I thought it might be interesting to talk a little bit about my skirt sloper and it’s features. I drafted this sloper last spring in my pattern drafting class. If you’re interested in making a similar one, you might invest in a copy of Building Patterns. This book was written by my school’s founder (and my current instructor) Suzy Furrer. It’s a wonderful resource that takes you step by step in creating your sloper and then details the process to draft variations. Each section has a few pages on rules of drafting that I find invaluable. I can’t attest to working through the book on your own but perhaps one of you owns a copy and could give us your opinion on this. I know that Sunni at A Fashionable Stitch uses it!
Here are my back and front skirt slopers on card stock. Notice that these are halves and you would need to either cut two or cut on the fold to make the skirt. This is a one dart sloper (for a total of four darts in the finished garment). The book gives instructions to draft a two dart sloper but I found that I get the best fit with one. If you have a greater difference between your low hip and waist measurements, you may find that the two dart sloper fits your better.
The sloper is drafted using three core measurements – the waist (taken just above the belly button), the high hip (generally 4 1/2″ below the waist), and the low hip (about 8 1/2″ below the waist). Added to these measurements is 2 inches of ease. You might be able to make out the notches for each of the hip measurements which enable me to mark these locations when I’m tracing the sloper. Something that you might not be able to take from the photos is the redistribution from front to back. The front sloper is actually 1/4″ (for a total of 1/2″) larger than the back so that the side seam falls toward the back. According to my book, this is a more flattering place as it minimizes the appearance of the rear end.
Taking a look at the center back, you’ll notice that I’ve pointed to the back contouring. Instead of the center back being a straight line, the waist dips in and reconnects with the center back midway between the high and low hip. This helps the fabric to contour to the natural curve of your spine, preventing gaping at the waist. If I wanted to eliminate the seam at the center back, I would straighten the center back seamline and then increase the dart by the amount that I added to the waist.
I’m sure there are a myriad of ways to draft a skirt sloper. If you’ve ever drafted one, how does yours differ? I’m curious to hear about the different features!