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The first installment of my patternmaking series revealed the class that catapulted my personal pattern making education. I still regard the process of creating a bodice sloper as the most important initial step for learning how to draft patterns.
Naturally, the second step is to figure out what’s going on with the bottom half of the body.
Two of my go-to references for understanding how the landmarks of a pattern correspond to the human form are the following books (both purchased from my local Half Price Books store during the infancy of my sewing journey):
- Singer Sewing Reference Library: Sewing Pants That Fit (buy on Amazon)
- The Zapp Method of Couture Sewing (buy on Amazon)
I poured over each book, diligently studying the details of all of the images. Of the two, I do prefer the Singer book. It contains a diagram that shows exactly how a pants pattern translates to the body (pattern pieces juxtaposed with a body). The pants styles in each book are outdated, but the concepts are timeless.
Though these two books are at the top of my reference list, neither gives a step-by-step process for pattern drafting.
I don’t know about you, but I crave hands-on application. Just like the moulage/bodice sloper class, Suzy Furrer also has a class dedicated to drafting a pants sloper.
I do believe the pants sloper class is great for understanding the proportions of your body, and of course it’s definitely a great class if you want to venture into pants making. Just like the bodice sloper class, the pants sloper class allowed me to evaluate pants patterns and know exactly where I would need to adjust the pattern in order to fit my body.
The pants sloper does not easily translate to creating lingerie or swimwear bottoms patterns. Personally, I experimented with my sloper a-helluva-lot in order to develop my bodybuilding, swimwear or lingerie patterns. While I do think it is good practice to learn how to use your basic pants sloper for creating swimwear and intimates, there is quicker way.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I am a huge fan of online courses. After spending half a decade in engineering school, I’m too broke to get a proper and formal education in fashion design. So I rely heavily on the information I can find online as well as personal experimentation.
So, it should come as no surprise to you that I’m recommending more classes that will bridge the gap between the pants sloper and pattern drafting for intimates (I can’t help myself…I’m a forever student 😎)
The renowned Fairy Bra Mother, Beverly Johnson, has two excellent classes on Craftsy that will walk you through drafting panties patterns. I personally took both of her classes and highly recommend them for your panty and swimwear bottoms drafting efforts:
After completing Suzy Furrer’s Pants Sloper class and both classes from Beverly Johnson, I was very happy and reassured that my original panties sloper (derived from experimenting with my pants sloper) matched pretty closely to the drafts from the panty drafting classes.
Again, I won’t guarantee that you’ll get the best fit after your first go. But the beauty of draft editing and repetition is that you will become more attuned to the finer details of pattern drafting.
There are more methods, books and classes available for pattern drafting for your lower body. Many of them go into advanced techniques. But, I believe the resources I outlined here are great beginning steps.
- Suzy Furrer’s Patternmaking + Design: The Pants Sloper
- Beverly Johnson’s Sewing Panties: Construction and Fit
- Beverly Johnson’s Lingerie Essentials: Boyshort Panty Styles
- Singer Sewing Reference Library: Sewing Pants that Fit
- The Zapp Method of Couture Sewing
Tools and Supplies
Till next time,
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