Other Interests

A Moulage and a Sloper: Suzy Furrer Pattern Making

Well, it has been an epic 7 days. I decided that I needed to buckle down and FINISH the moulage that I started last summer. Suzy Furrer is such an excellent instructor on Craftsy. She has a series of classes on flat pattern making: skirt, bodice, pants, sleeves, creative darts and seams, and her newest one helps you use your sloper to make a wardrobe of different tops and a cardigan jacket. Just what I've been wanting to do.

A moulage is a map of your body. It can be used as a cover on a dress form, if I had one that was me. It shows your body as it is: rounded back, forward thrust neck, protruding tummy, full bust, swayback, and any curves. Delightful, but so necessary if you want to make clothes that make the most of your assets, and smooth over all of the above.

A sloper is the moulage made wearable, as a starting point for making your own patterns. (Or Suzy Furrer's starting points for tops, coats, jackets, blouses, shirts, etc.)

I learned:
1. Measure and remeasure. Having an engineering type husband is an asset. Plus, he divides fractions in his head, something I'm getting good at.
2. A variety of rulers is a wonderful thing. A T-square is helpful. I need French curves, and a hip curve.
3. I finally learned how to use a mechanical pencil without it breaking 10/10 times.
4. Shoulder slopes are my nemesis.
5. I can stick to a job and make mistakes and keep going.

So, the moulage. Because I started last year, I was close to a good fit, but felt that I had hit a wall. Luckily all the sewing I did this year, helped me understand better what I was doing, and where I was going wrong. It was all in the shoulders, baby! Slope, centering a dart, and finding the high neck point had me drafting hell. Finally, I just sewed it up with lots of seam allowances on the shoulders and had my husband pin me in. Then I sewed it.....changed it . ... and got it right.

Putting the changes on paper was tricky for me. I don't know why, but I could not get the angles right. By the time I did sloper #3, I was happy. I posted photos along the way, and received very positive encouragement and suggestions from Suzy. She answers tons of email a day, and is always so darn nice, succinct, but always polite and positive. I don't know how she does it. But, man, I appreciate her professionalism.