12.5.16

Knit Sloper

At the end of my craftsy course on drafting a bodice sloper, there is a lesson on using this sloper to draft a knit sloper.  I watched the lesson, but admit, I did not like the technique presented.  I am pretty happy with my bodice sloper though, and thought it was a good idea to use this as a basis for a knit sloper, only using a different method.  I used several resources to draft my knit sloper

1.  Craftsy class "Patternmaking basics:  the bodice sloper with Suzy Furrer"

2.  "Patternmaking for Underwear Design", by Kristina Shin

3.  "Designing and patternmaking for stretch fabrics" by Keith Richardson

4.   The now defunct website "Pattern school" by Stuart Anderson

Both the Shin book and the Richardson book outline methods for a t-shirt sloper, both of which I have tried.  Back in 2009, I drafted the Richardson t-shirt.  This pattern was okay, but I never got the shoulder / armhole shaping right.  I think this was mostly due to measurement error...whilst doing the craftsy course, I found out that my shoulder point was in a different place than I had always thought.  I used the Shin method to draft a t-shirt a couple of years ago, but I can't find a record on my blog, so maybe I never blogged about it.  It was a close fitting t-shirt.  I was pretty happy with it, but I never got the waist shaping spot on, and always meant to go back to it.

To get my knit sloper this time around, I started with the back bodice (zero ease) that I drafted in the craftsy class.  I followed Suzy Furrer's method to get the back knit sloper.

I then followed steps 9 to 11 in the Shin method for the basic t-shirt block pattern, which derives the front block from the back.  In the Shin method, the front is 1/4" wider than the back, compared to 1/2" in the Furrer method.  When I was deciding whether to use 1/4" or 1/2", I found that I made an error when tracing the last rendition of my woven sloper, and it's front was only 1/4" wider than the back, so I went with the 1/4".  The front armhole shaping comes in more than the back, and the front shoulder is lower than the back.

The Furrer method reduces the length of the block, to account for vertical stretch.  For the basic adult swimwear block, Anderson advised 88% horizontal ease (12% negative ease) and no vertical negative ease (going off memory here...the site is no longer available for me to refer to).  I decided to go with no vertical negative ease.  Knits vary greatly in their vertical stretch, so I think I will just have to accommodate this on project by project basis.

The Furrer method uses 1/2" negative ease horizontally.  The Shin method uses 10% negative ease horizontally.  The Richardson method assesses the stretch ratio of the fabric and adjusts the block accordingly; stable knits are given 0% negative ease, moderate knits 2% negative ease, stretchy knits 3% negative ease, super stretch 5% negative ease and rib knits 10% negative ease.  For 4 way stretch knits, he advises 5% horizontal negative ease and 10% lengthwise negative ease.  This approach makes sense to me, so when I am happy with my knit sloper, I will mark lines for the different amount of negative ease, for different fabric stretchiness.

The Furrer method transfers waist shaping to the shoulder.  I didn't do this, but have left the waist shaping marked on my block to remind me that I haven't done it.  On my first garment using this sloper, I tried both with and without the waist shaping transferred to the shoulder and I didn't like the feel of the garment when I transferred it.  I think this will depend on fabric choice also.

So, how did it all turn out?  Well, here is a dress I made up using the sloper.  The dress has a front seam, just because I was combining this lesson with another lesson on craftsy for a knit dress with an asymmetrical neckline.  The gathers were my input, but I think they would look better if I moved that horizontal seam over towards the ungathered side a little bit more.

The fabric is a ponte from Spotlight.  I don't like the feel of this fabric, and don't go in much for body con dresses, so I will never wear this dress out...I just sewed it to test out my draft.  The fabric is a stable knit, so I used 0 ease both horizontally and vertically.  I sewed in the waist shaping on the back.




In terms of the knit sloper
- the back torso length looks a little too long, but it is in my woven sloper also, and I don't really know how to correct this and keep everything else the same.
- the back also looks a bit tight, but there  wasn't much give in this knit fabric, so I am not too worried about it.
- I think the draft is basically okay, but I will test it out for some simple designs, such as a tank top or camisole, in different fabrics.

Of course, if you have any advice regarding the sloper, chime in.  Fitting is such a tortuous activity to undertake on our own!

17 comments:

  1. I do several wedge alterations and one of these might help your excess at the back. Basically you want to add or remove (I'm thinking remove here) a long thin wedge Which starts at a point where the amount is OK and then have two straight lines from that point which when brought together like a big dart would remove the excess. On the back I always seem to end up with a centre back seam to accommodate this but you can treat as a dart and rotate into a seam or an actual dart if preferred.

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    1. Thanks SewRuthie. Do you mean a horizontal or vertical wedge? Thanks, K

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  2. Stuart had some lesson on tension lines. If I recall correctly vertical negative ease only make sense if bottom of the garment will go through the legs & hold the garment under vertical tension as well as horizontal tension. Using normal negative ease anywhere where the tension will be broken by a cutout - eg hem, low cut neckline, etc will lead to draglines.

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    1. I remember this now that you mention it. There was so much good info on that site.

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  3. As for the back wrinkles... maybe Clio's solution to her Nettie post baby will work for you too... http://fivemuses.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/nettie-sweater-dress-times-two.html

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  4. As for the back wrinkles... maybe Clio's solution to her Nettie post baby will work for you too... http://fivemuses.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/nettie-sweater-dress-times-two.html

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  5. Hmmm, I took the Craftsy class (which is why I enjoy reading your posts) and was VERY pleased with my knit sloper using the Furrer method. Because my fabric had no vertical/lengthwise stretch, I left ease at 0%. My fabric was similar to a ponte, so I set widthwise ease at 0% (basically removing the ease from my drafted sloper). As for transferring the waist shaping to the shoulder (which I did), my understanding is that this is basically a swayback adjustment so this would help remove some of that excess fabric in your back. I have come to this conclusion based on a lengthy analysis of the swayback adjust published on the website Fabricscissorscloth here: https://patternscissorscloth.com/2010/12/05/sway-back-alterations-my-analysis/

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    1. Hi Jojo, so pleased that your knit sloper worked out. I wish I could go to a real class with real people and see everybody's progress and the changes that need to make...this would be so much better than working on my own and just seeing other people through a computer. Like one of our classmates, I did not want the bust dart moved to the hem, leaving a curved hem...not that I work with stripes much, but I wanted another way around this. When I sewed the waist shaping in this fabric, I felt like the whole garment was pulling down on my shoulders...but it would probably work out better in a different fabric, so I have left the waist shaping lines on my sloper to remind me that I can do this in other fabrics (though, now that I think about it, I maybe should have done it in the back, if not the front??). Thanks for the link to Sherry's swayback adjustments...she has lots of good info there. Happy sewing, Katherine

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    2. Katherine,

      I suspect the back issues are due to a combination of 1) a swayback needed and 2) the fabric does not quite have the stretch needed to hug the curves in your back so the back needs to be a little looser.

      I went back to my notes for the top I made using Suzy's knit sloper because I DID use a striped fabric so her curved hem would not have worked for me either. I'm including them here in case they give you an idea of something you might try.
      1) Because the material was not super stretchy (similar to a ponte), I added ease to Suzy's knit sloper at the waist and hips so the top would skim my back and not hug the indent at the waist. What if you did this to the back of your dress? (try ripping at the side seams and see what happens)
      2) I straightened the bottom hem of the top I made to get rid of the curve as the fabric I was using was striped. To account for the length added at the side hems (basically the width of the dart which had been removed), I lowered the front underarm by 1/2 of the dart amount and raised the back underarm by the same amount. It worked as I don't feel any discomfort when wearing the top. (For your reference, my dart measures 1 1/4")

      Yes, like you I wish I could go to a class to see how others solve fitting problems. On the other hand, the cost of real classes would be so much more expensive than the sale price I paid for Suzy's drafting classes and I was able to work on the classes on my schedule rather than on an imposed one. Unfortunately, I don't have a blog where I can share my progress......

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    3. One more thing. If I may be presumptuous to comment on the design, my feeling is that the front off-center seam is not far enough to the side so that one kinda wonders whether it's supposed to be in the centre and it missed, or whether it's supposed to be away from the middle. It's a lovely design though. You make me want to pull out my pencils and try drafting like you. I worked hard on my slopers but am not using them to design like you. You're quite the motivator!

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    4. Oops, just reread your post and noticed you mentioning moving the front vertical seam over......

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    5. Hi Jojo, starting a blog is easy and free! If you don't want to do that, have you posted your progress to the class projects? I went and had a look to see if your striped knit sloper was there but I couldn't see it. I love seeing what everybody else is doing...it is both inspiring and motivating.

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    6. Hi Katherine. I FINALLY just posted the striped knit top in the sloper class (posted as Jojovan). Sorry for taking so long, I'm away from home a lot. You can now appreciate why I could never have a blog. It would take me forever to get anything posted!

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  6. I think the wrinkles at the back require a swayback solution. A good explanation and solution can be found at http://byhandlondon.com/blogs/sew-alongs/16990652-kim-dress-sewalong-alterations-swayback-adjustment.
    Keep up the pattern making - it is very rewarding and I love your dress design.

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  7. I've experimented on trying to eliminate back wrinkles a lot. Most of my understanding comes from Sherry's post the previous commenter linked to.

    My input into the back is I take out wedge shapes as SewRuthie described, but not just at the waist. I take othem from the centre back narrowing to nothing at the side seam, across about where my bra is, then a bit lower, then right on the waist including some of the 'skirt' part of the pattern where it looks like there is excess there too. If I only take it out at the waist it throws excess to under the bra area and makes it too short round the waist.

    It's quite interesting to take a look at the change in shape of the overall back piece with these wedges taken out. It basically makes less shaping in the back side seam compared to the front. But it sews up just fine and fits better. I presume I'm less curvy at my back than front? Or maybe fuller at the back hip than front so that extra fabric might be needed to cover that fullness? Dunno! Would like to know! But as you say, fitting on your own is very hard and frustrating.

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  8. Duh, I meant to explain I said all that because your wrinkles don't look just at the waist, the extend up a bit higher.

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  9. I think the fit looks perfect through the shoulders and armholes, and the design with the gathers in the front reminds me of one of the Vogue designer patterns from a year or so ago - maybe one of the Kay Unger designs? And I agree it looks like there's too much length in the back but I don't have the knowledge to help at all, sorry! Good luck, it looks like you are incredibly close to perfecting your knit sloper!

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