Online Patternmaking Classes
by Don McCunn
Online Class Home Page   ►  An Introduction

How to Make an Upper Torso (aka Bodice) Sloper

Instructions show how the tops below can be made from Fitted Slopers
Sheath Dress   Buttoned Vest   Laced Vest   Bias Cut Tunic Shirt
Sheath Dress   Buttoned Vest   Laced Vest   Bias Cut Tunic Shirt
Camisole   Strapless Camisole   Bias Cut Blouse   Shawl Collar Robe
Camisole   Strapless Camisole   Bias Cut Blouse   Shawl Collar Robe

The five sessions of this class include the following.

  1. Measurements
  2. Drafting the Initial Patterns
  3. The Initial Fitting and Adjusting the Darts
  4. Finalizing the Patterns and Verifying the Fit
  5. Creating Variations for the Upper Torso

The best way to start any patternmaking process is to understand the concept of why the patterns need to be shaped the way they do. For the Upper Torso Sloper, I describe the basic concept on the pages of my book How to Make Sewing Patterns and in the videos below.

  • Men's Front - page 57, 2nd ed. (page 45, 1st ed.)
  • Back for Men and Women - page 60, 2nd ed. (page 48, 1st ed.)
  • Women's Front - page 63, 2nd ed. (page 51, 1st ed.)

An Introduction

A Drafting Demonstration

The first four weeks include videos showing how to create a sloper for the upper torso that can be used for either women or men. In the fifth week you will see how to use this sloper to create a variety of design for both woven and knit fabrics including sleeveless styles and the tunic sleeve. There is another class for creating fitted set-in sleeves and sleeve variations to go along with this sloper.

The videos for this class both show how to fit someone else and how to fit yourself without a sewing buddy. If you have someone to help you, the process is easier. This fitting buddy does not need to know how to sew. However, if you do not have a willing fitting buddy who will take whatever time is necessary to fit you correctly, you are better doing it yourself. You will see the abbreviations DIY (Do-It-Yourself) for these videos.

How to Make Sewing Patterns cover  

We will be using my book How to Make Sewing Patterns as a course text. Specific references will be made to various pages in both the first (1977) and second (2016) editions of this book. For more information about this book, visit my website How to Make Sewing Patterns. You should also be able to check out this book from your local library or order it through

In addition to the basic Patternmaking Tools and Supplies you will need 2 yards of woven fabric for the fitting shell. I recommend gingham. The best gingham to use is a pastel color so you can see marks and corrections. The 1/4" squares also make it easy to see how much adjustment you may need to make during the final fittings. Make sure that the gingham is woven with colored threads rather than plain fabric that has the gingham pattern printed on it.

Online Class Home Page   ►  An Introduction   ►   Go To Week One

Copyright © 2007, & 2020 by Donald H. McCunn