Contents of European Cut
At the beginning of this book, before
Chapter 1, there is a Measurement Chart, where all measurements will be entered.
Following, there are six pages of Calculations, worksheets designed to help you
subtract and divide effortlessly and make your drafting perfect. Remember,
drafting is geometry. Certain parts of slopers must be carefully calculated. All
pattern drafting books require some calculations; my book provides ready-to-use
Before you start drafting, please make
copies of both the Measurement Chart and the Calculations, so that you will
always have clean originals in the book for future use. Take your time when you
draft slopers for the first time. After some practice you will notice that
drafting is neither difficult nor time-consuming.
European Cut consists of 8
The illustrations are grey and black.
and centimeters are used throughout the book.
- Chapter 1 is about
preparing the woman you will measure by explaining to her how
important it is to stand correctly (relaxed position, not rigid) while her
measurements are being taken. You will also mark her body in certain areas,
like the neck, shoulder, center front, center back, etc. Those little marks
are crucial for taking accurate measurements.
- Chapter 2 is about taking 38
individual measurements. Taking measurements is the most difficult and
demanding part of flat fashion design. It must be done right, or the slopers
will not fit. Each measurement is described in detail and illustrated.
- Chapter 3 is about drafting the
bodice. While the European bodice back is very similar to the American
one, the bodice front offers a more precise fit. The European method
eliminates gapping around the armholes in sleeveless garments and ripples in
the bust area in garments with sleeves, because it is based on the difference
between the bust width (at the apex) and the chest width (above the bust).
- Chapter 4 is about drafting the
skirt. In the front, depending on the widths of the waist, abdomen, and
hip, no dart, one narrow dart or two narrow darts are needed. I provide easy directions to
help you decide when to use darts and how many to use. When one dart is
needed, the European method places it toward the side of the skirt, at the end
of the abdominal protrusion. This placement and the narrowness of the darts
eliminate a dimple on the bottom
of the dart often seen in the American skirts.
- Chapter 5 is about drafting the
sleeve, the most complex of all slopers. As a bonus I also include easy
intructions on how to convert a 1-piece sleeve into a 2-piece sleeve. The
European sleeve cap protrudes more in the front but less in the back than the
American cap, matching closely the shape of the top of the upper arm. Also,
the European cap is divided unevenly, to match the uneven lengths of the
armholes (the front armhole being shorter than the back armhole). Sewing is
easier and the fit is flawless.
- Chapter 6 is about drafting the
torso. Many patternmaking books simply advise to add the upper part of the
skirt to the bodice to create the torso sloper. This method works only for
perfectly proportional bodies. In reality, there are so many
bust-waist-abdomen-hip variations that only a custom-made sloper will fit
perfectly. The European torso front is drafted with either an "open" or a
"closed" dart, depending on the relation between the waist width and the
abdominal protrusion. Final "tuning" will be done during muslin fitting.
- Chapter 7 is about drafting the
pants. There are major differences in drafting between the European method
and the American method. The European cut of the back crotch curve is longer
and deeper, but the front is shorter and shallower than the American cut. If
you ever tried and liked Burda's pants patterns, you will appreciate the
European cut and fit of this sloper.
- Chapter 8 is about making muslin
samples, fitting them, and preparing a final set of slopers made of hard
paper.This is a 4-step process:
- Paper slopers are trued and blended
before muslin slopers are made.
Muslin samples are made and sewn.
These samples are skin-tight, yet they should fit smoothly.
- Muslin samples are tried on in five
separate fittings: bodice, skirt, dress (for garments with a seam in the
waist, where the bodice is joined with the skirt and the sleeves are added),
torso (for garments without a seam in the waist), and pants. These fittings
are absolutely essential. There is no point in making sewing patterns unless slopers fit perfectly.
- A final set of slopers is made
(after any corrections that might be necessary) of hard paper. It is this
set that is your basis for making custom sewing patterns.
If you choose to learn the
European method, try my textbook for easy but comprehensive instructions.
If all the steps described above are
too much for you, and you would like a shortcut, use Pellon's Tru-Gridô
interface-like craft fabric, instead of paper and muslin. You can draft slopers
right on this gridded fabric, blend the edges, cut out the slopers, pin or baste
them, and try them on. Finally, make hard paper slopers. This
shortcut saves a considerable amount of time. Please first try all the steps, as
described in my book, to learn the method. Practice until you become fluent.
Once you know how to draft and fit slopers the European way, you can use the
shortcut to save time.