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Combining pattern and sloper

(Very picture heavy)

I love making jackets, as I answererd to Faye’s poll last week too. And you will know already if you’ve been following my blog for a while. If you click the tag “Jacket” in the side bar you’ll see most of them (though admit I sometimes forget to tag my posts). Time to make another one.

In May and early June I worked on the sloper for a jacket. Trying my muslin again a few days ago I was not completely satisfied with it, especially the position of the bust dart. I was so focussed on the sleeve that I did not see it. I changed it, made a new muslin, drafted a new sleeve pattern with less ease and it is good to go (photo later).

Next was the decision on the pattern and fabric to use. This is my fabric. A pretty stable knit in a weight suitable for a jacket.


Initially I planned to use it for this jacket, but decided against it.


I could only find suitable black faux leather trim and zippers with black tape and the contrast might not be good, even though there is black in the fabric. Also I considered that I will get more wear from that jacket if I use a color that’s more in my comfort zone. The above fabric is not really my usual color.

So after some deliberation I decided to work on the pattern that I showed in my previous post, from the 1993 Burda magazine.

Burda jacket line drawing

Nice shape, nice details, not complicated (no collar) and I love shorter jackets. As I’ve started my journey drafting my own patterns partly because I don’t want to make muslins all the time, I used my sloper pattern and combined that with the Burda pattern. I actually traced the front of the Burda pattern and used it to make my pattern. Fingers crossed it will work without the muslin, as I’m not going to make one.

As it might be of interest for those of you working on drafting a sloper/pattern I took pictures of how I did it. It’s my way of doing it, there could be other ways. If you know other methods please chime in!

The front sloper without changes.


The Burda pattern on top, waistline and center front matching the sloper. You can see it’s too short and not matching the shoulder, which is what I expect. I used to make patterns longer above the waist. From this I traced the bottom part and the overlapping center front.



Then I shifted it up and traced the neckline.


Connected the lines with a slight curve, like the Burda pattern has too.


The armhole is very much like the pattern too.


Drafted the line for the princess seam.


Messed up a bit moving the dart into the princess seam, did not use pencil so could not erase :(


At this point I cut the two pattern pieces apart. Below is the side panel with the dart still in.


One leg of the dart is cut and closed to the other dart leg. The side panel is ready (though I will smooth the bust line a bit). 

DSC_1346 DSC_1347

The original and my pattern side by side. Mine is a bit wider, especially in the hip area.


I did the same to the back of my sloper pattern and turned the darts into princess seams. An important step is to check the length of the connecting seams: side seams, princess seams.

The main pattern pieces are ready. It was nice to see that my sleeve pattern is almost exactly the Burda pattern for the sleeve, only a bit longer.
I’ve still some work to do in drafting facings and some interfacing pieces. That’s for another day and not so interesting.


  1. Good to see this. I'm enjoying your pattern cutting posts. When you use the word 'sloper' does this have seam allowances on it or is it more of a block, so without seam allowances? I'm assuming that the burda pattern, being old and from a magazine doesn't have seam allowances?
    I fitted my daughter into a fairly basic pattern, modified and made a dress. Now I've taken my modified pattern and 1) modified another pattern to fit using your method and 2) made into a basic shape so that I can make a toile with a view to creating a block and alter a model to fit her (she lives at a distance from me but had asked me to make her wedding dress). Very enjoyable. Thank you for your posts.

  2. I like these post on drafting too. It's interesting to see how you use your sloper with a pattern.

  3. Lynda Maynard has a book about using your sloper to check patterns etc. I have it but haven't' looked at it recently but remember it being pretty good. De-Mystifying Fit:Using the moulage to adjust commercial patterns. You can get it from Kenneth Kings website

  4. Thank you for showing how you use your sloper, this is very interesting.

  5. Gorgeous pattern making idea! Every aspect is working in perfect harmony, fabulous.


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