Sewing 302 - Pattern Drafting: How to add ease to your basic slopers.

Welcome back dear readers. Today's topic is how to add ease to the basic slopers. The basic slopers for Skirt and Bodice were drafted without any ease, while that of the Sleeve and Trousers were drafted with minimum ease.



What is Ease?

As I have mentioned previously in Sewing 202, this is the amount added or removed from the body measurements to achieve the right fit of clothing. There are 2 types of ease;

A) Wearing Ease - Amount added to permit the model to wear the clothes, move and function in them.

B) Design Ease - Amount added or removed to achieve a particular style e.g. A Shift dress would have less ease than an over-coat.


How much ease to add or remove?

This depends on the style and function of the garment. For things worn directly on the body like underwear or swimwear, ease is generally removed. For things worn over underwear or other clothing, ease is generally added. It all varies. More ease would be added to a garment that would be worn over other items.

Of course ease if also added or removed to create a particular look or to work on a particular fabric.

We shall focus on adding minimum ease to the Bodice and Skirt slopers for now.


How to add ease to the Skirt Sloper

Ease shall be added at 2 levels;

A) Waist - Total ease = 1/2inch (1.2cm) ÷ 4 = 1/8inch (3mm)

B) Hip - Total ease = 2inch (5cm) ÷ 4 = 1/2inch (1.2cm)

The total ease is divided by 4 because there are four quarters and these will be added to the sides of the skirt and joined together by a new side line.

• Point A - Square a short guideline from the waist at the side seam and measure out 1/8 inch [3mm] (red line)

• Point B - At the hip line, measure out 1/2 inch [6mm] (red line)

• Connect points and draw a new side line (blue line). From the hip line simply square the line straight down to the hem. Also smooth out waist line if needed.

• Do this for both front and back pieces.

How to add ease to the Bodice Sloper



Front Bodice

Ease shall be added at 7 points;

A) Neck width- Total ease = 1/2inch (1.2cm) ÷ 2 = 1/4inch (6mm)

B) Neck depth - Total ease = 1/4inch (6mm)

C) Shoulder - Total ease = 1/4inch (6mm) ÷ 2 = 1/8inch (3mm)

D) Chest - Total ease = 1/4inch (6mm) ÷ 2 = 1/8inch (3mm)

E) Armhole - Total ease = 3/8inch (1cm)

G) Bust - Total ease = 2inch (5cm) ÷ 4 = 1/2inch (1.2cm)

H) Waist - Total ease = 1 inch (2.5cm) ÷ 4 = 1/4inch (6mm)


• Point A - Measure down 1/4inch (6mm) from neck point at centre front. Lowers the neckline.

• Point B - Square out a line 1/4inch (6mm) from neck point at shoulder. Widens the neck line.

• Point C - Square out a guide line outwards at end of shoulder point. Add 1/8inch (3mm) to the original shoulder measurement and redraw shoulder from the new neck point (Point B) touching the guideline. Widens the shoulder.

• Point D - Square out 1/8inch (3mm) at the chest line. Widens the chest.

• Point E - Square out 1/2inch (1.2cm) from the armhole and waist at the side and create a new side line following the contour of the original side line. Widens the Bust.

• Point F - Measure down 3/8inch (1cm) from the armhole on the new side line. Lowers the armhole.

• Point G - Take in 1/4inch (6mm) from the Second dart leg and redraw the waist line from the new side line. Widens the waist.


Back Bodice

Ease shall be added at 6 points;

A) Neck width- Total ease = 1/2inch (1.2cm) ÷ 2 = 1/4inch (6mm)

B) Shoulder - Total ease = 1/4inch (6mm) ÷ 2 = 1/8inch (3mm)

C) Across Back - Total ease = 1/4inch (6mm) ÷ 2 = 1/8inch (3mm)

D) Armhole - Total ease = 3/8inch (1cm)

E) Bust - Total ease = 2inch (5cm) ÷ 4 = 1/2inch (1.2cm)

F) Waist - Total ease = 1 inch (2.5cm) ÷ 4 = 1/4inch (6mm)

• Point A - Square out a line 1/4inch (6mm) from neck point at shoulder. Widens the neck line.

• Point B - Square out a guide line inwards at end of shoulder point. Add 1/8inch (3mm) to the original shoulder measurement and redraw shoulder from the new neck point (Point A) touching the guideline. Widens the shoulder and removes the shoulder dart.

• Point C - Square out 1/8inch (3mm) at the Back line. Widens the Back.

• Point D - Square out 1/2inch (1.2cm) from the armhole and waist at the side and create a new side line following the contour of the original side line. Widens the Bust.

• Point E - Measure down 3/8inch (1cm) from the armhole on the new side line. Lowers the armhole.

• Point F - Take in 1/4inch (6mm) from the Second dart leg and redraw the waist line from the new side line. Widens the waist.

This completes the Lesson. The figures used are purely arbitrary in the sense that they can be adjusted to suit your personal needs. These amounts given will give you just enough ease for a pencil skirt or a blouse and can be used as the basic sloper. It is my intention to illustrate how ease is added to a garment and at which points, keeping in mind that ease can be added at other points not mentioned above.


Please let me know how it works out for you. Thanks for reading.

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