What I learned and what I need to know about slopers for fitting.

I wanted to comment on my experience with "De-Mystifying Fit" method of fitting patterns. I used this on the t-shirt pattern. Based on comments at PR, this pattern was said to run big. It does. It runs big compared to the Big 4. Since independent pattern makers are not part of that group their measurements are based on their preference or their frame of reference.

What I learned using my sloper with this pattern:
  1. Pattern is big compared to my sloper.
  2. I need to mark 1/4, 3/8 seam allowance on my sloper to have a better frame of reference to the pattern that I am working on. This pattern uses 1/4 seam allowances, my sloper was at 5/8.
  3. Even with variance in seam allowances I recognized that the pattern was large with first overlay of sloper.
  4. I traced the pattern I thought should fit me and then used sloper. It may be best to lay sloper over the original pattern that had multiple sizes to determine what size you should be tracing first. Then trace that size and begin your adjustments.
  5. One main key to fitting using this method is shoulder point (at neck) to waist. Lynda M (author) says this is constant measurement. Once the shoulder length to waist fits as well as shoulder width and slope, every thing else goes from there.
  6. As with FFRP, Sandra Betzina Fit and perhaps others, first correct the length then focus on the circumference.
  7. I need to read through the entire book before attempting this method. I have a tendency to read through the first few chapters and then say "Okay, I got it, I can do this." As with most all fitting methods, there are numerous exceptions or alternatives to the "general fitting rule adjustment".
  8. The examples given in this CD book are excellent examples and even though some I did not think would be of benefit to me, because I did not see myself having some fitting issues as the person, I actually did or could have them if pattern was off from my sloper.
  9. Overall, I think this method has merit and one I want to continue to work with.
  10. If you own a pattern drafting software program, as I do, with the program you can see your sloper overlaid on the pattern you draft using the program. This is the same principle.

I took some photos of the process but I am not going to post them. You can't see the transformations I made after cutting and sewing the pattern the first time as well as I thought you would. I need a tripod to do these self photos.

Here are the fitting issues I found with first sewing.

  1. Shoulder length was still too long. Some of this is nature of knit. Ended up needing to take an additional inch off of the length. Some of this is my personal fitting preference for t-shirt shoulders.
  2. I used the bust dart with this pattern and thought it was too high so lowered an inch. Was not the thing to do. Again I think because of the knit weight it pulls darts down. Found this to be true with other knit top patterns with darts.
  3. The sleeve length was good.
  4. This pattern is drafted with forward shoulders and because I fit the shoulder point at neck per my sloper then this was perfect for me. I always have to make a FSA. Not with this pattern.
  5. I ended up using 5/8 seam allowances for side seams. Pattern was still too big. Pattern calls for 1/4 seam allowances.
  6. The front neckline area was too big, I could take up about an inch in the center front area and would probably fit much better.
  7. I am not going to give up on this pattern. I think it is really a matter of finding my size using my sloper.
  8. The pattern is drafted well in that side seams line up, shoulders seams line up, sleeves are drafted with the right amount of ease.

I now have a new top to sleep in. The fabric is great and feels soft, so will be a nice sleeping top. But the practice and the learning using sloper overlay to me was priceless. Thanks Lynda Maynard.


  1. Thanks for posdting your experience with this fitting system. I am working on fitting issues a lot, too, so it is very helpful info.


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