Online Patternmaking Classes
by Don McCunn
Upper Torso Sloper Home Page   ►  Week Five

Creating Variations for the Upper Torso


The Upper Torso Sloper can be used to create a variety of different tops. Some examples of variations are included in How to Make Sewing Patterns on pages 141 through 158, 2nd ed. (pages 78 through 98, 1st ed.) The basic concept underlying all these design variations is to envision the design you want on the body. Then transfer the design lines to a copy of the sloper and develop the patterns for the actual garment. For an introduction to this process, see the video below.

An Introduction to Pattern Design

When you are creating these design variations, I recommend that you first copy the sloper, add the design lines to the sloper, then on a fresh sheet of pattern paper trace your new pattern design. Following this approach allows you to keep a record of the entire process for later reference.

A Sheath Dress

Sheath Dress

The idea for the Sheath Dress came when my model Alex and I visited the Yves St. Laurent exhibit at the de Young museum in San Francisco. I was looking for an example of a sleeveless style dress to illustrate how to convert the Sloper to a wearable garment. This style appealed to Alex and suited my requirements for an easy to sew style. The instructions show how to change the location of the upper bust dart to the side seam.

Instructions for Sheath Dress

Vest Variations for Men and Women

Brown Vest
Peasant Vest

A variety of different style vests can readily be created from a sloper. I have included instructions that compare two different styles. One is the typical buttoned vest that is appropriate for men and women. The instructions for this vest describe how to create Princess Style seam lines. The second vest is commonly seen in peasant style vests. The pattern for this vest can be used to create create the torso portion of a long line bra.

Instructions for Vests

Knit Variations

Strapless Camisole

A useful variation of the Sloper is to create a version that can be used to create garments from knits. The two examples above are made from wick away fabric that draws moisture away form the body. Because the patterns for these garments are made from the fit of the sloper they follow the contours of the body better than had they been created using generic knit patterns.

Instructions for Knit Tops

Tunic Sleeve Variations for Men and Women

A Tunic Sleeve Sloper can be used to create a variety of styles that use simple sewing techniques. The video below shows the approach I have developed to create a Tunic Sleeve Sloper from the fitted Sloper.

Bias Cut Blouse
Bias Cut Shirt
Pull Over Tunic
Robe with a Shawl Collar

The top two garments have bias cut fronts. The bodies of these garments are cut from two pieces of fabric with a seam at center back. The bottom left garment is a pull over tunic and the bottom right is a robe with a shawl collar. The collars are described in more detail in How to Make Sewing Patterns on pages 121 through 129, 2nd ed. (pages 132 through 145, 1st ed.).

Instructions for Tunic Sleeves

Upper Torso Sloper Home Page   ►  Week Five

Copyright © 2007, & 2020 by Donald H. McCunn