In order to follow along with this course, you will need to have a sloper. We don’t all get or make our slopers from the same sources, so I have included a whole lesson on how to adjust your sloper so that it’s ready to draft the radial pleats.
Please note that even if you are using slopers provided by Quick Need (coming soon!), you should still follow along with this lesson.
Step 1: Print or Trace Your Sloper
Tip: If you are printing your pattern at home, make sure that you set your scale to 100%. If you are using a paper pattern, it’s a good idea to trace a copy of and not using the original. If you are wanting to follow this course by printing your pattern at half scale (an option I mentioned under the Introduction and Supplies lesson), then select the correct settings in your printer.
Make note if your sloper includes seam allowance or not; the last thing you want to do is accidentally add seam allowance on top of already existing seam allowance.
Step 2: Determine Your Hem Length
In this tutorial we are assuming you want to have a top that is about hip level. If your sloper goes past your natural waist, skip this step.
If your sloper doesn’t go below the natural waist, you will need to do some more prep work.
First, with your tape measure find your ideal front length by measuring from the centre of your neck (the gap between your collar bones) to where you want the bottom of the hem to come to. Extend the centre front sloper line downwards as necessary.
We will continue adding the hem line in a few steps.
Step 3: Adjust Waist Dart
Since this is flat pattern making our final pattern has to lie flat, thus we are unable to manipulate the waist dart out of the pattern. Ideally though we want to use the flare from the waist to help give us enough ease at the neckline to create full enough pleats.
Take the dart legs of your waist and square them downwards. I do this by measuring from centre front to the first dart leg, and then measure the distance between the dart legs.
At my hem line I measure out the same points and mark. I then rule lines from the original top dart point to these new locations.
Step 4: Mark New Hem Width
If your sloper stops at the waist line:
Next, measure your horizontal girth at your ideal hem height. Add 3.8cm or 1.5″ ease to that distance. This is the minimum ease required for patterns at your low hips. We have previously written All About Fitting, Wearing and Design Ease on our blog, which might be a helpful reference.
Divide your last number by 4 (since we are working on 1/4 pattern pieces). Using that measurement, square out 90 degrees from your front hem line to the correct width.
If your sloper extends below the waist line:
You won’t need to take the above measurement. Instead find the width between your waist dart legs (mine was 1″). Extend your hem outwards by the same amount.
Are you thinking, “but the hip line already included ease?” Yes, it does. But we removed some of that ease when we increased out dart downwards.
Do you need to the same step for the high hip? If you really want to, then yes. But it’s not necessary; in the next step we will be making a straight side seam which will add significant design ease to the waist and hip areas, thus any ease removed should be more than replaced.
Step 5: Mark New Side Seam
Finally draw a line from the top of your side seam (underarm) to the bottom of your new hem width. If you have a side dart or french dart, you should ignore the dart for the moment, we will adjust for this later on.