Converting your Elastic Skirt Pattern into a Sloper

Posted by on Apr 3, 2015 in Fitted Skirt, Lessons, Projects, Sewing | Comments Off on Converting your Elastic Skirt Pattern into a Sloper

This is step 5 in a series of lessons dedicated to help you design and make your own fitted waist skirt. If you’ve missed any steps, you should go back to this page.

So, when we made the elastic waist skirt, I walked you through drafting the pattern. I also mentioned that you shouldn’t throw that pattern away because we were going to use it in this project. Today, I’m going to follow through on that promise.  If you did not make the elastic waist skirt from that tutorial, or if something happened to that pattern, I’ll help you along as we go.

Today we’re going to make a skirt sloper.

This is very, very important:

sloper warningI cannot stress this enough. The only reason to throw away a sloper is because you made a new one. The next lesson will be about how to turn your sloper into different patterns and I will say over and over again trace your sloper. Don’t cut or alter it. Seriously. Don’t.

All right, if you haven’t gotten that message by now, you won’t, so let’s get to it.

When I left you on the elastic skirt, your pattern looked like this

sloper 12There was a front and back section and length lines galore. For the purposes of “I don’t hate you”, I’m going to be showing you how to change your elastic skirt pattern into a sloper without the length lines. I recommend you turning the patterns over to minimize confusion.

One more thing, remember that math teacher whom you told you’d never use geometry or algebra? Better call him/her and apologize.

First, you’re going to take the difference between your front hips and your front waist. Don’t forget to add ease. Remember that your Fabric Predictor has that added in for you on the reference sheet.

hips and waistWhile you’re at it, go ahead and do it for the back.

hips and waist bDivide these each by 4. We’ll call them x. Keep them defined as xfront and xback.

dart front darts backWrite those down and pull out one of your patterns from the last time. I’m showing the back pattern, but whatever you choose is fine. Just make sure that you know whether it’s the front or back pattern. Cut off the seam allowances at the side, but keep the extra inch you added at the top for the elastic waistband.

sloper2If you didn’t make an elastic skirt or you lost your pattern, you’ll need to make two rectangles, one for the front and one for the back. Make the width of each pattern your corresponding partial hip measurement plus ease. Make the length your waist to floor measurement. Add an inch at the top. Now we’re on task.

You will repeat the following steps for the front and back of the skirt sloper.

Draw a diagonal line from one corner to the other within the skirt pattern (not including the bonus inch). Use a pencil. Really.

bsloper3Fold your pattern in half. You can cut it in half if you’d like. You’ll do it eventually. Just make sure your cut is very straight.

bsloper4Draw a diagonal line on this half of the pattern from one corner to the other.

bsloper5The point where these intersect is precisely 1/3 of this pattern.

bsloper6Draw a line parallel to the sides at this point.

bsloper7Make an “X” in the remaining 2/3 of the pattern by drawing diagonal lines between the corner points.


Bonus activity: colour all of these sections to make a stained glass window!

Where the points of the new “X” meet is the other third of the pattern.

bsloper9Make a vertical line parallel to the sides at this point.

bsloper10I am now going to remove all the measurement lines so that the rest of the directions are more clear.

bsloper11I am also going to zoom into the top section of the skirt because that’s where all the excitement happens.

bsloper12Measure half and inch up and half an inch down on opposite ends of the waistline.

bsloper13Use your hip curve to draw between these two measurements. If you don’t have a hip curve, draw a gently curving line.

bsloper14Measure 1 inch over from the high side of the waistline.

bsloper15Use your hip curve to draw a curving line from that mark to where it meets the side. You can now erase the extra inch you had on your pattern.

bsloper16Mark your waist to hip measurement on the straight line. Draw a line perpendicular to the side at this mark.bsloper17

At the 2/3 mark (the one closest to the curved side), measure and mark two of your previously calculated xfront or xback (whichever is appropriate) on each side.

bsloper18Now in the middle of the marks on the right, draw a line to the hipline we marked earlier. In the middle of the marks to the left, draw a line halfway to the same line. Confused? Here’s a picture!

bsloper19These will become your darts (don’t worry, I’ll explain that when we get to it). Draw a line connecting the marks on each side of the line to the line. They’ll form triangles.

bsloper20And that’s really all there is to it! You’ll need to do this on the other side of the pattern too, but they’re all the same steps. When I finish making a sloper, I trace all my important lines in sharpie and erase all the pencil marks before I cut it out.

Did you learn something from this post? Consider:

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