If you’re not familiar with the slash method (slash and spread or the slash and close), now’s the time to familiarize yourself! In the most basic sense, slash and spread is used to create fullness (or length) and slash and close reduces fullness (or length).
Slash and Spread | Slash and Close
The slash method, both slash and spread and slash and close is a fundamental pattern making technique in which a pattern piece is cut or slashed and then spread apart to add fullness or closed to reduce fullness. This technique is most often used to add fullness.
For example: ruching, decorative darts, ruffles, flares, flounces, or gathering. But, it can also be used to close darts, and reduce fullness. More about that here.
The actual technique itself is very simple, and very intuitive. However, it’s a bit tricky to explain…So, let me show you!
I hope the video helped to explain this fundamental pattern making technique. Please feel free to download the half scale practice pattern set below to try your hand at this technique!
But, what to do about the back skirt?
I know, I know…I didn’t mention anything about the back skirt! Sorry! The answer is simple, the same thing!
You’ll just have to make sure the spread is equal to the front spread. To do this, complete your front pattern…and when it is time to slash and spread the back pattern, simply lay it a top the front to ensure you have the same spread! See, easy!
Wait, this looks different!?
The slash and spread technique sometimes requires completely cutting the pattern apart to add fullness. In this case, to add gathers to the sleeve cap and sleeve hem. If you only wanted gathers on the hem, you would simply slash to but not thru the sleeve cap. And if you only wanted gathers on the sleeve cap, you’d slash to but not thru the sleeve hem. Make sense? I hope so!
Tip: When cutting your pattern completely apart, use the pro tip I share in the video!
A few important things to note;
- Never cut your block, sloper, or pattern. Always transfer the pattern to another medium first.
- Always add or remove width from several points, not one point. Using only one point will create an unflattering and uneven result.
- Make sure to evenly distribute length and fullness (or lack there of).
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