In the works: New and improved slopers for Sonokong dolls


It has been almost 10 months since I blogged at The Enchanted Dress Shop.  In this time I’ve been experimenting with ways to offer better fitting patterns for Sonokong dolls.  I am not pleased with the previous patterns offered here.  I want an outstanding fit, not a merely good one.  If you have used my patterns you may find that there always needs some tweaking about the neckline or armhole.  The darts for the skirt also need to be moved depending on the style.  It is for these reasons and more that I decided to start from scratch and find a new way to create a sloper without going back to 1:6 scale flat patternmaking.  It’s too difficult to draft on such a small scale even using millimeters instead of inches.

The scenic route to the solution

This past Spring I thought of moving over to crocheting for the Sonokong dolls.  This turned out not to be a good move.  Because Sonokong dolls have very pointy bust lines and a curvy backside, my attempts to adapt Barbie patterns did not work out.  The newer Barbies are smaller busted and flatter in the backside.  I was almost ready to give up.

I have many blog friends through RetroGlam, my blog for full-scale women’s dressmaking.  One of my blog friends Carol posted about April_n_Paris blog and videos  which inspired me to try April’s technique for 1:6 draping.  It has taken a few attempts but at last I’m seeing results.  It’s a gradual process of evolving the sloper through draping, creating the paper pattern and then making alterations until the resulting toile fits perfectly.

As I’m draping I find April’s technique simplifies the process.  She’s a natural at this.  The use of embroidery thread to mark the key body lines is an important visual aid.  Without these dividing lines it’s hard to get an accurate drape.  Manipulating the fabric on the doll also shows me that since dolls are so unnaturally shaped the placement of seams, darts and openings will often be unusual.  Take the center back seam of the skirt.  The Sonokong doll’s backside is very curvy going out at the waist and in near the hips.  At this point there is more fabric needed to close the seam.  This shows up in the drape.  But when I drafted my patterns I always used a straight vertical line which resulted in many fitting difficulties.

Since I wait to work on my doll related projects when I’m in a very relaxed mood it will take some time to complete the toiles.  When they are finished I will scan and offer here for your use.  I’m looking forward to a whole new chapter in dolly dressmaking and sharing it with you all.  Photos of the progress so far follows.  At the end of this posting are links to April’s YouTube tutorials.

Sonokong Doll Basic Toile-1:6 scale draping

Note:  The skirt has to be sewed together.  So far the parts are looking good when held against the doll.  The placement of bodice front and skirt front darts, along with the center back seam, still look odd to me but the fitting is an improvement over what I had before.  I think once I get a final paper pattern I can experiment with moving these dart positions.











FashionDollStylist YouTube Tutorials

How to make slopers for the fashion doll Pt.1

How to Make Slopers for the fashion doll. Pt.2 Basic Bodice

How to make slopers for the fashion doll. Pt3: Sleeves

How to Make Slopers for the fashion doll: Pt. 4 The Skirt




2 thoughts on “In the works: New and improved slopers for Sonokong dolls

  1. Emily, first of all, thank you again for your very kind words and thank you for the shout out. I’m looking at your process here and everything looks perfect. Flat pattern drafting is quite limiting in what you can achieve. Draping opens up lots of new possibilities especially in creating garments with volume & movement. And it’s fun! Very happy to know this was helpful. April.

    • I’m greatly encouraged now! I will continue and post the updates. I’ve been practicing draping on full scale size 4, too. Still have a way to go. I was amazed how much easier 1:6 scale draping is. Keep those tutorials coming!

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