Monday, July 4, 2011

Patternmaking class - Finished!

Dear Readers,

I've been off in Newport, RI for a week teaching and returned to finish my bodice block in the advanced patternmaking class I've been taking. . .

Here are the results of my efforts:
And, here are the skirt blocks I made last November - hope they still fit  -  I've gained a few pounds:)  Oh, the piano is my pattern "staging area."
I also use J's piano to stage my patterns that are cut out (heehee!).

For the bodice, I have a different right side and left side because my left shoulder is taller than my right (I attribute this to an old skateboarding rotator cuff injury).

So, double the fun.  One of the most interesting portions of this class was learning my measurements - and quite frankly, they were quite different than I thought.  No wonder RTW never fits perfectly in the bodice area.

I am thrilled to have a bodice block that fits well!  If you are interested Shearie from Sew La masterfully teaches these classes.   They are very complex and now I realize that I didn't know what I didn't know.  In this regard, I mean that  pattern-making is a complex art that takes (I think) years to master.  So, I didn't realize all the measurements that go into a commercial pattern.  I didn't realize (and am still learning) all the ways to manipulate the blocks to achieve a certain look or style.

I also bought the recommended patternmaking book and as an aside, random new and vintage sewing books (I'll review these in an upcoming blog post). . . Off to sew. . .

Happy Fourth of July!!!

Little P relaxing. . .


  1. Hooray for you! (Never seen a piano used in such a way.) I also made a purchase - I bought the fitting DVD series from Palmer/Pletsch - came highly recommended on PR. My local owner tried to talk me out of it - said the slide and pivot doesn't work for everything, but I don't have time to take her morning classes on fitting. When did you find the time - was this an evening class?

  2. Yes! The piano works perfectly. . . but the patterns can only stay on for a bit. . . J. is a professional pianist and working musician - so it (unlike others) stays in frequent use. . . Yeah on the DVD! That is a good idea . . . the pivot system is the same I think we used to pivot darts. . . and does only work on a few items. . The classes were really difficult schedule wise to take - they are an hour away in LA and held for four weeks on Saturday nights 530-830pm. . . so lucky for me I could fit it in . . (barely). . . I hope I can continue to learn. . .I do know that several of my co-students are privately having lessons to continue their skills. . . . I wouldn't mind a fitting class for pants . . . maybe in the fall. . . .

  3. Your class sounds fun but also incredibly useful - to have perfectly fitted bodice and skirt blocks gives you a fantastic foundation to make fabulous clothes that are just right for you. Little P is so cute and looks very relaxed!!

  4. it IS so very complicated! I enjoy learning it because it blends my creative side with my engineer/math head side. It's good to see that you have been very busy!

  5. Your class sounds really great! Last quarter at FIDM I took the Pattern Drafting Essentials class where we drafted a full sloper by hand based on the dressform measurements. It was really cool and I learned a lot about altering the sloper to make a whole lot of different designs. I've been attempting to draft a sloper for myself, but both times I was measured (once by my dad and once by another student in the class) the measurements were waaay off!! Which class did you take at SewLa? I was looking at the calendar and I'm not sure which one you took. I really want a pro to take my measurements. Maybe I'll even pay for a private lesson just to get accurate measurements! Also, what book did they recommend? We use the Helen Joseph Armstrong book at it is really great (in spite of some atrocious typos!).

    Excited to see what you make with your slopers!

  6. Rebecca - Yes, it is the same book! I took the Intro to Pattern-making (skirt) and continued pattern-making (bodice) - and the key points were a trained master corsetière (Shaerie) measured and ensured our slopers fit correctly! Hoorah! I made it really difficult for her too (hehe!). Thanks - I can't wait to make some!!
    Yes, Sue - totally complicated - my head hurt during the 3 hours lessons!!
    But worth it alone to figure out my measurements and particulars to patternmaking!

  7. By the way, Rebecca - Yes, the instructor does do private lessons - such as measuring. . . so that may be a very cost-effective way for your to go - especially considering your skills - I would call Sew LA to discuss.