Dress Sloper

Yes, I am still taking pattern drafting classes. I am little behind. We had spring break two weeks ago and I was too busy at work to slip away for classes this past week. But, I’m going in today. So, very early this morning I got up and altered and sewed up my dress sloper (due last week — yikes).  This is based on a Butterick (can’t find the number right now).


Overall, I’m pleased! I have NEVER considered wearing a pencil skirt before. But, I like the shape of this! I see some basic sheath dresses in my immediate future. Right, back to the sloper.

The center front line is pulling (as is the center back). But, I think it has more to do with how little ease is in the sloper.  Using my measurements, I

  • made my sway 1.5 inch back adjustment to the back skirt
  •  added about two inches of width for the thighs 
  •  widened and lengthened the sleeves (we’re not adding those yet).

Very minimal alterations needed. Based on what I’m seeing, I think I still need

  • a swayback adjustment to the bodice back
  • deeper darts to the skirt back and skirt front.

I have since added a zipper to the back.


I’m open and welcome to thoughts! I’ll also let you know what my professor has to say.

** ETA: My instructor said I needed to lengthen my front  skirt darts and take a tuck from the upper front bodice. She said the rest, was good. So, I cut it out of oak tag and she’s grading it now. I’ll make it up again when I get it back.


  1. I agree that the pencil skirt looks great. I just did a pencil skirt experiment with my hips/thighs on my blog and I was also pleasantly surprised. I love the bombshell look it gives you.

  2. What a great fit so early in the process. I think I see a little too much length in the bodice back, but it’s hard to tell with the back partially open. The sheath style looks very flattering on you.

    • I think you’re right. It looked a little different (from what I could tell) with the zipper in. I’ll probably make it up again with a shortened length in the back. I have a feeling my sloper is going to be an all summer project!

  3. Wonderful, you got a pretty good fit on the first try. I think the fact that you have been sewing for a while and you know your body and what areas need to altered work in your favor. You might want to check the back bodice lenght? too long? I am not sure. I can’t wait to hear the teacher’s opinion.

  4. You wouldn’t wear a pencil skirt? and why not since this muslin sloper looks amazing on your body girl. I am wondering if you don’t need more sway back but a flat back adjustment which is done further up the back. I can’t really tell without a side view. I am interested in hearing what your teacher has to say. Can I also say that I am jealous that you have this class near you. I’d have to drive well over an hour to get to one.

  5. It is wonderful that you have a professor to help you through this! I think it will ultimately make a wonderful dress or six.

  6. A pencil skirt would be perfect on you. And this sloper is already almost perfect.
    I did not even know what a sloper was. I’m not completey sure yet, but I think I have the general idea. It is a bit like your personnal prototype?
    Anyway, I like reading your adventure at this school.

  7. That looks very close to perfect as far as I can tell from the pictures, and I agree with everyone else; you look fantastic in this shape.

  8. This looks terrific….takes me back to my days of learning and fitting, but you’ve got a great start. And if you look good in the skirt muslin, just think how terrific you’ll look in the finished fabric. Muslins are always awful looking – except for the fit! Great Job!

  9. I think you have the same problem I have – one side is larger than the other, in your case the left thigh. (Mine is the right) That also means one side is smaller. Maybe your sloper is pulling because the right side of the garment is too long since there is not enough flesh to fill the space. If you add a bit of fabric to the left thigh and take up at the waist on the right hand side you may find you will loose the wrinkles and the twist. I do confess the twist on the back is opposite to what I would expect but try a small tuck at the right waist and see what happens. Middle back looks too long too. This is a great first pass.

  10. While reading this (and before I got to the ETA) I was thinking that perhaps you needed to shorten the waist rather than more swayback. I know with me I previously did sway back adjs when in fact I just had to shorted back/front waist length. I assume the tuck in the bodice is the one that will fix the problem? Looking very good.

    • AGreed. Thannks! The tuck is actually above the chst around the shoulder. There was an extra fold of fabric there.

    • Well, every pencil skirt I’ve ever tried on at the store was tight in the thighs and big in the waist. So, it’s not something I ever thought about before. This has totally changed my mind!

  11. How cool! Completely agree about the pencil skirts. Can’t wait to see what you make from this.

  12. We talked! And, I have to say, “told you so” re the pencil skirt. I hope at least one is in your near future.

  13. cn I have instructions on how to make tht plzzzzz…. it has such a great fitting!!

Comments are closed.