Bootstrap stretch dress sloper with a lace up neck and tips for applying grommets

Lace up neck dress Bootstrap basic sloper

Hi readers! Last week I got an email about the Bootstrap customized basic stretch sloper pattern. You plug in an extensive amount of measurements on their site. There are even boxes to click about how much your stomach sticks out, what type of posture you have, and what way your shoulders slope. It’s really cool! And about 30 minutes later a personalized sloper is emailed to you. A great deal for seven dollars!Lace up neck dress Bootstrap basic sloper

Since this is only a design sloper, I added my own design elements to this striped dress. I made a lace up center neckline with grommets, which I’ll be explaining after my pattern review, and also shortened the sleeves and skirt.

I tried to get my stripes to match up but they shifted while I was sewing, I guess. I had them pinned and everything! Sometimes that happens to me.

The basic fit of the dress sloper was pretty good as is. I have a feeling I may have measured my back shoulder width wrong as I had to remove about 1/2 inch of width on each side of the shoulders. The skirt was about an inch too wide in the hips, so while it wasn’t totally perfect, it was very close, and a lot better than other patterns which are often way off. There is also room for my tummy. The dress isn’t clinging tightly to my baby bulge that I have no matter how much weight I lose. I chose the box that showed a little bit of a tummy. Box B. But maybe I should have chose C . I think I’m in between. This is the box you click to put how big your stomach is….it’s important to be realistic, which can be hard!

Postscript: After spending a day trying to figure out this armhole problem, I think what needs to be done is to transfer the gaping of the armhole to a side dart. Thank you to Samina for reminding me about that technique! While I’ve tried it with woven, I never thought to do it with a knit !

Also after viewing these photos, I can see an issue with the sleeve fit and wrinkles around my armholes but i don’t really know why this is happening. Any ideas?


Bootstrap basic sloperTie neck dress Bootstrap basci sloper

There is a back seam which allows the dress to be more fitted and shapely in back. If you wanted more room, you could always cut it on the fold instead, and add back a bit of ease back there.

One more thing about this pattern. Since it’s only a sloper, there are no sewing instructions and no pattern pieces for neckline bands or anything else. I just made my own. You get a front, back, and long sleeve only. I do have this tutorial for sewing and drafting your own neck band on knit tops. I used self fabric for this neckline, but the technique is the a ribbed neckline

Tie neck dress Bootstrap basic sloper I always know it’s almost summer when I feel the urge to make sailor inspired clothing!

Now onto applying grommets to the top part of my dress. First, I made an interfaced placket. I topstitched it down at the edges.placketThe grommets weren’t easy to do, so I have a few tips if you would like to try doing these. pliersI don’t recommend  the blue Dritz pliers as they tend to split the backs of the metal grommets which will face the body, making them dangerous to wear!grommetpliersNo way I could have that against my skin, so I went out and bought another kit to apply these damned grommets. Projects always end up taking longer than I would think because of little things like this.bestgrommetkitThe basic kit above needs to be used with a rubber mallet and a wood block but the results are much better.grommethammerPounding on these grommets is kind of therapeutic, too!goodgrommetThis method gives a nice smooth back that will lie against your skin.Lace neck dress Bootstrap basic sloperHappy sewing!

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  1. Bernice says

    Really lovely, and very flattering. I like how you added the grommets at the neckline.
    I’m not sure about the solution for the sleeve fit, but am curious to see what other suggestions are made about this.

  2. says

    I have the blue dritz thing and I swore off grommets FOR LIFE because of the splitting- maybe I’ll give it another go with a mallet! As for fitting, I’m having every issue ever but I think yours could be a forward tilted arm since your shoulders don’t look sloped. (I can’t tell & I feel weird judging your shoulders! They are very nice shoulders!) I don’t know how to fix it in practice, but in theory a smaller armscye and change the sleeve cap height would fix it. I’ve paid tons of money for RTW that doesn’t fit as well as your dress, I think it’s lovely.

    • says

      Thanks for the tip Amy. You probably have it right. I think I did tick the sloped shoulder box. I had a hard time seeing which shoulder tilt i had.I do usually have to make the armsceye smaller on patterns, too.

  3. Smitha says

    Hi, I am not very experienced with sewing, but I crochet a lot. I feel the arm hole shaping could do away with the puckering near the shoulder. A deeper “C” for the arm hole on both front and back, with a less pronounced one for the back, would help.

  4. says

    Lovely dress! Love the trendy grommets & thanks for the instructions!
    About the shoulder wrinkles – it looks like the fabric wants to go into a dart. I would get rid of the extra fabric at the armhole end – kinda remove a small wedge.

  5. Carol Gardiner says

    Cute dress Justine. I love the grommets. Have you ever tried plastic snap grommets? They come in lots of colors and sizes and just snap together. So much easier than hammering. Many years ago my sister and I made striped polo shirts for our husbands for Christmas. We used a glue stick to match the stripes, let the glue dry and sewed. It worked great. You could use glue baste now, which wasn’t available in the 80’s. Have fun with your summer sewing.

  6. says

    I had just heard of Bootstrap recently along with Lekala that does a similar custom fitting pattern. My only hesitation is that they are all PDF which I’m just not crazy about! All that cutting and pasting just to cut the pattern yet AGAIN. But I’d heard my local Office Depot prints out patterns in full size sheets for a reasonable fee so I might have another go at it 🙂 I love the idea of having all those adjustments done for me. I agree that you have a slightly forward slanted shoulder (I do too!) and a slight adjustment on that shoulder seam will make it perfect. I love the idea of plastic grommets rather than metal ones but I love yours – that brass looks so classy 🙂 Beautiful dress!

  7. karen says

    Justine, that is a spectacular dress! I love the idea of buying a sloper for your particular body. I checked out the “bootstrap” website and will be ordering a couple of the patterns. I just have a query regarding the fabrics for the slopers. //applicable to both knit and woven fabrics? The details are not clear on the catalogue order form.
    You are correct about the back being a little too big on your measurements. A couple of back shoulder darts and easing the revised shoulder seams would take care of it. That probably translated into a bit of arm bunching in the front as well. But I have to admit, that is very good fitting right out of the envelope!
    Taje care and have a good week.