Friday, July 17, 2015

Summer dress from a free sloper

Previously on Ernie K: 

Yes, in the teeny photo you can see I've laid out the upper section from the top half of the BACK piece. I can always lower for the front of the dress once I've made the basic cuts.  Kids, this is summer sewing. It's hot. I'm cutting novelty cotton. Print placement rules over grain. 

One of my standard 'builds' from a sloper is a summer dress or top. Either cut on the straight grain, crossgrain for a border print, or on the bias for a truly well-fit tank; a well fit sloper does the job. And a tank dress pattern can be cut up and made all sorts of ways.
Cutting the bodice into two pieces for pattern placement can include using one of the bust dart legs as a part of the seam line, instead of taking a separate dart. I've cut my pieced section as much on the bias as I can, I cheat the pieces up and down to achieve that layout.

Frankly, the active portion is the armsceye and neckline. My most common change is extending the seam lines out at an angle (the wider, the better) and extending them down to whatever hem I want. The best 'muslin' for this is just that top portion; you can test the fit and how well you can get it on over your head. 

My usual adjustment is making the shoulder seam narrower to help in pulling it over. I want the top to just fit my upper chest with a smidge of ease (1" altogether?) , I don't suggest widening the top any more than you have to, or it falls off at the shoulder, or gapes at the armpit. 

Yes, I only use the back of the Polly as a sloper. And the only difference in the front and the back for me is the height of the neck line - just big enough to get my head into.

The Polly top is probably my second favorite free sloper, after the JJ Sloper on Burda (the name says Flynow top and pleated culottes, but the photo shows the sloper you're downloading). Since I am a flat chested gal, the Polly back piece works well as a basic tank shape.  That's the great thing about the Polly; I never forget where to find it online. I've printed it out at work, in a pinch. On the scrap paper, boss! I swear! 

But The JJ is a fine fine thing, and if you are NOT flat like a board, you want to go with JJ.

And as mentioned before: if you need a pattern for this (no shame there), someone has already done the heavy lifting for you! Give them some money; they are good people, and this is a great side line for them.

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