Last night we had a class with Amanda on the Raglan sleeve, did you know the raglan sleeve was invented for the Earl of Raglan in England in the middle ages? The story goes that he lost his arm in a battle so the tailors of the time had to figure out a way of fitting him with something that hid his battle wounds. The came up with a sleeve that was a part of the bodice, no shaping, no armhole (there was no arm) and it is very easy to assemble! I am not a fan of Raglan sleeves even though I have numerous tops, a dress with shaping (book 2) and an overcoat I can wear on it's own or over a jacket. Amanda said to me "it seems you actually like a raglan sleeve LOL!". Perhaps waaayyyy down deep there must be a very little part of me that does, I will vehemently deny this with every breath I take!! Perhaps I am in denial or delusional, jury's out, but I don't like to draft raglan sleeves regardless.
Having said that, I will teach the raglan method because it's necessary to know how to draft and sew it, that means new clothes I have to make as examples and will wear if for no other reason than I hate to waste anything....
Amanda was actually very pleasantly surprised at the simplicity of the draft, when I was finished my demo all she could say was "that's it?" I'm sorry I couldn't make it more difficult, like 55 easy steps to the raglan sleeve LOL! It's a very fluid pattern, mostly visual to make sure the lines are the right curve etc. this is what throws most people off, the lack of structure, in the end the pattern fits very well and is very comfortable. I guess that's what matters...
Amanda did a great job on her draft but there is homework!
Trace pattern pieces complete with markings, grainlines etc. cut a mock and sew it together in order of
Have a great day!
The importance of proper patterns was evident today at a model fitting for production, the mock ups were exactly how the principles envisioned them! Thanks to the Le Grand Chic method of pattern drafting I was able to bring their vision to life in a way they did not imagine was possible! I listened to what they had to say, took copious notes and got to work with THEIR vision not mine. I'm just the general contractor "respecting the clients' wishes is the most important part of the job description" is what I tell my students. One will have clients for life especially if one delivers on time and on budget.
There are minimal adjustments/fine tuning to a few of the mock ups, the others were perfect! All I have to do now is finish the garments in linen for a photo shoot in at the end of January... A few pics were taken today and even though the mock ups were done in drapery fabric, the styles looked amazing. This makes me very happy, didn't mind driving through a couple of snow storms on the way home LOL!
Anyone who is interested in taking courses don't put it off any longer, the satisfaction is so worth the expense and effort. Imagine having creative freedom to make your own clothes PLUS the ability to make them a perfect fitting reality! There is no greater feeling of accomplishment and you will love to wear your clothes because they FIT!!
Conversely, making clothes for clients is just as satisfying and one can get paid too! Don't hesitate to contact me like a person from California who is calling me on Friday for classes :)
Enjoy your day!
Hard to believe this was the second last class of this semester! Where does the time go?
Yesterday everyone was a bit giddy I think, the giggles and laughter in the class was contagious! I merely asked a question on the cowl neck; what are the benefits of this style? Well it turned out to be a loaded question! Some of the answers were, um, different that I expected leading to much laughter and more interesting answers... This class is so much fun, I love teaching!
We covered the cowl neck style, how to transfer the fullness from the base dart to create the drape at the centre front in two different ways, some did it with less drape, some did it with more drape just to keep things interesting. So far everyone has had different measurements to work with, they have passed the measurements charts around until they are going to get their own measurements back during the last class! Took a bit of planning but it worked very well because once the numbers change, everything changes, the body issues are different making the drafting more challenging. The added bonus is that the students learned more about the basic drafts that maybe they were doing incorrectly because they were so comfortable using the same measurements all the time. In any case all the mock ups so far have fit very, very well every time! Very proud of this class!
Today I had the pleasure of teaching Amanda! It's always a treat to spend time with this wonderful young woman, she is soooo humble, intelligent and just an all around good person. She works mainly from home for designers drafting their patterns, I asked how many clients she has and the answer was too many to remember! How great is that! Congrats Amanda! Not many people can say that...
Today's lesson was to go over the drafts she did for homework, the Dolman sleeve in a couple of different applications plus the cowl neck draft. I gave Amanda the choice of trying them on her own then have the feedback as a lesson or do them as separate lessons. She chose to do them on her own. The drafts are always executed very well, very neat, clear work so I was not surprised when there was not much to correct! We did spend the time fine tuning and clarifying the drafts, all 4 of them! Plus going over the pants once again!
All in all we covered a lot of ground today, by the end we were both pretty saturated with information so we called it a day.
So I'm not sure why but the time FLIES by in Bradford! It seems that we get to class and 5 minutes later we have to leave! This class covers a lot of material during the 5 minutes we are there LOL!
Today they tried on their mock ups that fit all of them very well, it was a very quick critique, there were some very minor adjustments with the mock ups if any at all. These ladies really grasped the concept of fitting the body, taking the cues from the measurements they created Empire cut dresses that fit their models very well indeed!
Continuing in the vein of different measurements, they once again switched measurements so that they would have a whole new set to draft an asymmetrical top with one shoulder. The students managed to draft the whole thing in class during the last hour. Asymmetry really tests the brain's ability to recognize and work with mirror images, basically the front has to be drafted as though it is in a mirror, with the left side of the garment on the right side of the drafter! The back is a bit more straightforward as it sits on the table the way it would be on the body. So the first thing I tell the class is to mark the left and right sides right away on the master pattern on both the front and the back drafts! Also the pattern is drafted on the whole front and the whole back, allowing the pattern maker to treat each side differently. Asymmetry can create the most interesting garments as long as there is a balance and not over-designed.
I'm sure the mock ups will fit as well as the Empire cut ones did! For next week we will be working on the cowl neck bodice, it's the second last class for this semester already!
Homework is to:
The choices for the last class on December 19, 2019 are as follows:
Start narrowing down a choice for the final exam for this semester, as was stated in the syllabus, there is a graded garment that will be completed over the winter break to be handed in the first day of the spring semester. This garment is to be chosen from one of the patterns that were covered this semester, finished and graded, subject to approval.
I have a few projects on the go at the moment, 1 ladies suit that is half done, one man's jacket that is not half done, and one more ladies suit that is not even started! I have given myself a deadline of Christmas for these items. They will be ready by then!
I also had the pleasure of meeting some very nice people on Monday! They found me by accident and called to see if I would work on some garment production for a factory. I declined the line sewing and informed them that my forte is pattern making which led to a further conversation on the subject. I agreed to send them some pictures of garments that I made including the patterns, which I did by email. One day later I received a response from them saying they wanted to meet and finalize an agreement to have me make their patterns, mock ups and initial samples for them! These garments are needed for the end of January for a photo shoot in the Bahamas! How cool is that! I did suggest the pattern maker should be present in case of a wardrobe malfunction LOL!!!
The one thing that surprised me most is the fact they had trouble finding anyone who knows how to work with linen! This puzzled me because it's the same as working with any other woven fabric, then I realized that with fabrics having so much stretch these days one doesn't really have to know how to shape the patterns properly to fit the body, so there are less and less people who can draft patterns for woven fabrics. This was confirmed by a manufacturer I contacted on behalf of this company and they said they don't work with fabrics that DON'T have stretch! I was floored!
Just thought of something so here is an addendum for homework seeing there are a full 2 weeks between classes!
Homework addendum: record model’s measurements right on the master pattern for future use, draft the Empire cut using personal measurements please.
You know what they say; practice makes perfect!
Another great class today, Snow notwithstanding! Well it snowed overnight making everything white when we got up, the weather report was for snow later in the day but thank goodness it held off until we got home.
Today everyone was fit with the strapless top and the class did a great job! The tops were kept on for a while during all of the fittings and they stayed up even with no boning or zipper, they were only pinned at the back. I asked if anyone wants to make a corset as outerwear and one of students almost fell off her chair as she raised her hand so fast! I love that kind of enthusiasm! In the end the class decided they would make a corset, it will be in another semester as the syllabus for this one has been set out plus for that project they will get to each draft their own and sew it.
I asked what the most important thing the class learned from the exercise of using different measurements and they agreed it was the importance of the mock up to see how the garment will fit. Some thought it was how to address the body issues, in the end seeing the differences in body shapes is the key to learning the fitting process.
The second half of the class was dedicated to drafting an Empire cut dress, the students passed the measurement charts they used last week on to another student so once again they are working with a new set of numbers\issues. This is the best way to learn how to address body issues to work with them as a study tool in a controlled environment with no pressure because mistakes are normal and part of the process and a learning tool rather than being frowned upon as a sign of failure.
The Empire cut dress tends to bend the brain a bit with the waist moving up to under the bust, the catch is not only is the waist moving up but the bust also has to have enough fabric to be entirely covered with no pulling or gaping so the class needed to take 2 extra measurements; 1) from point A to under the bust going over the apex; 2) from the waist up just below the apex to see where the bottom half has to be separated from the top half. You are probably saying to yourself "what is she talking about?"! Well one can always register for classes to find out exactly what it is I'm talking about!
Homework is to sew a mock up for the Empire cut dress to fit the body next class November 21, 2019 at 12:30 pm. We will be drafting the asymmetrical top on page 71 for the second half of the class.
January 16, 2020 been agreed upon for the skirts workshop from 9 to 4.
Well let me tell you this was one super FAST class!
I always try to challenge my students and today was no exception! The class was to draft a strapless dress so we started off by analyzing the pattern in the instruction book, seemed very clear at the time LOL! No one had any questions, "yup I understand", "no problem", "I got this" were the responses to my query "are there any questions?"
Then I handed out blank measurement charts and had the students write their names on them, re-arranged the seating arrangement and asked them to hand their sheet to the person on their right. They would be drafting for each other using each other's measurements, seems simple enough but when the numbers change the whole process takes on a whole new life as the class found out! We do become quite complacent when we are not challenged to think a little harder so it's the teacher's job to do just that, challenge the students, a job I take very seriously as all my students can attest.
Today they did not even get a demo on how to draft the strapless top! I felt they were ready to figure it out on their own and they did very well. By the end of the class everyone had a master pattern done complete with markings.
A mock up will be cut and sewn at home and be brought to class for a fitting of the “models” next time. We will also be working on the dress on page 75 next class.
The next class is November 7, 2019 at 12:30, which is one week away instead of the usual two weeks.
Great job ladies!
So the projects that I started on Sunday are complete plus a new top and pants! The top started off as a plain asymmetrical top but I wanted to have a bit of a flare so I doctored the pattern to reflect that; kind of like a semi circle skirt with a simple top except there is no joint at the waist! I slashed and spread the pattern without cutting through the edges. Sneaky huh! Once that was done I figured I should do something to the sleeves so I did a semi circle attached at the elbow, to give some more interest I added a border using the pants fabric! I quite liked it and then did the same treatment to the neckline.
The mock up turned out quite nice and can be used as a bathing suit cover up or a robe or over some leggings and tank top as someone pointed out to me!
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