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Kenneth King’s Moulage v SureFit Designs

EMILEE69 | Posted in Fitting on

I am interested in improving my fitting skills by developing a better understanding of the correct way to fit.  Since I have many figure challenges, it will involve a lot of alterations on my part.

Does anyone have experience with either Kenneth King’s moulage or Sure-Fit Designs system?  What are the advantages/disadvantages of each?  And how are the end products used in simplifying the fitting/altering of a variety of commercial patterns?

Thanks for any information you can offer.


  1. FitnessNut | | #1

    Congratulations on your decision to learn more about fitting. This can change so much of your experience in sewing.

    I have not worked with King's moulage, but understand that it is a complete sloper drafted to your measurements. You would then have to add the appropriate ease for the garment. I have read rave reviews about it here, so you might want to check the archives.

    Sure-Fit's system allows you to plot your measurements on paper on top of their grid. You end up with a sloper with the ease built in for a dress-type garment, which you can alter if necessary. I have used Sure-Fit extensively, before I learned to draft my own slopers. I rarely use it any more, but it was an excellent introduction to the whole area of pattern drafting and design.

    Every garment I made with Sure-Fit turned out beautifully. I made a number of skirts, pants, tops and jackets, both for myself and others. I used their children's kit extensively to make clothing for my two rapidly growing boys. I did not use the sloper to fit or alter commercial patterns, but rather to design my own clothing, but you could use them in that way. Threads often has columns devoted to utilizing a personal sloper to alter a commercial pattern. You may want to check out the on-line index.

    With either system, you will want to make a muslin of the sloper, fit it to your body, and make corresponding changes to the sloper. Regardless of how you draft it, there will likely be corrections to make. Everyone likes their clothing to fit differently and what is fine for one person might not be for you. Also, some body curves, lumps and bumps don't always get translated when going from three to two dimensions and back again.

    As for which system you will be more comfortable using, you have to consider whether you are more comfortable drafting something out completely (you do need good math skills) or would rather work with a pre-drafted template idea, just plugging in your measurements. The blank paper beginning of the former can be intimidating for many, but it can also be incredibly rewarding to draft from scratch.

    Good luck in your decision. Let us know how you fare.


    1. dregan | | #2

      I was reading your posting, and was wondering if when you said, "Sure-fit" designs, if you meant the patterns by Sandra Betzina called Sure-fit designs?  If that is correct, you were saying that it works well in drafting your own patterns?  If not, what is it? Thanks,


      1. FitnessNut | | #3

        I don't know anything about the patterns by Sandra Betzina. I was referring to a system called Sure-Fit Designs, which is a pattern fitting/designing system packaged in kit format. When I purchased them, there were four kits: dress, pants, shirt and children's. They also produced a variety of pamphlets and booklets giving directions for drafting various types of garments from the fitted sloper. You can find out more on their website <www.surefitdesigns.com>.


        1. ShannonG4d | | #4

          I've done the Kenneth King Moulage and recommend it.  I've done the bodice and the sleeves.  I used the moulage to make a sloper for use in flat pattern adjustment.  I've also drafted a few things from the moulage.  My garments are fitting MUCH more accurately since I've done this.


          1. SewNancy | | #5

            Did you buy the CD that are available for making the moulage?  If so what did you think of them?   Are they worth buying?  Did you design from them ?  I have read Threads articles on using a sloper to adjust a pattern and have found them very confusing.


          2. ShannonG4d | | #6

            Yes, I have the cds for the basic moulage and the sleeve.  I intend to purchase the pant cd within a few days.

            The Moulage is really a second skin.  There is NO ease included in the original draft in this system.  The ease is added later, after perfecting the fit.  The strength of this method over a sloper system is that you make the alterations to duplicate your body.  In a sloper (which does include a minimal amount of ease), you are often not sure if the alterations you need to perfect the fit are ease issues or body issues.  With the Moulage, you KNOW the alterations are body issues.  After the Moulage is perfected, King gives instructions on how to develop three basic slopers.  I recommend that, if you choose to use this method, you do all three and keep them on hand.  The whole thing takes me about 2 hours; I just reworked my set due to a weight loss (yay!), and, due to the notations I made on the original set as to what I had to do to perfect the fit, was able to get the new set done in no time.

            That said, if you don't have a little bit of knowledge in patternmaking, a sloper of any type will benefit you less than someone who has done a little research.  I would recommend looking through a couple of basic patternmaking books first to see how a sloper works in patternmaking.  That will help you understand how to use it for fitting and drafting your own pieces.  If you can find a copy of Adele Margolis' "Make Your Own Patterns", it's the best introduction to the process for a home sewer.  It's out of print, but occasionally copies can be found at http://www.alibris.com or other used book sellers, or even at your local library.

            I've used several patternmaking "systems" in the past, where you have to purchase special tools and rulers and templates, and nothing compares to the basics of taking your own measurements and making a custom draft. 


          3. ShannonG4d | | #7

            One more thing......sorry to be so long-winded, but I had to throw this in.....if you don't want to fool with a custom draft, purchase a basic design try-out cd from a pattern software company such as Wild Ginger or LivingSoft, and make a sloper from that.  You don't have to fool with drafting it yourself (no math!), and the fit can still be perfected easily.  It's really cost-effective, too, as both companies offer something in the $20-30 range that will work.  Look for a basic dress with a simple sleeve and a jewel collar and go from there.


          4. SewNancy | | #8

            Thank you.  I will look for the book before I decide on buying the CDs 


          5. HeartFire | | #9

            I just got Kenneth Kings CD books (all of them) and just finished the moulage a few min. ago and boy am I impressed  While drafting it I thought the armhole were a bit funky (short and squat compared to the way patterns look) but I have very prominent shoulder blades and always have significant fitting problems across the back, some how these short/squat armholes took care of the issue.  I can't wait now to turn it into a sloper.

            To answer your question or comment about using a sloper to check commercial patterns, Kenneth King has a wonderful system of showing how to do this once you have your sloper, I've never seen anything laid out so logically.

            Judy G

            p.s. there is a short video on the CD on how to measure, my husband did the measuring, no reall problem there,

            Edited 3/8/2004 12:17:30 AM ET by Judy

            Edited 3/8/2004 12:17:57 AM ET by Judy

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