March 4, 2024

What is a sloper?

Imagine a sloper as your personal blueprint, crafted just for you (and by you!), with your unique measurements and curves. Fit a pattern to your body once, and then turn it into a wardrobe of possibilities. That’s what you can do with a sloper—and we’re here to help you make and use your sloper!

Do you wish you could spend less time fitting and more time designing and sewing? Then you should enroll in Sloper School, a brand new approach to fitting from Cashmerette! In this 9 week course, you’ll learn how to create and use a custom-fit sloper, giving you the confidence to create and adjust new patterns that fit, without endless revisions. 

What is a sloper?

A fitting sloper is a basic, closely fitted pattern that you refine until it fits your body really well—and then you can use it to adjust other sewing patterns to fit you without endless rounds of muslins, or you can use it to create infinite different looks through hacking techniques. A fitting sloper is a foundational template that serves as a starting point for creating custom-fitted garments.

What’s the difference between a sloper, block and moulage?

There’s no real consensus on this—but the terminology doesn’t really matter. What does matter is getting you a fabulously fitting garment that you can then use! 

How do I make a sloper?

Most sloper tutorials have you draft your sloper from scratch. You take numerous measurements, enter them into complex formulas, then sketch the resulting shapes onto large pieces of paper to create your pattern pieces. This made-to-measure approach can seem really appealing because you’re creating the pattern pieces from your measurements—so it’s guaranteed to fit, right?

Unfortunately, most DIY sloper tutorials aren’t designed with curvy bodies in mind, and if you’re not experienced with pattern drafting, it can actually be quite challenging to draft the pieces! And if the sloper doesn’t fit you right away—then what?

Here at Cashmerette, we feel that the best way to make a sloper is by starting with a sewing pattern that’s specifically designed to be used as a sloper, and specifically designed for curvy bodies. The pattern pieces are already created for you, so all you need to focus on is tweaking it to fit your body.

If that approach sounds appealing to you, you’ll love our Wyman Dress Sloper! The Wyman is a fitting sloper designed for curves in sizes 0-32 and cup sizes C-H. Join Cashmerette Club at the All Access level to get the Wyman—or get it free when you enroll in Cashmerette Sloper School by March 15th!

How do I get my sloper to fit properly?

Getting that perfect fit with your sloper is like finding the key to unlock your sewing superpowers!

Start by sewing up your sloper using muslin fabric. (This way, you can fine-tune the fit without worrying about wasting your final fabric.) Try on your muslin and give it a spin. Take note of any snug spots, loose areas, or wrinkles. See how your sloper feels from every angle.

You can then use flat pattern adjustments to improve any fit issues that you see, or you can shape it on your body by pinching any excess fabric and cutting open any tight areas. We recommend working from the top of your body down to the hem, and making one adjustment at a time before trying on a new muslin. It might take a few rounds of revisions and muslins to get your ideal fit!

We’ve got loads of fitting tutorials available through Cashmerette, including in Jenny’s bestselling book, “Ahead of the Curve”.

How do I use a sloper?

Once you have a well-fitting sloper, you can use it to make an infinite number of different garments! There are two main ways to use your sloper: by hacking it into different styles, and by comparing it to other patterns to assess the fit.

With your sloper by your side, the sky’s the limit when it comes to creating personalized garments that fit you like a dream.

How do I hack my sloper?

You can also use your sloper to create a new pattern that you know will fit you! This can work to create a totally new design, or, if you find an existing pattern you like, but based on your initial assessment you don’t think it will work for you (e.g. it doesn’t come in your size), you can apply the design elements from that pattern to your sloper.

Here are just some ideas of how you can transform your sloper into a new pattern:

  • Adding ease
  • Extending the bodice to hip length to make a top
  • Changing to princess seams
  • Adding gathering
  • Adding a yoke at waist or shoulder
  • Adding a waistband to the skirt to make a standalone skirt
  • Adding center button plackets
  • Flaring the skirt
  • Modifying the sleeves

Want to learn more about pattern hacking? We’ve got loads of free pattern hacking tutorials, as well as our online workshop Pattern Hacking for Curves!

Let me know what you think!