Patternmaking Basics: The Skirt Sloper

Suzy Furrer
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  • In-depth Instruction; over 262 mins
  • On-demand video access anytime
  • Bonus downloadable PDF resources
  • Access to class Q&A
  • Available for purchase: $15.99
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
10 Lessons
4  hrs 22  mins

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 with how to make a skirt sloper that’s perfectly fitted to your measurements. 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!

Suzy Furrer

Suzy Furrer has over 35 years’ experience in the fashion industry. She began her career as a freelance patternmaker and directed the development of capsule collections for small fashion companies. Suzy is the Founder and Director of Apparel Arts (established 1996) and Apparel Arts Productions (www.ApparelArtsProductions.com), an online fashion design school established in 2020. Suzy developed a comprehensive curriculum to give students in-depth training to be strong candidates to enter the workforce in apparel or costume design or to simply build strong sewing and drafting skills for one's own personal use. Apparel Arts has graduated hundreds of students who currently work in the apparel or costuming industries. In addition, she has been an instructor for GAP Inc.’s Product Development Immersion Program. Suzy teaches and speaks at sewing and craft conferences, sewing guilds, and art schools and has taught classes for the employees of entertainment giants Pixar and Lucas Films. She is the author of Building Patterns, The Architecture of Women’s Clothing.


Bonus materials available after purchase

Patternmaking Basics: The Skirt Sloper Purchase this class for $15.99.