Suzy Furrer The Bodice Sloper (Introduction; Measuring)

ETA:  Add measuring notes.


Muslin 5 toasted me. It just shouldn’t be this hard. Each new muslin should be better than the previous. Not retreating to previous muslin status.  Also, I feel like I’m going in circles. Tweak the shoulder. Tweak the underarm. Tweak the side seam. Tweak the armscye. Repeat. I’m not getting anywhere. Which distinctly reminds me of my experience with Kwik Sew pants patterns. Don’t misunderstand. Kwik Sew is and has always been an excellent pattern line. But their pants draft and my crotch don’t match.  I need something very different from what KS drafts and I therefore go around in circles never really fixing the fit.   I’m at the same point with this knit block. It’s not working.  I’m repeating and repeating without achieving a TNT.

Luckily (not sure I’m the one lucky or Craftsy is), Craftsy sent me an email with Suzy Furrer’s Bodice Sloper Class at half off.  In my state of desperation, I did not even consult my checking account. I bought.

I will be doing a series of posts which will be more like journaling with a little whining and ‘Dear Diary’ regressions.  I plan to complete at least one class each day including the homework.  I’m not sure if I will finish all 11 classes in one go i.e. straight through.  For one thing, I tend to get bored and impatient. More importantly, I know what to do as soon as I have a good fitting sloper. I may not need to finish all the classes to achieve my goal: having a TNT sloper that both morphs into other styles and help fit commercial patterns.  So let me begin:


Class 1 Introduction

Typical Hi I’m so and so and we’ll be working on such and such. Tools are shown and lightly discussed. Which is OK with me.  I do need to know what tools to assemble and frankly I learn more about the tool when it’s in my hand and I’m bending it to my will as opposed to what I would learn listening to a teacher’s lecture.  Fortunately, the Intro is short and we segued immediately into

Class 2: Measuring the Body and the Dress Form

Homework:  Recording my specific 15 measurements.

I always grit my teeth at this. I know I need my measurements but the teachers nearly always recommend getting a sewing partner.  I have none in my community.   So I struggle along taking my own measurements and hoping they are close enough.  Thing is, my aging body is far from standard and accurate measurements would really help.

Especially since Suzy takes measurements a little differently. I’ve never seen a neck measurement done exactly as she demoed. She makes sense, mind you. I’ve just never seen that done.  The waist measurement really surprised me. It is taken 1/4″ above the navel. Totally different from any other system I’ve seen. Because of where she places the waist, several of my measurements changed radically. I’ve used a 15″ BWL for years. Using Suzy’s system my BWL is 18 and my waist much larger than expected because I’m really measuring the tummy not the narrowest part of my torso. She explains where to take the high and low hip measurements using the industry standard. Suzy does give additional instructions for the petite and  tall person. I did not get a Cross Back measurement.  I’m using one that DH did for me last year.  There just is no way for me to accurately measure that part of my body by myself. I can either get the tape in place and taunt or I can twist and see the measurements., Can’t do both at the same time.

A few concerns:   I was watching Suzy talk and move about.  I saw some of the same drag lines on her garment bodice that I’m complaining about on my own. I do hope I’m not going to make all this effort only to end up with a Muslin 5 type garment.

So far, the only mention of asymmetry was in regards to taking the front measurement. Suzy acknowledges that some figures are better developed on one side then the other. She says to take the measurement of the larger side because the other “can always be padded out”.  I’m concerned because it’s not enough for me to be able to draft rectangles and squares. I need to end up with a sloper for my shape.  I’m really not interested in adding 3/4″ padding to the shoulder or who knows how much padding everywhere else?

******************************** Notes: Measuring A Person

  • Measurement Points
    1. Neck Point:  the well between the shoulder blades in the center of the neck
    2. Shoulder points: at the end of the shoulder blades up directly from the crease
    3. Waist:  1/4″ above belly button  Not working for me. Alternate look up place hands on waist. Mark that spot
  • Front Length: Neck point to waist
  • Back Length: From upper most vertebrae to waist
    1. Back usually 1-2″ longer than front
    2. Very Chesty or tummy may different
  • Cross Front:  armscye crease to armscye crease
  • Cross Back armscye crease to armscye crease
  • Figure Length
    1. measure on the larger side or higher shoulder
    2. Neck point to nipple
  • Figure Breadth: nipple to nipple
  • Bust :across widest point, as usual, dip inbetween the breasts
  • Underbust usual except right across bra underwires
  • High Hip
    1. 4.5″ (4″ petites) down from waist
    2. Note the distance as well as circumference
  • Low Hip
    1. 8.5″ (8″ petite) down from waist but in line with widest point
    2. Note the distance as well as circumference
  • Side Length
    1. Place ruler as high as possible at the underaqrm
    2. Measure from top of ruler to bottom of waist
  • Armscye: Firmly measure around under arm up over shoulder






4 thoughts on “Suzy Furrer The Bodice Sloper (Introduction; Measuring)

    1. I think I watched this class once before during Craftsy $20 watch for a month sale but I didnt want to do all the work for fear of ending up with a basic pattern which still needed to be fit. I’m desperate enough now to give it a go. Would be interesting to see your results.



  1. As an overweight 50s person, I started making my own clothes a decade ago when I just couldn’t find anything I liked. Patterns only worked for me up to size 16 when I was in my 20s then fitting them became just. not. worth. it. My first ‘sloper’ successes were RTW that I deconstructed. When I tried to make my own slopers, I struggled and nothing worked until I bit the bullet and got my poor sister to help me make a duct tape dummy, install it over my dress form, and pad it to be as unique as I am. Now, if it fits the dummy, it fits me (except I learned to make my own bras because bras change how the garment fits and so the bra has to fit the same on you as it did in the form). And I learned to give up on perfection. If it fits and it’s comfortable and I like it, who cares. I sew to live, not live to sew. And I think your clothes are amazing. Wear them with pride.



Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s