Dolls come in all sizes and shapes, but you can easily make clothing patterns for any doll using a custom fitted 'sloper' or seamless pattern. The most useful basic sloper is one which is custom fitted to the bodice or torso of a doll. It can be used to make patterns for shirts, blouses, dresses, vests, coats and a range of other clothing items for male and female dolls of all shapes and sizes. The sloper measures the actual torso of the doll and lets you lay out a flat pattern and modify it for design details, fit, length and other changes.
Slopers are inexpensive to make, and save time and effort when you are making clothing for dolls, especially if you want to make a range of removable dolls clothes for a child's toy. They are especially useful for working with fashion or playscale, and miniature dolls, where patterns for the style of clothing you (or your child) want may not be readily available.
In addition to these instructions for making a torso sloper which works to fit shirts, dresses, coats etc to dolls, you can also make a basic pants sloper for dolls to make jeans, trousers and underwear.
Materials Needed to Make a Custom Sloper Pattern for Any Doll
- Non Woven Interfacing - choose a weight which can be easily folded, lightweight or ultra lightweight. You only need small scraps of this for any doll size. If you will want to make a range of custom patterns, you may want to have some heavier non woven interfacing on hand to use for reusable patterns rather than making them on paper.
- Clear packaging tape
- Sharp Scissors
- Soft (HB or B) Drawing Pencil or Erasable Pen
- Fine Sewing Pins - for larger soft bodied dolls.
- Paper - or mid weight interfacing, for patterns.
These instructions show the sloper being fitted to a 'Brenda Breyer' doll, which is an eight inch tall ball jointed doll. The same techniques apply to all dolls, regardless of what they are made from or their size.