Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Scary Sloper Issues And Patternmaking Problems (Solved)

Last week I got a client who wanted me to start work as soon as possible.   I started checking out my size six sloper so I could grade it down to a size 4 only to discover that the front and back blocks were not drafted correctly.   They just sit well at all on the dress form,  complete with gaping around the armscye, centre bust  and lop-sided waitstline.   After having followed all the instructions I actually emailled Connie Amaden Crawford to see if she could help me figure out what went wrong.   This wasn't the first time either,  she's a wonderful help when I ask her for patternmaking advice.   She got back to me the same day and it was a Sunday!

First of all my dressform is a home sewer's dress form,  it's an okay tool,  but according to Connie because of it's imperfections ( such as having caps at the armscye position instead of being flat) it can cause problems.   Which brings me back to something I said before,  it's a good idea to try and invest in professional tools.   However this didn't bring me to the point of giving up.  the dress form is shaped like a human being,  so it's got to be some use even if there aren't any of the special aids to help me get the drape right and so on.  

Connie assured me that beginners always stretch their drape,  so this second time around,  I very carefully handled my fabric  with the gentlest touch possible,  following the steps one by one, not skipping anything and not doing a later step before it's time.  For example, in the book "Pattern Making Made Easy"  Connie states that you need to pinch the darts from the apex (the bust point) I didn't do this with my first drape.   This creates the problem of a twisted and incorrect dart where as a dart pinched from the apex will lie smoothly and be easily pivoted in the right position later on (in your paper draft) if you want to move it.

So I fixed up the drape,  traced it on 3 sheets of paper,  back block on top of the front block so that side seams would automatically match :),  nice little trick there I tell you.  Then after a bit of  tweeking and experimenting I adjusted the armscye,  got rid of the gaping,  eliminated unwanted ease and my beautiful sloper pictured above was the result:

This didn't come easy though,  this is making a terribly long story of trial and error short.   I did several failed pin fittings with paper re-visions of my slopers,  I was disheartened and tired too.  Making matters worse,  my later experimental adjustments to the sloper in CorelDraw9 were worse than the first few attempts.  I was clearly going in the wrong direction (you can do this when you're tired) so it finally dawned on me that maybe the real problem was that I was checking the paper fit and not a fabric one.  You can see those below,  they're stiff but they're still kind of neat.   Lol,  when  I sewed up my sloper in a nice hand of fabric (pictured above) it fit like a glove,  a thing of beauty.

If you'd like to check out my fashion or eco friendly fashion resources lenses here are their links, feel free to drop me a note if you like what you see/read, I'll be happy to hear from you:
The Eco-Friendly Fashion Designer's Resource Page

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