Pattern Drafting 101: Basic Bodice Sloper

A sloper (also sometimes called a "block") is a simple, fitted pattern which can easily be manipulated to create more detailed patterns. In this video I'll go over the basics how to start drafting.

My method gives you something that fits pretty well, but is not perfect. To make a perfectly fitted sloper, start with this method, sew a sample in muslin, then fit it to your body. As much as I like to break down fashion and sewing into a science or into something very mathematical, it's really more of an art, and the only way to achieve perfection is to waste a lot of time and a lot of fabric.

I'd say taking the time to make a "perfect" sloper is worth is, because it's something you can reuse over and over again as a template for other patterns. I dont mean to discourage you though, this method makes something that works fine 99% of the time. It's just that I probably enjoy pattern drafting more than I enjoy sewing, and I'm always trying to better my current technique.

Anyway, this video is somewhat long and dry but if you are interested in fashion design and patten drafting, you will have to understand these basics eventually. And there are many projects I have in mind that are so simple.... but only if you already understand sloper basics. I wanted to have a video that I could refer people back to when they had questions. This isnt the best tutorial, but it is an introduction and hopefully it will help you understand how to think about clothing design and how to approach pattern making.

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Author Joseph Winchester (1 month)
I'll still never understand how to make a bodice template.

Author Dominique Maurice (26 days)
Thank you for making this so simple. I made one following your steps and
it's perfect

Author 321haylee (1 month)
thank you for the video it was quite helpful! 

Author Gigi Wilson (1 month)
very informative

Author brubombshell (1 month)
Luv luv luv this tutorial so easy to follow thank u

Author Sandra O (3 months)
Exactly what i was looking for :)

Author Susan Bingham (4 months)
This just became the tutorial I'm going to send my students and friends to.
Thank you, wonderfully done!

Author Idalia Hernandez (6 months)
Good tutorial! I have a ? I know how to add waist darts but how do I add a
shoulder dart also?

Author Elin Henderlight (6 months)
Loved this! Very easy to follow. Do you have a tutorial for the back of the

Author Amie Amiss (9 months)
i didn't understand anything i'm like :T what
the pattern made and the marks on there were confusing aldhjalj ;m;

Author krthenderson (7 months)
oh gosh this is so great! thank you for this tutorial!! :)

Author Ryan Bray (7 months)
This was amazing. Thank you so much for posting. The last portion with the
darts had given me a lot of trouble in the past. This totally clears it up.
Thanks again!

Author Kalimah Yusuf (8 months)
wow, you explained this awesomely. thanks so much.

Author ROBIN GIBNEY (8 months)
Thank you this was very informative. :]

Author cirin tanti (8 months)

Author Ahlaam Omar (10 months)
Thank you so much. I have two books about this subject and it's so
complicated. I like the way you explained. Can you also do the basic sleeve

Author Emma Dilemma (7 months)
Thank you so much for making this! :) This is so helpful and clear. You're
an angel. x

Author Alex Kemp (1 year)
Honey, this is absolutely great!!! Thank you so much for uploading this. I
don't think I've watched anything as helpful as your video (and boy, have I
watched some) I am most definitely gonna use it :)

Author Jade Achille (3 years)
girl ive been using graph paper since i started making patterns... and i
really am a teacher...

Author Monique Blake-Makyn (1 year)
thanks for video. you said to measure from waist to height of bust. would
that be to the breast tip or right where the armpit and breast meets?

Author BicycleBlossoms (1 year)
Thankyou so much. Very Informative.

Author ruthy keisar (1 year)
Hi...I really liked this video...I am a complete novice at sewing but I
want to get better...I understood most of what you said but there were many
things that were difficult for me to would be great if you
made a video how you take the measurements on yourself...

Author Crystal Mullen (1 year)
Hey! They say its 30 degree slope for shoulder :)

Author Oscar Milano Mai (1 year)
I would say the information here is very very very basic. Having tested so
many methods by referencing many books, videos, websites, to formulate a
ways for drafting the bodice, there are certains things that this video has
not yet covered. However, this is not to say this video is not good in any
way. The bodice is probably the most difficult for most beginners.

Author Cynthia Maddox (3 years)
You clarified some things for me. Very good.

Author Stephsgotit (11 months)
thanks, great tut!

Author djaqua172006 (3 years)
after you do the shoulder measurement when you draw your straight line, go
2 inches down. mark that. Then connect that point with the shouler height
point. That's the angle that works for everyone.

Author allbecauseican (1 year)
Do you not have to take your hips into account? I mean, if the garment is
supposed to go below/around your hips.

Author Adiarra Stormfury (3 years)
I love your flippin tutorials. Always amazing <3.

Author Suly Saldana (1 year)
Loved this video. Thanks so much for taking your time to make!!!!!

Author Shelley Denison (2 years)
This is seriously the most helpful tutorial video I have ever watched. I'm
not even kidding.

Author Ali W (1 year)
Hi thanks for sharing would these instructions work for a child ??

Author kysmik (11 months)
How very informative! I am going to watch this video several times over,
very very educational!

Author brdavidjr (2 years)
You say your units are in inches but from the looks of it, your graphing
paper is in 1 cm units. I can see that when you point to the paper. Your
finger width is about the size of a square. Please verify this.

Author palaceraven (1 year)
The basic-ness of this video is stellar! Makes me feel like I can do it...
knowing nothing! Very good motivation. Like the laid-back approach you use
here, "eyeball it" Right on

Author Jane Doe (11 months)
Good job. in the future I recommend that you explain that the elastic is in
place to mark the height of the waistline, bust line and chest line. It
wasn't clear initially why you would use a stretchy line to "measure" the
waist. I figured it out after a little while, but the novice might not

Author Evange (3 years)
@ChisatoShino :)

Author BugEyedPirate (2 years)
You are so awesome. Thanks for making this video!

Author saranghaeyo2326 (2 years)
You are very smart and very clear! No seriously, this has to be the
clearest sewing/pattern drafting video tutorial I've seen anywhere on
Youtube. Also, you keep the attention of the viewer. You would be a GREAT
instructor. Thanks for the video <3 :)

Author Frozenrose (3 years)
Yay!~ New tutorial!

Author fjenkins999 (1 year)
Thanks for sharing. This helps me out a lot

Author Alex Kemp (1 year)
Question: how about the back??

Author mranster (2 years)
Gosh, thanks! I'm totally new to pattern-making, and your dart explanation
really made sense. I feel much more confident now.

Author Zheldra (3 years)
@ComaLies225 Move it around having the point at the apex

Author Sobreya (3 years)
I say, Bring it on , girlfriend. This is my cup of tea. I love the pattern
drafting aspect of garment construction too. I am always on the lookout for
variations of technique. Can't wait to see more technical lessons. Thanks
for the vid.

Author Marialla (2 years)
I love the information in this video, but please re-do it with your regular
graph paper on the wall! It would be so much more comfortable to watch.

Author shesBlessed83 (2 years)
Thank you dear!

Author RaeLynnShikure (3 years)
I like that you've made a tutorial for this, however the angle of the video
really gives me a headache, so I cannot watch it for more than a minute
without needing to take a break. x.x Maybe next time shoot it from a
regular vantage point?

Author ebmosier1 (2 years)
Thanks for making this vid; great tutorial! I'm curious, though - does this
take ease into account? If not, how much would I need to add?

Author Zeenat Sarumi (2 years)
Thanks for this tutorial. pls could u make a video of a basic skirt sloper
too? and also could you make a video of you using the basic bodice sloper
to create a design of yours? Thanks. P.S the dart manipulation bit was
deadly.. like magic. Thanks alot!

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