Sunday, October 31, 2010

Introduction to Pattern Making (Skirt)

Hello Readers!!  Happy Hallow's Eve:)

On Saturday, I finally took the first class in a series of 3 classes of Introduction to Pattern-Making.  I'm taking the class at Sew LA from owner, Shaerie.

The first three weeks are really, making a sloper for a skirt.  This sloper will function as a flat pattern that will "free me from the confines of commercial patterns."  And, will assist with fitting all future garments - Sounds Great!!

I haven't signed up for the bodice part, and now I  believe it's sold out! Oh Boo!  I may have to wait until next offering or procure private lessons.

Here's what I have learned from the class - I have measured myself completely incorrectly.  I measure myself as Waist 33", Hips 38" - when in reality my waist is 30" and hips 40" (I have been eating a bunch of chocolate:)).  Also, I've learned my hips are 9" from my waist - the standard measurement in commercial patterns - yeah!

We are using a Butterick 5746 (as shown below) basic skirt and working on our muslins now.  As soon as we are done I'll go on a skirt making binge - right now I'm on a dress-making binge (still).

Here's what I have learned about my sewing:

(1)  I am rushing literally everything - I need to slow down and take my time.

(2)  I really need to pay much more detailed attention to grainlines.

(3)  Ok, I do need to make muslins for the majority of my projects.  (As a result of my sewing mojo being jump-started by this class, I made a muslin for Vogue 8667, which I will explain in detail on tomorrow's blog!)

(4)  I really need to trace sewing lines instead of eyeballing them by hand (especially for high value projects).  Yes!  It does make a difference (and modifying these lines requires, dare I say it?, MATH!).

(5)  Ah, the wonders of the two inch clear ruler.  I really need to use my clear flexible ruler in everyday measurements - wow!  I've really been missing out.

(6)  I'm so glad I took that couture hand sewing class in preparation for this class - it's made hand-basting a breeze!

Summary - Great class so far and this is the first in person class I've taken where it was more than a beginning level garment sewing class.  This is an advanced class and everyone has experience garment making - I'm holding my own though - all my self-study, the couture hand-sewing class, and practice has definitely helped.  I have quite a bit to learn!


  1. I am very envious - this class sounds brilliant. It's so nice to have an expert teacher and also to be in the company of other people who love to sew.

  2. Good for you! I'm jealous too - I need to start with the couture hand sewing class first...

  3. Thanks! I have high hopes for this class - I've been struggling with fit for the last year - and with perfection (Haha!) - I don't think I can master the perfection but if I can make some headway toward fit I will be very happy.

  4. By the way, I'm taking classes because I had gotten to the point where I felt like I couldn't improve without some help . . .

  5. i winged my way through that Butterick shell pattern on my own. It did produce a really good result. I did ignore alot of the printed pattern instructions, as I am fat, and I have to deal with my proportions. A class would have been nice! But it allowed me to take my time with it. I went through two muslins LOL