouette (Line) and Form are 3-d elements that fashion designers and critics always refer to when describing a group of clothing but it is all built on the 2-d plain before it can be worn.

As for my credentials, I have five years experience teaching pattern drafting by hand in the Community College classroom. Having moved on from my post at the College I am now free to share my knowledge with you, here on UDEMY.

Thank you for investigating my course and Ill see you in class.

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