Tools You'll Need

  • Large sheets of paper — I like wide paper that comes in a large roll, such as butcher paper.
  • Pencil and good eraser — God, I love being married to an artist.  You have no idea how often I swipe his supplies.  Revenge for the time he used my fabric scissors to cut (shudder) cardboard.
  • Flexible ruler  — any arts and craft sort carries them.  There is also a curved ruler that many fabric stores sell that is specifically designed to help in the redrafting of necklines and armscyes.   I often use it.
  • Yardstick or long T-square —  I prefer the T-square because I cannot eyeball a square corner well.
  • Calculator  — unless you were luckier than I and were not forced to endure a public soi-disent education.  You will have to do some calculations, but don’t be scared.  The math isn’t any harder than anything you already do if you sew.   However, if you’re feeling really lazy, you can download this Blank Sloper spreadsheet (Excel), which is compatible back to Excel 2003, and just enter your measurements and let the file do the calculations (I actually keep this spreadsheet with my family’s measurements on it and use that rather than calculate each time).  It should also be compatible with Google Docs and Open Office, if you’re using any of those spreadsheet solutions.
  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric — When making a garment, the amount of fabric you buy does depend a bit on how large you are.   I am about a size 22 and if I am using 45″ or 60″ fabric, I need two times the entire front length plus one sleeve length, plus the amount I add for hem for the garment.   If you are very small (less than a size 8) you will only need twice the entire front length plus the hems.   If you have a bust, waist or hip measurement of more than 90 inches, you will need to make sure that you only buy 60″ fabric.
  • Your measurement chart  (You did get a friend to take the measurements for you, right ?)

Now, we are really, really going to start drafting (drum roll please) the  front torso.

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