Saturday, February 16, 2013

Block Club: Downtown (VIDEO)

With this exercise, we're going to create a skirt sloper. Yes, I know....we've already done a 1-piece skirt pattern, so you're probably wondering why bother with a 2-piece skirt sloper? The answer is quite simple. It will allow you to, not only control the fit (tapered or looser skirts), but it will also allow you to create a variety of other silhouettes. AND...when combined with the bodice sloper, you can now create dresses and long-line foundations. Pictured here: the dress consists of a pattern using the basic bodice sloper combined with the basic skirt sloper which was manipulated to create this flared skirt.
The approach for the skirt is exactly the same as for the bodice (see February 14, 2013 post).
Start with a rectangle of fabric (with vertical and horizontal grain markings) taped to the doll. Place the vertical line against the CF line of the doll. Keep the fabric straight (the perpendicular horizontal line will help guide you) and taunt against the doll's hips and tape in the back to hold in place as you work. Mark the side seam. Then, create a dart aligned with the "quarter line mark" (the line extending down from the mid-point of the bust). With a pencil, mark both the waistline as well as both sides of the dart.
Without removing the front skirt sloper, repeat the same procedure for the back. Pay special attention to the shape of your sloper. The skirt should fall perpendicular to the floor and not tapered to the doll. (You can always create a pencil skirt later. But you will need this basic shape for creating other types of skirts.) When you are finished, remove from the doll and clean up your lines.
Pin this back together and try it back on the doll. Make any adjustments or corrections. I generally use a different colored pencil for the corrections. You can also x over the lines you want to ignore. When you are happy with the fit, remove from the doll and trace onto Bristol paper. Again, we do not add seam allowance at this point as the slopers (or blocks) are used to create a variety of different patterns which we will explore later.
Adding seam allowance to the basic sloper results in a classic straight skirt. For the waistband, I use a narrow ribbon either glued, hand-stitched or top stitched in place closed with a tiny dot of velcro.

Need to see this again. Here's our video tutorial:


Photos: © Fashion Doll Stylist 2013. Please do not reproduce without prior permission.



  1. I am glad to learn about princess lines. It is great to know where to place darts. I had problems in this area and the sides of my skirts never met properly making it difficult to sew. I sewed some Barbie clothes for my Granddaughter. Adding Velcro or other notions to close a skirt was almost impossible. I had to stop sewing. This is why your video tutorials are so important to me.

  2. Glad the videos are of help. Stay tuned, I'll be adding more!

  3. love your work and updates - keep it up. do you know where I can get templates for a 12" fashion royalty doll? thanks for the updates. you have to write a book

  4. Thank you for your kind words and glad you're enjoying my blog. I don't know of any sites were you will find templates (patterns or slopers) for the FR dolls. Even if they exist, here is the problem. Within the 12" range of FR, there are five different body types! Each time I buy a new FR doll who is different from the others, I am obliged to make separate slopers for each body type! So....if the style is fitted, I am condemned to remake that basic pattern for each doll. (I do this for my sheath dresses!) But if the style has ease, I'll make the garment and alter as I need to!! In any case, whether you use Barbie patterns or something will still need to make ajustments! And yes, I am in the process of putting together a book! (But just a wee bit behind schedule.)


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