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How to Draft an Upper Torso (aka Bodice) Sloper

This video demonstrates the steps for drafting a custom-fit sloper that shows the exact shape of an individual's body between the shoulders and the waist. It can be used to create a variety of designs from tops, blouses and shirts, vest, dresses, and robes.

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Comment by Olive McMillin on December 26, 2010 at 6:44pm

The bodice front drafting demostration was excellent. The bodice back by a different person did not include the points of reference so it made no sense to me. Maybe I'm just too dense to undestand this person. However, if you can find a bodice back demo by the man who did the front, I would like to know of it. Menwhile, I intend to "wing it" for the back part of the pattern. I have  enough fabric stache from my years as a "pack-rat" to do trial and error.


Isn't it great to feel your way through a fabric store!

Comment by Olive McMillin on December 12, 2010 at 1:20pm

I have the same curvature and lower shoulder as Cathy. I used to just "eyeball" the difference in height and length of shoulder seams and add a little  to the back length. Age  has increased the curvature so that greater change is needed. Less length and width are required in the chest area. Bustline is lower. More length is required for the back. For summer wear, I will just let the difference in shoulder height show. I think keeping the crosswise grain line will be very important here. 

My shoulders are square and I have often removed the shoulder pads from ready-to-wear jackets and replaced only the one for the low shoulder with a smaller pad. Ready-to-wear is totally out for me now. When I make a jacket and after making the chest size changes, I will probably use the old technique of adding more padding to the low shoulder.

The drafting lesson was very helpful. I now have renewed hope that I may have comfortable, presentable garments. Many thanks for the lesson.

Comment by Peg Baker on June 16, 2010 at 6:29pm
I like this!
Comment by Cathy on December 6, 2009 at 10:36am
Excellent demonstration. I've been sewing a long time but this was eye opening for me. I would like to know what to do to determine the upper body if you have a curvature. One of my shoulders is lower than the other and I have a curve in my back which causes me to slump forward. It is almost impossible for me to sew for myself because I don't know how to adjust the pattern for the deformity of my upper body. Can you give me some advice for creating a sloper for me.
Comment by Jodie Hickman on October 7, 2009 at 11:19am
I was excited to see this. I have never had a drafting class. This was great! I am going to watch all of them! I am mostly self taught and from reading books. In my 20's I made all my clothes, but I wore a size 10 perfectly by adding 2 inches to waist line and two to three inches for hem. I'm now going back to sewing for myself 28 years later. This really helps. Thanks.
Comment by ms. annie on September 18, 2009 at 9:22am
Excellent. I have not seen anyone explain the torso since drafting school "1985". Thanks
Comment by Kat on September 17, 2009 at 8:38pm
Good info. Have been looking for info on making my own bodice pattern as commercial ones are usually too small in the bust and too big in the waist.
Comment by HeyJudee on September 17, 2009 at 7:51pm
Wow...he makes it look so easy. That is always what I had problems with when I was sewing....gettting the right measurements. I've been wanting to start sewing clothes again. I'm going to remember this one. Susan...thanks for finding this one.

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