Drafting Strawberry Fields

I pulled out my flat pattern book from college and was amazed that I once knew all this stuff. Keep in mind, I was an AG Scinces Major; I took Flat Pattern my last semester; I think I needed 3 credits, and was really pleased to be able to take something that was totally stress free and just plain fun.  😍  The others in my class thought I was a bit odd, but we got along in the end.

My inspiration for Girl #2’s requested top is Simplicity 1425, but after looking around, I wasn’t too keen on dishing out $10 for something that shouldn’t be that difficult to draft. I rummaged around and found an 80’s dress pattern that will not be happening, but had a princess bodice, perfect for what I had in mind. I lined up my pattern pieces, and made marks across each to match up the natural waistline, then added a 5/8 inch seam allowance to each one.

The Bodice front has a deep v neckline, so I changed it to a rounded neckline. (Yes, that is a cereal bowl….I never did get a French curve for class, and have always regretted it!) This will be just a tad lower than a standard jewel neckline, since I can’t fit it to the girl. The lower neckline will be more forgiving, and a possibly a little cooler.

Peplums are not difficult, and require nothing more than a straight edge. First, measure  the width of each pattern piece across the seam line (the natural waist here) and subtract the seam allowance. This is HALF the actual waist measurement (with some ease) which will be the same as the top of the peplum.

Draft a sloper, shaped like a rectangle, out of heavy paper with those measurements, marking the location of the  center front, back and side seams. Make the sloper the length you want the peplum. Next, make 5 vertical lines, evenly spaced, perpendicular to the top. Cut these lines nearly to the top edge then place a piece of pattern weight paper under the sloper. Now spread each cut according to the amount of fullness wanted in the peplum. (I opted for 1.75 inches.) When satisfied, tape the sloper, and trace the outside edges. Add the seam allowances, transfer the center and side seam markings, and you are ready to cut your fabric!

My inspiration pattern uses a looped 3 button closing in the back, which seems a bit dangerous, so I will probably do an invisible zipper Instead.  I’m planning to face the neckline and armholes with self bias from the scraps. After a trip to the fabric store I’l be ready to stitch!


10 thoughts on “Drafting Strawberry Fields

    1. Well, the book helps a lot! 😉
      If you make yourself a sloper, it is amazing how much you can do on your own if you want to! I’m about ready to pick up another vogue sloper and some gingham and make a new one. I threw my old one out after I had the girls, thinking I’d never get back to that size, but now I wish I had it back, because it had all of my quirky alterations. It would be easier to size it up one than to start from scratch…but who knew!


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