A few people asked me what slopers are. Also called "blocks," they are basic patterns that fit the body closely; once you fit them perfectly to the model, you can alter them to make whatever style garment you want. I'm just a beginner at it, learning the sloper method because it is fun and because Yren wants a lot of clothes. No use drafting paper-towel one-offs every time I make something for her, as I used to do for dolls.
If you are interested in trying it, or at least reading more about it, have a look at this neat website. Unlike other, more recent books on the topic, this one actually explains things. And while you're there, be sure to look at Vintage Sewing Info's home page too: you'll see they have reproduction texts of lots of other great stuff--books on millinery, glove-making, even home dry cleaning, as well as basic sewing.
So now Yren has a few bodice slopers, each with the darts in different places, to get us started on her wardrobe. The back bodice sloper was the first one I did, and I drafted that one according to her measurements. I started doing the front one that way too, but then ended up just using the ol' paper towel method to get the first sloper--it's so much easier. Then I made the rest of the front slopers from that.
We did her first skirt blocks today too... I didn't notice that the back and front were drafted separately, and I ended up sewing too fronts together! Turned out kind of boxy! Then, LOL, I read the fine print. Oops--told you I was a beginner!