September 8, 2015

commissioned work...

You may have noticed that I don't sew a lot for other people and almost never on order and for money. I've done a few things like that for friends but mostly, the bridal alterations job I used to do has cured me of any desire to try and make a living by sewing. 
And yet, the first sewing related thing I'm doing now, after coming back from holiday, is to draft slopers for a commission. It's for a lady who helped me get started with bouldering. I'll be making her some tops, mostly in jersey and maybe a dress as well. 
Knowing the pitfalls of sewing for other people, I have warned her that it will be a bit of a process, requiring several fittings. 

I took her measurements before I left and have finished the patterns today. One regular sloper for woven fabrics (which has waist darts, a shallow one at the front and two deep ones at the back, but they don't really show in the picture) and a zero ease one for jersey.
I'll sew them up tomorrow. They look quite odd to me. The client is a petite but very athletic lady and a great rock climber and boulderer. As a result, she has, among other features, big muscles in her back and shoulders. I guess those are what makes clothes shopping particularly challenging for her. It also made drafting the slopers a bit odd. Using the back width measurement (back width is notoriously difficult to measure so normally I look up the corresponding back width for each bust size in a chart. I just knew that wouldn't work in this case) made the back pieces substantially wider than the fronts and messed with a couple of other things. I think I've ironed out the real oddities but kept the width difference. I'm also pretty certain that the back width will have caused the shoulders to be way too wide.
Oh well, I warned her the first fitting would be about correcting slopers...

In the mean time, I'm thinking about styles which might flatter her. She seemed mostly concerned with getting a close and flattering fit but also mentioned halter necks, waterfall necklines and V-necks. I completely agree about the waterfall necklines and some V-necks can work well for a lady with a small bust (but certainly not all) but I think tops with twist details at chest height would also work really well and with autumn on the way, I think we should be looking at which sleeve shapes work for her. 
As far as I know, she is a rather sporty dresser but I don't know how much of that is out of choice.  
Any suggestions?


  1. By sporty, do you mean separates?

  2. By sporty I mean outdoor- and sportswear and clothes inspired by sportswear.

  3. Hey what's your sleeve drafting / sloper drafting process? I've been looking for directions for this type of sleeve, is it also zero ease?

  4. Waterfall necklines indeed, but also square necklines and wrapped styles.

  5. My daughter has broad shoulders and back musculature from swimming. She looks best in a less fitted waist which deemphasizes the width of her shoulders, and anything that exposes the back and shoulders. Her favorite shirt silhouettes are fitted in the bust and shoulders, loose at the waist, and high neck with a scoop back.

  6. I too have broad shoulders, due to both nature and climbing, and I find the opposite of Piper Springs- if it isn't fitted through the waist or at least to under the bust with a moderately low neckline, I look like a big block of flesh with no chest.

    Your sloper, Lauriana, looks similar to what I have drafted for myself with minimal front darts, and very large back ones.