October 7, 2011

Draft-along: practical information

It's great to see so even more people interested in a draft-along! I'm sorry it's taking me so long to set this thing up properly, but I seem to be hitting some computer-litteracy roadblocks ;) It's nothing I can't overcome, but it all takes time...

So, to start out, I will try to answer some questions which arose in the comments (I will try to answer each one personally, but I think more people may wonder about this):

The point of this draft-along is, as I explained in this post, to draft a retro-style dress, using Burdastyle's JJ sloper, or any other bodice sloper you may have as a starting point. I chose to start with ready-made slopers and to include only simple design details in order to make this a fun way to start and experiment with making patterns. The malfunctioning poll was intended to tell me which style would be the most popular, so I could work on that, making only minor detours to explain simple other options. As it is now, I will explain all three skirt options, some sleeve options and any not-too-difficult bodice/neckline issues which proove to be popular in your designs.
I hope this answers some questions.

In my previous post, I suggested everyone tries to make a design for herself. I'm not doing this because I too lazy, too busy or not sufficiently creative to come up with a good idea myself. No, I did that because, to me, that is the great advantage of making your own patterns: you are not bound to anyone else's design, you can make what you like and what works for your body. I will discuss design options and designing for specific body shapes this weekend.
I have also set up a Flickr group for the draft-along. I thought it would be wise to make it 'by invitation only', just to keep out random weirdos but that means I have to invite each of you by email or Flickr-account name (you can also be invited to the group, and participate in it, if you don't have a Flickr account, so don't worry about that). If you already signed up for the draft-along (and have an email-adress in you blogger profile or mentioned it in the comment) I will email you about this. If you haven't yet and want to be part of it, you can email me at aicha_hockx AT hotmail DOT com.

And finally, someone commented about not being able to find the JJ sloper. This surprised me, but guess what: it's gone. The Burdastyle member who created it isn't listed anymore, so I guess she went and took her creation with her. Burdastyle does offer this sloper dress pattern, but it's only in size 38 and of course, the JJ sloper lives on in Elainemay's Coffee Date dress, which was based on it. Although I think the Coffee Date dress is lovely, I would not recommend using it as a sloper because of the scooped neckline and narrow shoulder (although it could be used for something like a sleeveless cowl neck bodice).
I noticed that many of you have your own slopers, so this may not be so much of an issue. Again, I will email those of you who signed up already, but if you don't receive a messege from me, or if you're only signing up now, please tell me if the missing sloper is a problem for you. We'll find a solution.
Also, if you happen to know a good bodice sloper (pattern or tutorial) which is available online and for free, please, please put it in the comments. (and why am I not telling you how to make a sloper like mine? Well, it's a method from a book and I don't want to violate their copyright and it's in Dutch and hard to translate)

Please read the comments to this post to find out how to download the JJ sloper. Claire found out more about it: it got mysteriously re-named when they changed the website. Just follow Claire's excellent explanation to download the sloper. And to answer Nancy's question: I will either show you how to draft a sleeve or draft a multi-size sleeve to fit the JJ sloper and unload that to Burdastyle.


  1. Hi Lauriana :)

    Re: the sloper on BurdaStyle... it's here: http://www.burdastyle.com/patterns/flynow-top-pleated-culottes.

    Basically, when BurdaStyle changed their website design (end 2009?) some people's own-created uploaded patterns got mixed up - so for some reason the user jj1's pattern for the sloper (which she based on BS's size chart) got mysteriously renamed as flynow top & pleated culottes. I only remembered all this - because I'd saved that pattern in the 'Purchase History' of my BS account (it get's saved there even though the pattern is free).

    P.S. I've just downloaded the pattern again from my account to check - and it's all okay :)! After selecting 'Get It Now' button on the patterns' webpage (http://www.burdastyle.com/patterns/flynow-top-pleated-culottes), and then going to the Purchase History in their BS account, you need to find the 'flynow top & pleated culottes' in your list of purchases - and the file people need to select to download is the 'Print Pattern at Home' button. You will then download a file called 'home.pdf' and that is the sloper !!!

  2. Would like to join this, sounds like fun.

  3. Will we be drafting sleeves as well?

  4. http://www.ralphpink.com/pattern-cutting/womenswear/basic-blocks
    This could be of help for somebody wanting to learn pattern drafting and making slopers

  5. If anyone has less-than-'standard' body shape, you might want to try Kathleen Fasanella's Saran Wrap method to making a sloper. Instruction at:


    Keep in mind that this produce a sloper without any ease. She does mention that she grades up 1 size to get the best fitting ease. I've never tried it so can't vouch for it.

    Getting wearing ease right is the bane of my sewing existence. I made a dummy using a similar technique called Duct Tape Double (www.leanna.com/DuctTapeDouble/) and made a few garments which fits Big Bertha, my DTD twin perfectly, but I can't breathe nor sit nor even go to the toilet in those garments. Oops! }:-)