When a dressmaker wants to make a fancy pattern using the flat pattern method they usually begin with a sloper or block.  A sloper is a basic pattern without seam allowances, made to fit the measurements of the person who will be wearing the fancy pattern.  Once a sloper is perfectly fitted it can be used to create a lot of different clothes by changing the details, like the length, or neckline, and adding fancy stuff life ruffles.

Why would a knitter care?

Knitting schematics are basically flat patterns.  If a knitter has a perfectly fitted sloper, and knows the measurements of that sloper, then the knitter should be able to adjust the measurements of the knitting pattern to match the measurements of the sloper, and get a perfectly fitted garment.  Interested yet?

I am currently adjusting a pattern to fit me based on  a sloper, and I plan to tell more about it once I get a bit further into the pattern, so stay tuned.