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Do you own any basic slopers or pattern blocks? Well, if you went to fashion school, you do, and you know how incredibly useful they are. But if you didn’t- well perhaps you don’t have to go to school for this, with the resources available to the sewing community these days.

Every single piece of clothing that is not draped is derived from a basic pattern block or sloper. I must stress the importance of creating your own, customized slopers. Once you have taken the time to create your basic patterns (designed off of your personal measurements or your fit model’s measurements) you can make anything. Seriously.

Here is a Bodice Sloper that you can use to develop top and blouses from, and then add on the Skirt Sloper sloper to make a dress!

Or you can isolate the skirt to create all types of skirt designs!

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Into sewing with knits? Here are the slopers that will allow you to sew your heart out in knit fabrics. With the Knit Top and Dress Sloper you can make all your basics like T-shirts! Then with the Leggings Sloper you can make knit bottoms, everything from fashion leggings to pajamas!


If you already want a sloper that is a dress, here are TWO different silhouette to choose from:

The Fitted Dress Sloper, and then the Shift Dress Sloper.


View all our slopers here, and you’ll even find PLUS SIZE slopers


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    Oct 18, 2016, 07.13 PMby Nuliajuk

    I’m making the Burda bodice sloper right now and finding it’s huge! I’ve got the right size according to my measurements and the little 4" test square on my prints really is 4", but I’ll have to go down two sizes to get a good fit in the bust and over the shoulders. It has way more ease than I would have expected for a fitting shell.

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    Oct 6, 2013, 07.37 PMby Footsiesgirl

    I made " old school slopers" from a pattern when I went to design school. I have moved a couple of times and had four boys so sewing was not even a thought however" I lost my slopers! They took me forever to make. Does anyone have the basic pattern that is used to make a complete Sloper. I think it was a McCalls pattern.

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    Jul 28, 2013, 02.20 PMby sami8807

    The basic long sleeve top says its a European 36 but when you open the file it says its a size 38. Also the conversion charts says a European size 36 converts to a Burda size 4. Which is the real size PLEASE???

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    Mar 25, 2010, 01.40 PMby littlemissstitch1

    Great Post!!! More knowledge is never a bad thing

    Likewise i’ve been using Gedwoods Slopers (well only the bodice one actually) as i haven’t got round the rest just yet … I’m fairly new to the whole pattern cutting side of things & have been doing an evening course at college in fashion & textiles.

    Anyhow, I have to give massive kudos to gedwood… I hadn’t actually realised how easy your instructions were until i was given my ‘How to make a basic bodice block’ handout at college last week…. Hmmmm confusing didn’t even come close… so i scrapped that & used gedwood’s instead…. Same result in half the time ;-)

    Have set myself a mission this month… (well maybe April now) to try & make my first pair of trousers so i’ll definately have a look at the resources you mention along with Gedwoods ‘easy to follow’ instructions.

    Keep up the fantastic posts…. I love learning new things!!!

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    Mar 6, 2010, 12.37 PMby estefaniaspain

    thank you very much¡¡ Ithink I’ll start doing something with those slopers¡¡¡

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    Mar 3, 2010, 09.13 PMby coscina

    Excellent. I will surely make use of these. Thanx!

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    Mar 3, 2010, 04.12 PMby Laura Jane

    thankyou very much x

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    Mar 3, 2010, 03.08 AMby gedwoods

    I did not mean to sound critical of your article, alison. But I am pleased to see that my reminder regarding my own posts was useful to others. I have to say that my posted techniques for drafting slopers typically take about 12 hours of preparation to organize – a considerable amount of work – and I really do this to give back to the community some of what it has given to me. It was a bit disappointing to read your original post without any mention of the work, which has, as mentioned by rachellemarie, been present on the BurdaStyle site for over a year. To my knowledge, these are the only extensive instructions on drafting slopers from measurements I have seen on the web – if I had found such instructions elsewhere, I wouldn’t have felt called up to post mine here.

    1 Reply
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      Mar 9, 2010, 05.03 AMby thecuriouskiwi

      I immediately thought of your blocks and drafting instructions when I saw this posted up. I’ve downloaded everyone you posted and used them quite a bit while I learn more about drafting. I have learnt so much from your well written instructions, thanks for all your hard work and for sharing your knowledge.

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    Mar 2, 2010, 10.03 PMby elainemay

    Errr… not to be a killjoy, but I believe the pattern for “Basic Long Sleeve Top” (the last one listed) is actually from PatternMaker, which I would assume means it’s copyrighted and shouldn’t be distributed as a free pattern on BurdaStyle. I’ve seen several PatternMaker patterns uploaded as free patterns by members (I assume with good intentions as opposed to with intention to distribute copyrighted material knowingly) and the patterns are probably buried deep enough to fly under the radar. But now that there’s a blog post featuring one of them, it could be a problem.

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    Mar 2, 2010, 07.49 PMby rachellemarie

    “Today I’ve been researching what is out there in terms of free, download-able, basic sloper patterns for our users.”

    Really, I do think it’s ironic, considering Gedwoods’ bodice sloper has been on THIS site for over a year, and it is instructions for drafting a bodice block from your own measurements, where as far as I can tell most of the ones posted on this article are based on standard sizes. What good is that?

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    Mar 1, 2010, 05.20 PMby wenchy

    We made pattern blocks (or slopers) at colllege, I’d be happy to share them if someone told me how lol. I have them for Bodice, Sleeve, and Skirt, all Standard British size 12. I believe I also have somewhere blocks for children’s patterns age 5-6 I think…

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    Feb 28, 2010, 12.28 PMby Anna Aasbjerg

    I’m very interested in drawing my own slopers. Has anybody got a written guide how to do it from the beginning. My english might not be very good in writing but I read and understand perfectly ;-)

    1 Reply
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    Feb 27, 2010, 06.39 AMby gedwoods

    Here’s a formal definition from somewhere : “a Sloper refers to a Cardboard pattern for a basic style by which a manufacturer has approved the fit and appearance that will also be used to develop more intricate styles and patterns in the future” – it roughly captures the idea, even though some may disagree with various details of this expression. For our purposes, a sloper is a set of basic pattern pieces, without any embellishments, that are fitted for your body. Once you have developed a sloper for you, there are a variety of ways the sloper can be manipulated to create more elaborate patterns from the simpler one – and if you follow the “rules” for manipulation, you are nearly guaranteed that the modified garment remains a good fit for you.

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    Feb 27, 2010, 06.15 AMby meaghanmichal

    could someone elaborate on what a sloper is some more i am a bnit interested

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    Feb 26, 2010, 04.09 PMby gedwoods

    I’m not sure why my slopers weren’t mentioned in the article… in my Techniques you can find slopers for a bodice, dress, pants, and sleeve, with more coming…

    3 Replies
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      Feb 27, 2010, 02.25 AMby alisondahl

      I will definitely look at yours! It’s only that I had been conversing with Ralph of Fashion-Gorgeois and wanted to spread the word about his interesting ongoing projects and great slopers he offers.
      There will definitely be more of these articles too. Thank you for sharing;)

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      Mar 2, 2010, 05.22 PMby monibug

      Your techniques are awsome I have made the bodice using your techniques….thank you for sharing

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      Mar 2, 2010, 07.44 PMby rachellemarie

      gedwoods—-I was just scrolling to the bottom of this to add some love for your how tos! I have made the perfect dress using your directions. Thank you so much.
      alisondahl—please add gedwoods’ howtos to this article.

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    Feb 26, 2010, 03.14 PMby ncn6

    I’ve noticed these slopers going up over the past few days! I’m actually getting a pants sloper custom made for me (!), and I think I’m going to try my hand at making a bodice sloper myself, probably by modifying one of the ones on here. For those of you who have made slopers in the past, have you had better luck by taking a lot of measurements and starting from there, or just making a sloper up and trying it on to see where you need modifications?

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    Feb 26, 2010, 01.36 PMby marmota-b

    Thanks to Yoshimi, who swapped the magazines with me, I’m able to make the Mrs Style Book slopers, and it’s awesome. With their help, I was able to create the perfect blouse/T-shirt pattern for my sister, who has rather an unusual figure, as it turns out… she has short torso and rather thick and short arms, so she’s always had trouble finding a RTW blouse that’d fit properly. Of course, being able to sew the perfect blouse for her and seeing her wear it all the time makes me incredibly happy. :-)

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    Feb 26, 2010, 11.42 AMby ichigogirl

    Hm, I must take inspiration from this and make cardboard copies of my basic slopers! Hopefully soon…

    1 Reply
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      Feb 26, 2010, 11.56 AMby mprevitali

      Well, it maybe possible….actually a 38 burda size is an italian 42…

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    Feb 26, 2010, 11.40 AMby kristenmakes

    Thanks for the great slopers! I’ve got mine from school, but they are rolled up and stored in my dad’s house right now, across the Atlantic! Happy to have some new ones now. Thanks!

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    Feb 26, 2010, 11.12 AMby mprevitali

    Italian size and France size are different…I’m sure about this because I’m italian ! France size 38 is an italian 42!

    1 Reply
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      Feb 26, 2010, 11.40 AMby ichigogirl

      Aha… then maybe France has the same system as Germany/Scandinavia?

    • This is a question
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