It went something like this: weigh yourself in front of everyone in our class — both boys and girls. (Everyone can see that number, obviously, so it's the only thing that will be accurate going forward.) Then use the fat calipers ("Fat calipers"? WTF??!) to pinch the fat under your arm, at your waist, on your back and various other parts of your body. But rather than write down the actual number of millimeters of fat pinched, you write down something that sounds much better — say 5 mm instead of 12 mm. Then through some complicated fitness math discover that you should be able to lift 1,000 pounds because you are 120 pounds with just 4 % fat, which of course isn't true. You're more like 25% fat and can lift, like, 30 pounds (I'm making all these numbers up; I'm Canadian and have problems with measurements due to years of switching between metric and imperial). The lesson here: Math is hard when you're a lying liar who's trying to compensate for the fact that teen boys and girls have very different fat-to-muscle ratios.
|Use a length of string or ribbon to mark your true waist|
Where am I going with this? The key to creating a perfect sloper is taking accurate measurements — not what you think you should be or what you were pre-baby or what you are hoping to be by summer (par example: I wear size 29 jeans but my actual waist measures 30 inches. So for the love of properly fitting clothes, write down 30 inches! It's better to be real about the numbers than be the weakling struggling under the weight of a barbell calculated to challenge an Olympic lifter.) Like Stacey and Clinton always say, dress the body you have now.
In this post, the first of a series I'm sure nobody will care about (please comment if you do! I need near-constant reassurance) I will show you all the measurements you need to create your front and back bodice slopers. It's super photo-heavy, which I am hoping will be helpful to those who need it. Follow the jump for more!
• For all measurements, it's best if you can get somebody to help you — your partner, a roommate, or a friend who also wants to create a sloper. If you must do it alone, please stand in front of a mirror to make sure the measuring tape is straight. The more accurate the measurements are, the less errors you will have to fix later in the fitting stage.• Please make sure you are wearing a fitted T-shirt or tank top while you take the measurements for an accurate sloper.
• Also, while you take the following measurements, wear a bra that gives you the lift you usually prefer. You need your boobs to be in the right spot or else you could end up with other very bad fit problems through the chest.• Start by tying a length of string or ribbon around your true waist (like I did in the first photo above). This is the narrowest point on your torso. NOT where you like the waistband of your jeans to hit, but your actual (usually around the belly button, but possibly higher) waist. Don't panic if you think you have a high or low waist, and don't pull the string up or down according to where you like your pants to sit. You need your waistline to be in the right spot or else you will have fit major problems down the road.
Now get yourself a measuring tape, a couple pins, and a piece of paper to carefully record all of your measurements, starting with the front bodice:
1. Full Length: hold the top of the measuring tape at the point where the shoulder seam on a crewneck shirt or sweater would meet your neck. You don't want it too high up on your neck or you will end up with a garment that will choke you. Too low and you have a boatneck, basically. Keep the measuring tape parallel to your body's center line, going over your boob, and measure to the bottom of the ribbon tied around your waist.
2. Width Across Shoulders: like the diagram indicates, measure from the edge of one shoulder to the other (ignore all instances where the diagrams say "plate." It's referring to measuring a dress form). The tape should run across your chest at the point where your chest meets your neck — the top of an imaginary crewneck T-shirt, for example.
3. Center Front Waist Length: OK, here's one measurement where it's important to be wearing the right bra (don't do this braless unless you are always braless. I don't judge.) That's why it says "Bridge Needed" on the diagram. But that's only when measuring a dress form, so don't worry about that. "Center neck" is the point where your neck meets your chest (again, the top of that imaginary crewneck). Make sure the tape is straight and runs right down your center.
4. Still got your bra on? Good. The edge of your shoulder is the point at which it just starts to curve down into your arm. It's where the edge of your shoulder seam would be on a shirt that fits you properly. Make sure the tape follows a straight line right over your boob to that center point on your waist tape.
5. Shoulder Length: Again, imagine that crewneck shirt. This measurement is essentially creating the shoulder seam. "High point shoulder" is where your neck meets your shoulder, and "edge of the armplate" would be the edge of your shoulder just before it starts to curve down into your arm.
6. Body Width (Chest): the diagram here gives directions on how to measure a dressform. You will be measuring 1/2 inch below the point where the armhole of a tight T-shirt would hit you. If you measure too far up into your armpit, you are going to end up with a garment that's way too tight in the armhole. So just sort of feel around and see where you would think the bottom of an armhole should be on you. Too low and it will fit weird too. One good way to figure it out is to mark about 1/2-inch ABOVE the top edge of your bra where it hits you under the armpit (see? It pays to wear one). Otherwise, if you used your sloper to make a tank, for example, your bra would always be showing. The measuring tape should run across your chest ABOVE your boobs like it is in the picture above. We're measure them later...
7. Breast Point Position (NOTE: This is two separate measurements): This is where we figure out where your boobs will be. Also, how far apart are they. Are you feeling the pinch of the proverbial fat calipers yet? Don't. These numbers will all be meaningless when you have perfectly fitting dresses and tops are made to measure. So: Find that high point shoulder again and measure down to the "apex" of your boob. This is generally located at your nipple (unless you are a dress form and then you don't have nipples). Write down that measurement and then measure from apex to apex (nipple to nipple). I cannot stress enough how important it is to wear the proper bra during all of this. Your "apex" could change drastically depending on the amount of push-up and padding you opt for on a regular basis. (At least mine would!)
8. Full Body Width (Bust): Ignore the business in the diagram about measuring down 2" from armplate. Just measure across your bust at the largest point (over those twin apexes...is that the plural for apex?). Keep the tape straight and measure from side seam to side seam. If you're wearing a shirt that fits properly, you can use the side seams on it as a guide.
9. Width Across Chest: Measure down 3" from center front neck (the point where your neck meets your chest) and mark it with a pin (unless you're wearing a V-neck like me. Please don't put a pin in yourself). Measure in a straight line across your chest at the 3" point from armhole edge to armhole edge.
10. Waist measurement: no picture for this one, because it's so easy. Measure your front waist from side seam to side seam. Keep the tape straight along your true waist (following that length of ribbon you tied on earlier). Be true to yourself!
• Moving on to the back bodice measurements, my pics here are of my dress form because I was unable to take the measurements on myself in a way that could be properly depicted in photos. My husband was taking the pictures, so it just didn't work well for me to try to demonstrate solo. I'll do my best, however, to explain how to take all the following measurements on your body. Again, you really need a friend to help you with these. (Though you can take you bra off now, if you like.)
1. Full Length: Just like we did in the front, measure from the high point shoulder straight down to the ribbon around your waist. Keep the measuring tape parallel to your center line.
2. Width Across Shoulders: You're getting the hang of this by now, right? This is just like the one we did on the front across the shoulders. Measure from armhole edge to armhole edge across the shoulders.Keep the tape straight.
3. Center Back Waist Length: Once again, imagine your crewneck shirt. Measure from the center point on the back neckline down to your waistband. Keep the tape straight along your centre line.
4. Neck Measurement: This one's easy. Measure around the back of your neck from high point shoulder to high point shoulder. Not too tight: you don't want to be uncomfortable.
5. Shoulder Slope: Again, this is just like the corresponding measurement we did on the front, but easier because you don't have boobs on your back.
6. Full Body Width: This is the measurement where you need to find that comfortable point where the bottom armhole will hit you at the side seam. Again, I recommend feeling for your bra, and marking the point 1/2-inch above its top edge with a pin on your shirt shirt below the armpit. Measure from side seam to side seam at the same point on each side. Keep the tape straight.
7. Side Length: Again find that point a little above the top edge of your bra under your armpit. Measure from there to the waist band, keeping the tape straight along your side seam.
8. Width Across Shoulder Blades: There are two steps to this measurement as the diagram indicates. Take your time to do the math on this. It will save you correcting any errors later on. Use the armholes on your shirt as a guide.
9. Waist Measurement: Last one!!You're almost done. And it's easy: just like the diagram says.
You have your measurements marked down. Check back here in two days for the next step: drafting the Front Bodice Sloper. xxoo