The One with All the Slopers

About a month ago (After the fail with the Moss skirt) I decided it might be a good idea to draw my own skirt sloper and just design my own skirts. I wouldn’t have to go through the hassle of fitting skirts anymore or experiencing fails like the Moss skirt one.

My initial idea was to get a tutorial, draft a sloper and would have a wardrobe filled with skirts by now.

It didn’t go as smoothly as planned.

I ended up making 3 versions of a sloper and because blogs are basically about learning from eachother and eachother’s mistakes. I’ll share all of them with you.

Version 1:

I found the tutorial online here.

  • great step-by-step tutorial
  • you could even print each step as to keep it for further reference.

That’s as far as the good things go. Here is the bad stuff:

  • It tells you to add 5cm of ease to the skirt. Think about it, take a moment to ponder those 5 cm… of ease… for a sloper…
  • It tells you to draw 4 darts in the front and 2 in the back… It looked like my ass was on my front!

version 1

This was the result of the first try

  • The waistband hits about 5cm below my waist… I wonder how come 🙂
  • The curves at the sides did not match my curves at all.
  • (Yes, I stitched my front panel on backwards)
  • Look at those darts, it looks like I have the skirt on backwards.


  • This tutorial is a FAIL!

Version 2:

For my second version, I used a book I had bought a while ago which deals with pattern drafting and sewing techniques. I knew there was an explanation to draw a skirt sloper in there but it seemed to have so much math that I was hesitant to try it. (Languages are my strong side, so logically math is not!)

I used this book.

version 2

The book is originally in Spanish and it was translated into Dutch.

The good things about this book:

  • A clear measurements chart to put down your own measurements for further reference.
  • The book had clear math and was applicable to all sizes due to the formulas. Because there was a lot of math, I decided to do the math beforehand and calculate everything before I started drafting.
  • good explanation with clear pictures

But the bad thing:

  • The translation was obviously done by someone who had no clue about sewing or math, because the formulas were way off. They didn’t make sense at all (and not due to my lack of math skills). Somehow (after some help of the internet to figure it out) all ‘-‘ symbols seemed to have been replaced by ‘%’ symbols. An example: “1/8 A % 1,5 cm” (A being the length between your shoulders). That was the formula for the armhole opening. It should have been 1/8 A – 1.5 cm (There’s the ‘aaaaahaaa’ moment)
  • The translation messed up the explanation of the darts as well so they ended up all being to near the side seam.

version 2a


The result was better than version 1 but:

  • The waistline was higher but still not up to my waist
  • The curves at the sides did not match my curves yet
  • The darts were all strangely close to each other.

Version 3:

For version 3 I used this book. I talked about it before, not liking the styling and thinking every model looked hideous in her skirt. I still think that but the last chapter was about drafting your own pattern. And because this one wasn’t a translation (it was written in Dutch) I knew that wouldn’t cause any problems.

So the good things:

  • written in Dutch
  • no ease at the waist so it wasn’t going to fall down
  • clear diagrams

The bad things:

  • a lot of text – no quick math
  • a lot of reading through instructions

But I was willing to do the reading, did the math beforehand again and what do you know: It’s a perfect fit!

version 3

  • The waistline hit at the waist!
  • I decided not to draw curves between the waistline and the hipline, but just draw a straight line and that worked. Apparently, I have no curves there 🙂
  • The darts are perfect and even if they don’t look like it in this sloper, they do look like that in the real deal!

The real deal!



I’m very very happy with the result. I drew a waistband to add to the skirt. I love the colour and the fabric (a red gabardine I wanted to use for a Juniper that failed).

I also love the detailing:

red 2


I found this zipper on a craft fair I went to a few weeks ago and I found it to pretty to hide on the inside. I also used 2 sliders to close the waistband and a strawberry cotton for the waistband facing.

(And yes, that’s the nail polish I bought in Amsterdam)

Do I love my sloper? YESSUR! It fits perfectly and it’s strangely comfortable (the skirt falls were it is supposed to and it doesn’t creep up or down)

I have already drafted 3 new patterns based on this sloper and I have a whole lot more planned! I’ll keep you posted!

Some last tips

  • If you want to make a sloper: Take your time, it took me three weeks but I never wanted to chuck the lot out.
  • Do the math before you draw the thing. It’s easier to draw afterwards and you spot small mistakes you made.
  • And last of all… Just try it, it’s easy and you’ll love it!

I was wondering whether to put the method I used for this sloper online. It’s a little work to put it on here, but if you’re interested I’ll gladly do it! Let me know!

15 thoughts on “The One with All the Slopers

  1. wat een leuke rok! Een goed basispatroon maken kan veel tijd in beslag nemen, maar eens je het hebt, heerlijk! Als je mee gaat tekenen is het misschien handig om je je een “papegaai” aan te schaffen. Dat is een rok waarmee je de gebogen lijnen op een goede manier kan tekenen. Afhankelijk van je model kan je het erg “curvy” maken of net “platter”. Ik vind dit heel erg gemakkelijk! Veel succes met je patroonteken avonturen!


  2. Ooh I think your red skirt looks fab! Great fit (as I suppose it should be after all that fitting!) Yes please to a tutorial/ method, I’d def be interested to read it.


  3. Wow! I’m so happy you found something that worked so so well! yay! Your skirt looks great. Thanks for posting all the work you did leading up to your red skirt. Interesting about the book in Spanish having all those darts on the sides…I might try that book because I do have those curves there and I think the darts would suit me well. Great post!


    1. The original title is ‘Patronaje de moda: Una guia practica paso a paso’ and it’s written by Lucia Mors De Castro. Let me know if my guess about the translations messing it up is right! Hope you like it!


      1. Thanks! I was just looking it up. hehe. I will let you know. I’m always curious about translated books. This will be fun.


  4. Your skirt is wonderful and looks great on you! I love the exposed zipper and the fun strawberry print hiding under your waistband! =)

    Interesting that there were so many differences between methods. The books I use all seem to be basically the same and very much like your successful third try. Maybe there’s just something that doesn’t work when trying to pattern with a translation. And the ease added to the first version is just weirdness – I’m still scratching my head about that one.


  5. What a great post. You had made me laughing so hard. You look fabulous and your skirt is as fabulous . It’s 2:20 am here , could not sleep and ended up reading your post. I am definitely NOT a seamstress or but want to learn so much. Knowing it took you up to 3 times encourages me a lot. I’ll probably end up taking 6 weeks if not more. I am not a fast learner, that’s for sure lol. again ty for sharing this and making me laugh this.


    1. I admit I had to re-read my own post, but it makes me very happy to hear that it made you laugh. If you really want to do it, I would say go for it. I’ve only been sewing for a year and a half and I’ve learned so much! If you have any questions just ask, I’m happy to help cause I know it can be scary at first!


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