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Comparing close fitting slopers: Bunka vs. Aldrich

Added Jun 6, 2011

by zrinka

Venice, Californ...




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Coparing the fit of the basic slopers constructed using two different methods:
a) Bunka method – as described in the Bunka Fashion Series Textbook 1, published by the Bunka Fashion College in Japan.
b) Aldrich metod – as described in Metric Pattern Cutting by Aldrich

Recently I wanted to make some simple sleeveless tops but I wanted to make my own patterns. I tried and failed miserably. I then puled out some purchased patterns and tried manipulating them into what I wanted and failed again. I realized I needed to start at the beginning…

In this project you can read about:
1. What resources I used.
2. Slopers I drafted
3. Adjusting my brand new dress form
4. Comparing the two basic bodices

Any comments are welcome…



12 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Missing

    Mar 20, 2015, 12.20 AMby Emily Bennett

    The Bunka bodice has an absolutely gorgeous fit. I think I’m going to give it a try.

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    Feb 15, 2013, 11.10 AMby Sabrina Wharton-Brown

    I had a few problems with the Aldrich draft, but I’ve altered the method a bit and now the fit is much more satisfactory. You can see what I mean on my blog:“http://thesewingcorner.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/redrafting-my-sloper-or-updating-aldrich.html”

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    Jan 17, 2013, 09.11 PMby kicciripp

    hello there, since u’ve made the bunka pattern. i assume you would probably know this. i’m having trouble figuring out the ‘difference between front and back underarm measurement’. this appears when i want to make the elbow dart for the tight sleeve. so i hope you would kindly point it out to me where the friggin’ underarm measurement is. its giving me a headache eheh. please :D

  • Missing

    Jan 17, 2013, 09.11 PMby kicciripp

    hello there, since u’ve made the bunka pattern. i assume you would probably know this. i’m having trouble figuring out the ‘difference between front and back underarm measurement’. this appears when i want to make the elbow dart for the tight sleeve.

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    Jan 6, 2012, 12.34 AMby michellejenkins

    Nice work! I actually have the same books as you and did the same thing (made a sloper from all three books) and I also had the same result – the Bunka one fits like a glove. I’ve also found the other books that Bunka make on pattern drafting to be extremely helpful as they specifically show you how to take that sloper and use it for an actual design. I’d love to see all the garments you make using your sloper!

    1 Reply
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    Jun 22, 2011, 12.38 AMby carlachan

    I made sloper with my own size with Bunka method, I love the result! it fits perfectly and the sleeves match and hanging beautifully…

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    Jun 21, 2011, 05.31 AMby kiddok8

    Do you have a picture of the backs of the bodices? Also, It would be nice to see both methods composed and then modeled by you. I like this method: http://www.seamlyne.com/design/costume/bodice/bodices.html

    1 Reply
    • Missing

      Jun 21, 2011, 06.51 AMby zrinka

      For some reason I did not take a picture of the back!? The closest one is in step 10.
      Maybe one day I will model these… call me camera shy…

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    Jun 19, 2011, 07.11 PMby helenadoll

    You should try making a dress/bodice block in your specific measurements. It’s worked well for me, except the waist comes up a bit too large (but then I do like clothes tight on the waist). Is it because I’m English that I have no idea what a “sloper” is?

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    Jun 11, 2011, 05.40 PMby ktmacca

    I was fascinated by this. I would love to make a sloper to fit me well, but have been putting it off – mainly because I don’t know what I’m doing! But this has inspired me to have a go. I’m going to use the Bunka one I think. I’ll let you know how I get on!

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    Jun 10, 2011, 03.27 PMby gedwoods

    This is super work, zrinka. The kind of analysis that we need to see a lot more of to see the relative strengths and weaknesses of the different tools. I’m a bit surprised by the problems at the back of the armhole in the Aldrich version – I’ve never seen problems of this sort in any of the clothes I’ve made using the Aldrich blocks, and I’ve made several dozens of garments now, for a whole range of sizes. I have, however, seen problems with the dress form. While I think a dress form is a useful tool and I do use one, I find that real bodies behave very differently than the dress form and tend to give more credo to the fit on a real body than the fit on the dress form. Maybe Japanese women have a body type that is closer to the dress form shape?

    From a comparison point of view, the use of a dress form makes good sense, but we need to take the results with a grain of salt. I never performed this kind of comparison, even though as a scientist I tend to look for those kinds of analyses, simply because the Aldrich blocks gave me what I needed for pretty well all the garment projects I’ve made. “Fitness for use” is one definition of “quality”, and by that criterion, I’ve found the Aldrich blocks to be of good quality.

    In any case, either block is just a starting point, and both probably need to be adjusted most of the time to suit a real body, so they are both “good tools” in this sense. I shall probably continue to use the Aldrich blocks, but if I have time, I may investigate other blocks out of personal interest, using your methods as a rough guide!

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    Jun 8, 2011, 07.50 PMby zrinka

    I have to say I would prefer the Bunka sloper. It does fit better, which could be because there are more waist darts – not really more, they are just distributed all around the waist. And I prefer the slope of the shoulder – if you look at the actual angle between the horizontal and the shoulder line – Bunka’s angles are smaller, making shoulder lines less sloped – I don;t know if I’m describing this right! And you are right, there might be no significant differences when you compare the final patterns, especially for looser fitting garments. The only place that could be a problem is the armhole in the back on Aldrich sloper, but then again, if you adjust the neck in the back, pull the sloper forwards a bit – maybe there would not be a problem?

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    Jun 8, 2011, 07.12 PMby bekaem

    That’s interesting. i wonder if you’d actually get any significant differences in fit once you start manupulating them into actual patterns, with the darts moved or transformed into pleats etc. Which one do you prefer so far?

    • This is a question
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