Stylebook/Bunka Cry for Help

Two people (dd's preschool teacher and my neighbor) told me I look nice as I was out and about today, so I figured I'd post a photo. I'm wearing the orange sweater as a jacket.

My current project is to make something from Mrs Stylebook. I have 2 issues from 2009, including the one that comes with the slopers. I also have the complete set of Bunka patternmaking books in English. Near as I can tell, the use the same system of pattern drafting.

Now, the sloper in Mrs Stylebook does not come with a sleeve. What is up with that?

So I went to the Bunka books and I am sloooowly following their directions for how to draft a sloper, starting on page 88 of Garment Design Textbook 1, Fundamentals of Garment Design. Has anyone out there in sewing blogland done this and blogged about it? If so, I would appreciate a link. It is kind of making my brain hurt. I keep having to take breaks to eat fruit and replenish the blood sugar. I read somewhere that it helps with concentration.



  1. Posted January 5, 2011 at 11:53 am | Permalink | Reply

    I tried drafting a sleeve from some generic instructions I found in one of the “Making Navi” inserts from a MSB. However in their drafting system, you draft the bodice from the sloper and the sleeve from the bodice for each garment. I’m not sure it’s worthwhile to try drafting a sleeve for the sloper. It is a brain-hurting kind of exercise, but the diagrams are fiendishly logical so if you work through each of the steps, you do end up with a functional pattern.

    • Posted January 5, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Ohhh, I get it. So you don’t really need a sleeve sloper. It is all clear to me now. Thanks.

  2. Posted January 5, 2011 at 11:53 am | Permalink | Reply

    I think Cidell from Miss Celie’s Pants has worked with them before. Good luck!

  3. shams
    Posted January 5, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Nope, haven’t tried actually making one of their slopers. I doubt they have instructions in my size. But you do look nice today! Snuggly and warm, too. πŸ˜€

  4. Pat Spurza
    Posted January 5, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hi Could you tell me where you found the Bunka Books in English?
    Would like to try them, MSB, as I have a couple of copies.
    Thanks for any info. Pat Spurza

    • Posted January 5, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Sure, I bought them at Kinokuniya in New York a little over a year ago.

  5. Posted January 5, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I have drafted a number of sleeves for Ms Stylebook garments, but I used the sleeve drafting instructions provided for each specific garment. (sorry no posts or links)Even if you use the sloper as the base for drafting the garment pattern, there are usually drafting instructions for the sleeves. The sleeves for each garment had different widths, lengths and cap height based on the garment type and the ease added to the bodice sloper pieces for the style. So as you concluded in your comment, there may be no point in drafting a sleeve for the Bunka sloper if you plan to use the magazine pattern drafting instructions for the garment. However I have a custom fit sloper (not drafted from Bunka) that I did draft a sleeve for. I compare this sloper bodice, back and sleeve to the bodice, back, and sleeve pieces of big 4 and Burdastyle mag. patterns to determine if fitting changes are needed. I also use it as the basis for designing my own patterns. So I guess what I am saying is, if you like the fit of the Bunka sloper and plan to use it for your own design work, it may be worthwhile to draft a sleeve for it.

    Great refashion of that sweater. I can see why you get compliments on it. It is very flattering to you, is an eye catching color and looks toasty warm.

  6. Marie-Christine
    Posted January 5, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    You know, Bunka may have a sloper, and that’s nice, but what you need for Mrs Stylebook is a sloper that fits YOU. Any sloper. With the darts more or less in the same place of course if possible, but still. Which means you can start off from something put out by Burda or the big 4, and go on from there. Much easier, imho.

    I’ve made several slopers, but the one that fits perfectly was draped on me by a custom dressmaker. Her sloper class stank, in teaching methodology and in the sloper method she was using. But she sure could drape divinely. So that’s what I’ve been using as the basis for everything for the past decade. Works for me, well.

    • Posted January 5, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

      That’s funny about your teacher who could do but not teach. I know the feeling.

      One thing that I have a problem with about slopers is what is meant by a sloper that “fits”. Should it be a second skin? If not, how much ease? The Bunka book is very specific about that. It has lots of formulas based on measurements to translate the measurements into an appropriately fitting sloper. I am working through the formulas and hoping they work for me.

      • Posted January 5, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

        To my understanding, the Mrs. Stylebook’s two sloper options have different fits. So, although you could simply use your own sloper as a base for drafting the garments, I imagine the fit wouldn’t be exactly as intended. The darted version is probably closer to the “standard” close-fitting sloper, but I think the looser sloper has about 10 cm ease in the bust. You can figure that out mathematically by looking at the ease added in the drafting process.

        I made a loose sloper last year, but haven’t done anything with it yet. I also made capri pants using their drafting instructions (straight from personal measurements). The fit was really good, but, sadly, my serger ate the pants and I haven’t remade them yet.

  7. Posted January 5, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Good luck with your project.

  8. Posted January 5, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I am signed up for Kenneth Kings moulage class. After you draft the moulage he takes you through drafting a sloper from it with ease. How much? Obviously I don’t know yet. From what I’ve read the Japanese designs are drafted for small, thin people, or not me. Does anyone know if you start with a sloper that fits you, can you then use the books to draft a garment that fits a larger person?

    • Posted January 5, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I think so. But obviously, I have not tried it yet.

    • Marie-Christine
      Posted March 30, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Absolutely, it’s the whole idea.

  9. cidell
    Posted January 5, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I was going to say what Audrey said. I have those directions too but never bothered with the sleeve since each pattern has sleeve drafting options.

  10. Posted January 6, 2011 at 4:21 am | Permalink | Reply

    Well, you do look lovely in that outfit, so I can see why you got compliments! A gorgeous colour scheme, and I wish I had that cardigan!

  11. Posted January 6, 2011 at 5:49 am | Permalink | Reply

    Your outfit looks great. The only advice I can offer re the drafting is chocolate. In my experience this has much better influence on the brain than mere fruit. (However, it does mess up the sloper if you eat too much) πŸ™‚

  12. Marie-Christine
    Posted January 6, 2011 at 11:18 am | Permalink | Reply

    I believe the reason Kenneth King calls his a moulage is that he aims to produce a skin-tight version, and as far as I know he’s the only one.
    What US home sewers call a sloper includes basic ease, so you can breathe, and even move :-). Properly speaking, it should be call a block (see fashion-incubator) but let’s not quibble about terminology. I’m sure that Bunka’s sloper is meant to fit with ease also.
    Makes sense too that an undarted sloper should have more ease than a darted one, otherwise if you have any breasts at all you’d get wrinkles all over. Not pretty ones.

    • Posted January 6, 2011 at 11:34 am | Permalink | Reply

      A block is completely different from a sloper. A sloper is a fitting shell for one individual client. In this case, I am my own client. You can use it to draft jackets, dresses, whatever, just to fit that one person.

      A block is a basic pattern used in manufacturing. It is only for one type of garment. A jacket block is used to draft other jackets by adding style details. A production patternmaker would have several blocks, one for trousers, one for shirts, etc. It is not fitted to an individual, but rather to the standard size that they will use in manufacturing. It can be graded to different standard sizes, corresponding to whatever measurements that manufacturer decides to use for a 6, 8, or 10.

  13. mem
    Posted January 9, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I have just finished doing a year long course in pattern making which made my brain ache so I sympathise with your need to have breaks!!We made all the blocks in a standard size 10 and then at home I made them up to my measurements. They work very well and I use them to develope all my designs and to alter bought pattens. When I made up my own blocks I made them up in muslin and the altered them as necessary to get them “just so” and then tranfered these changes to the final cardboard blocks which I use for the above purpose. The method we used was either from Winifred Aldrich or Helen Armstrong . These have a fair bit of ease in them which is fine for me as I like easier fit . I undrestand that Allemong uses much less ease in making her blocks. I also think that other european pattern making systems have less ease.
    I also just fiddled with ease . When doing my sleeve block I didnt want lots of gathers in the sleeve head so I reduced the ease added into the bicep measurement.I think having a sleeve block or sloper which is made to your measurement is very useful . I had to alter mine quite a bit when I made up the muslin of the block .

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