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Patternmaking Basics: The Skirt Sloper

with Suzy Furrer
Patternmaking Basics: The Skirt Sloper
Make a personalized skirt sloper, and use it to draft custom skirt patterns with an inspiring array of silhouettes and design details.

Take the first step toward being your own designer. Learn to draft stylish skirt patterns with Suzy Furrer, founder of Apparel Arts Fashion Design School. Start by making your own perfectly fitted skirt sloper. Then, with Suzy as your guide, use your sloper to draft A-line, bias and circle flared skirts. Draft pleated skirts with inverted box, accordion or knife pleats. Create skirts with silhouettes such as a lowered waist with a contoured waistband, an Empire waistline complete with a facing, or a pencil skirt. Add personality to your pattern with a flounce or peplum, or even draft a wrap skirt. Finish your pattern with details such as pockets, waistbands, facings and linings, and you're ready to sew a custom skirt you designed yourself! 

Sign up for both of our basic patternmaking classes and save $50, or 36%.

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Lesson plan


Lesson 1. Meet Suzy Furrer

  • Get to know your instructor and learn more about flat patternmaking. The basic techniques you'll learn are standard in the garment industry and useful in all kinds of patternmaking, including dress and coat design.


Lesson 2. Measuring & Setting Up the Sloper

  • Suzy shares tips on getting accurate measurements on a person or dress form as she measures for waist, hips and length, then shares her calculations to turn those numbers into a basic skirt block.


Lesson 3. Drafting a One-Dart Sloper

  • Use your skirt block to create a one-dart skirt sloper, or master pattern. You'll draft the darts, add waist shaping and curve the seams for a better fit. You'll also see how to add notches and other construction guidelines.


Lesson 4. Making the Muslin & Fine-Tuning Fit

  • Follow along as Suzy lays out and cuts out her pattern pieces to create a muslin, adding seam allowances, notches and dart markings. Once you've fine-tuned the fit on your muslin, you can make adjustments on your paper pattern, then transfer it to sturdier stock such as oak tag or poster board so you can use it again and again.


Lesson 5. Drafting Flared Skirts

  • Now that you have your sloper, it's time to start designing. Suzy demonstrates how you can add flair to your skirt with flare! Try an A-line style, bias flare and even a circle skirt.


Lesson 6. Drafting Pleated Skirts

  • If you love pleats, you'll be delighted to see Suzy's simple and concise instructions for adding them. Box pleats, accordion pleasts or knife pleats – Suzy covers them all.


Lesson 7. Waist Variations & an Easy Pocket

  • Get the waistline that's right for you, whether it's a lowered waist with contoured waistband, or high Empire line with facing. For a pencil skirt, Suzy shows how to add a slit for easy movement. Want a pocket? Draft a simple template and choose some fun lining fabric for an "insider" fashion touch.


Lesson 8. Flounces & Drapes

  • Flounces and drapes can be fun or elegant. Learn how to add a ruffle to a skirt bottom, drapes on the side seam or even a peplum. A wrap skirt is another design that Suzy will walk you through, including closure options.


Lesson 9. Waistbands, Facings, Linings & Knits

  • You have lots more design options for your skirts, including waistband types, facings and linings. Suzy shows you how to draft those and how to modify your sloper for knit fabrics.


Lesson 10. Production Patterns & Examples

  • Commercial designers must mark and notch their patterns in a very particular way for mass production. Suzy shows the industry standard practices and also shows examples of how a final pattern might look for a variety of skirts. You'll be eager to start making your own!

"I have really LOVED this class. I have been sewing since I was a child, I did not go to design school but have taken several tailoring classes and have made men's suits all the way through children's clothing, crafts, quilting and embroidery. Suzy's class is a MUST for anyone wanting to really understand garment construction. She goes through the 'how & why' things are done as well as teach you in a clear, focused, concise way to draft a pattern. You could really begin making successful designs following her instructions. I can't wait for her next class!"
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For $49.99 you get:

  • The first class in our patternmaking series 
  • Patternmaking techniques that can be used for yourself or your line
  • 10 HD video lessons with anytime, anywhere access
  • Over 4 hours of close-up instruction
  • Answers from Suzy in our virtual classroom
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