Measure twice, cut once…

Day 4 of Kenneth King’s Moulage Class

At long last, some sloper pictures!!!  Thank you all for your patience.   Please ignore the lumpy body and the poorly basted zipper.  I was very tired when I finished this muslin the other night.

pant muslin front 1

2nd Muslin Front

2nd Muslin Side

2nd Muslin Side

2nd Muslin Back

2nd Muslin Back

Apologies for the bad lighting; these were taken at night.  I tried to adjust the contrast and this was the best that I could do.

In last week’s class, I learned just how important measuring is in the sewing process.  I don’t have pics of the first muslin as Mr. King took it apart to transfer his fitting markings to my pattern and I didn’t feel like sewing them back together just to take a picture.   But OMG! my pants were huge.  Not as huge as the pants of the poor man I measured though.  I felt ginormous and fat.  And then Mr. King performed magic.  Ahhhh…  He said he took about 5-6 inches out of the waist.  Wow!  I couldn’t see how the pants looked when he was done as there was no mirror, but they definitely felt better.  I am sure they looked great.  He took a lot out of the waist as I mentioned, and he pinched out some at the back thigh.  And then Mr. King transferred all my adjustments to my pattern.   So obviously accurate measurements are very important, but I think it’s a skill that can be learned.  I just need more practice. 

I was going to write about the method that Mr. King uses to make the adjustments, but it’s really complicated and I need to have my pattern/muslin in front of me to adequately explain it.   So that kind of detail will have to wait for the next post. 

Mr. King checked the fit of each student, pinning and making markings to our muslins.  He used the first fitting to describe methods of adjusting patterns, which, as I already mentioned, I will go into further detail in another post.  But in general, the main thing to consider when making adjustments to any pattern is that if you take away something from one part, you must put the same amount back somewhere else to maintain the symmetry and integrity of the pattern.   For example, I had excess length from the back thigh to remove.  So, by removing a pinch out of my back thigh, that meant I had to adjust the front pattern by the same amount. We took it out of the length of the leg at the hem of the front pattern whereas, the original pinch was taken at the upper thigh on the back pattern.

After our fittings, Mr. King then transferred the pinning he did to pen markings on our muslin and then, in turn transferred those markings to our patterns.  Some pictures below…

back muslin fitting 1

Muslin waist with fit changes marked


Back pattern waist altered after fitting

Back pattern waist altered after fitting


See how different my waist is now on the back pattern piece???  WOW!  The front was not as dramatic a change.  I will post these pictures again and more pics when I describe the fitting process in more depth.  So, that was our 4th class. 

Interesting Tidbit:  There are two girls in the class who are students at FIT and are studying to become designers.  They took great measurements of each other and one of their muslins came out great (the other girl wasn’t there on Weds, so we couldn’t see how hers turned out).  Mr. King had barely any adjustments to make on hers.  However, he did mention that taking good measurements doesn’t ensure that you won’t have to make adjustments, it just decreases the extent of the alterations.  The calculations for the pattern can only go so far to create the sloper.  The muslin fitting is crucial for an accurate and great looking fit.  But seriously, she could have worn that muslin out on the street it looked so good! 

It was amazing to me how good you can look when your clothes fit you well.  Even if you are say 25 lbs heavier than you would like to be (um, I’m not talking about me here, honest! um, well ok, maybe I am.), you can look amazing, if your clothes fit well!  Mr. King mentioned that Queen Latifah always looks fabulous because all of her clothes fit her beautifully.  And he’s right! 

I was so excited by this class.  We’re so close to having our perfect sloper!  I wanted to sew up another muslin right away so I could see how it looked all done up right.  So that’s just what I did this past week as you can see at the beginning of this post.  Now, looking at these pictures, here’s my humble beginner’s assessment.  The front looks great, but I suspect that a little more needs to be taken out of the back thigh (or added to the front thigh) as the side seam seems to thrust forward in that area and there are drag lines in the back.  However, it could be that it didn’t hang right as I didn’t hem the muslin.  I will ask Mr. King about that this week.

And as for the next class?  Well, Mr. King said we were going to learn how to alter the sloper for different styles of pant and add pockets, etc.  I hope he teaches us how to draft a waistband because I am dying to make myself a pair of pants now!!!  I took advantage of Ann’s awesome sale yesterday at Gorgeous Fabrics and bought 6 yds of a navy cotton sateen and 4 yds of a lacy sweater knit (see pics below). 

Navy Cotton Sateen (image from Gorgeous Fabrics)

Navy Cotton Sateen (image from Gorgeous Fabrics)

Lacy Sweater Knit (image from Gorgeous Fabrics)

Lacy Sweater Knit (image from Gorgeous Fabrics)

I want to make capri pants and maybe shorts with the cotton sateen using my new sloper (!) and I’m not sure what pattern I am going to use with the lace sweater knit, but I do know it will be some kind of summer cardigan.  One can never have too many of those, especially in ivory.


3 responses to “Measure twice, cut once…

  1. I am so jealous of you – there are no opportunities here in New Hampshire to take a class in pattern drafting. I just finished a dress yesterday that is ill fitting, and I know that I really need to develop a proper sloper that fits me but I have no clue how to go about that. The last time I tried downgrading a pattern it ended up too small to add sleeves and too short…but if I leave them be they are too long/wide. GAH!
    I’ll keep reading this to see how your pants come out.

  2. Hello! I am so excited to watch your sloper progress. I am a newbie to sewing and so frustrated. I am convinced slopers are the way to go, so I’m excited to watch your progress with it. Thanks for posting great detail and pictures.

  3. I share your frustration Joanna. But I believe that if we persevere, the frustration at the learning curve will ease. I agree slopers are the way to go re: personalized fit. But there’s also a lot to be learned from commercial patterns. My goal is to be able to read a pattern without saying, “what does that mean?” once. Now that’s a tall order! 😉

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