Since we want the focus of this pattern to be on the front pleats, I chose to keep the back very simple.
Step 1: Remove Waist Dart
Removing the waist dart on the back is easier than on the front, since we don’t need to manipulate it closed. It’s actually incredibly easy. Simply cross it out.
Wasn’t that easy?
But what do you do if your back sloper only comes to your waist? We will do the same technique as the front sloper in Lesson One: Prepare Your Sloper.
In case you forgot:
- Measure the distance between the back dart legs. Next measure the distance from the centre back to the first dart leg.
- Extend the centre back as far as you want. This is not the same distance as your front length, since the front length included the curvature of your breasts. Measure from the nape of your neck (if you lean your head forward you want to find that lowest and most prominent neck bone) downwards. If you have prominent shoulders (or curved back) then follow your contours in at your waist. Both of Quick Need’s slopers measure down to the low hips (8.5″ below the natural waistline), though many pattern makers use 9″. Extend your centre back line to the height you measured.
- Measure your width at your ideal hem length, then divide by four (since we are working on quarter pattern pieces).
- Square a parallel line out from your hem the same distance as the centre back to the first dart leg. Measure out your dart distance. Continue to square out your hem until you have reached your quarter width measurement (don’t include the distance between the dart legs).
Step 2: Flare Out Waist
The next step is just as easy; draw a line from the underarm to the hem to create a new side seam.
Step 3: Draft Your Back Neckline
Measure your front sloper’s shoulder from the neck outwards to the shoulder point. You want the same measurement for the back shoulder seam as the front so that they properly line up. If your neckline extends into the dart area, just continue the current shoulder line outwards.
Why did we measure from the shoulder and not the neck? We will have a shoulder dart in our sloper, which we would need to account for in the back sloper. We will be manipulating this dart in a couple of steps.
Measure and mark this location on your back sloper. Square downwards at leat 1/4″ parallel to this mark.
Now we can draw our back neckline. I generally find that I need to lower my back neck a bit to create a smooth transition from the squared out section to the centre back. In this case I had to lower my back neckline by 3/4″.
Step 4: Redraw Shoulder Dart
Since we have such a small shoulder seam on the back, and no dart on the front coming from the shoulder, we will move the dart to the neckline.
Technically you can place this dart anywhere you want, but I prefer to do a bit of maths. Measure your back neckline and divide that number by three. Measure this number from the shoulder/neck point towards the centre back and mark. This will be where we will place the outside dart leg.
Draw a line to the mark that you placed on the neckline from the old dart point.
Slash both the new dart line and one of the previous dart legs (the one that we crossed out). Since the slash lines have formed a small hinge, pivot the old dart closed. You should now have your new dart attached to your neckline.
Step 5: True Up Back Dart
Fold the paper along one of the dart legs and bring it to the other dart leg, folding out excess. Make sure that you are folding your excess in the direction that you plan to sew it.
Smooth out your neckline, if needed. Use a tracing wheel (or another sharp tool) to crease along the dart and mark the internal cut lines. Open it and mark these lines.