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altering sloper pattern for stretch fabr

Theresa07 | Posted in Fitting on

I have made a sloper that I want to adjust to use for strecth fabric. Any suggestions? Thanks, Theresa


  1. Tatsy | | #1


    Stretch fabrics vary greatly.  The most important thing you can do is find out how much the fabric stretches.  The usual method to do this is to take a 6" or 12" piece of fabric and see how far it stretches.  If you're going to be sewing the garment right away, you can just stretch it on top of a rule and make a note.  Otherwise, it's a good idea to staple a swatch of the fabric to a piece of cardstock or typing paper  and note the amount of stretch right on the paper.

      'm not sure you can actually make a sloper that will work for all stretch fabrics. You will probably have to make a different sloper for each amount of stretch. Some have so little stretch that you don't need to change anything from woven.  Some are more like Bubblicious, and it's hard to tell when they will stop stretching.  Draping the fabric over your body and wearing like a sarifor a half-hour or so will give you an idea of how the fabric moves and if it sags or not. 

    Sandra Betzina has a very good book on how to sew different fabrics.  I think Claire Schaeffer has one two. 

    I once made a jumpsuit out of a fabric that stretched twice its normal size.  I couldn't wear it.  I doubt that anyone else ever did either. It was lovely fabric and a terrible shame that it came out so disproportional. Hope your projects turn out better.


    1. Theresa07 | | #2


      Thanks for your advise.  I've been experimenting with some half price fabric to see what happens.  So far so good.  You are right that the stretch varies with different fabrics so I think that I'll just stick with one type for awhile.  I am mostly interested in sewing tops for exercise, so the fabric required for practice will be minimal.  What I have noticed is that the fabric stretches vertically but not horizontally in the bust and neck area if the top is sleeveless.  (No sleeves to pull against for the crosswise stretch)   I also don't want any stretch around the belly for the top to ride up.  No piercings on this body to show off, just middle age bulge!!!!!!

      Thanks again for the advise.


      1. Cathie | | #3

        I  am struggling along with a similar dilemma. I am making a KS T, and had tried to alter the paper pattern first. But, I think I can get it better, so, once done, will cut out another. I am hoping the basic T can serve as a type of sloper, for knits. Though stretch varies, as one poster described so well. Re: tank tops, etc., the stretch should go around the body. Often knits with lycra stretch 4 ways too. We need length stretch, but also the comfort of width stretch. You can add length to tops (no tummy showing). KS has an older book on action wear/swim wear, and Singer has one too. The KS book has patterns in it, that are full size. Happy sewing!

        1. Theresa07 | | #4

          Thanks for your response, Cathie.  Not to show my stupidity, but who/what  is KS?  I worked out this morning in my prototype and it was OK but not great.  Back to JoAnn's for more "practice fabric" to work out some kinks.  Good luck to you on your project.


          1. Cathie | | #5

            Sorry, it's Kwik Sew. Good luck with the sewing. I haven't cut out or sewed on the coton/lycra, or nylon/lycra yet. Also, Fabric Savvy by Sandra Betzina is helpful. Lots of posts here too. Knits are forgiving (on us), and comfy, but, there are some challenges (I print out the technical help from here, and refer to it).

  2. starzoe | | #6

    I haven't read all of this, but check this out for stretchy fabrics and how to make patterns for them:

    1. Theresa07 | | #7


      Wow, thanks for the link.  This guy is fantastic.  He has answered alot of my questions.  I'm going to try one of his slopers and see how I like it.

      Thanks a zillion.  Theresa

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