A great big WELCOME to both Janet and Miriam from Montreal! These lovely ladies want to learn all about fit, they want garments that fit well and are comfortable, that is my wheelhouse! I can show them so many tricks to fit the body, for instance taking their cues from the measurements because the measurements tell only half the story it's important understand how the numbers relate to the frame of the body that will be wearing the garment. On Friday we had our first session and it was very successful there was a lot of information to digest and they did a great job of going from complete novices to pattern drafting to drafting skirts with their individual measurements. In the process Janet and Miriam did a storyboard for the pencil skirt which is the base for all skirts and they could not believe how quickly and easily the task was completed. My advice to anyone starting out is don't overthink it, just follow the directions and it will become clear with practice.
So ladies let me apologize for the delay in posting this I had a large crowd for Sunday lunch and needed to prepare, as anyone who has a family can understand, this is the first opportunity since Friday to actually sit and think about things.....
for homework Homework – draft skirts on page 23
Next class this is what to expect,
Check homework and answer any questions you may have, check fit on muslin, draft skirt with pleats on page24 – 25
I always encourage students to write down any questions that come up between classes so they can be answered at the beginning of the following session. That way the questions will not be forgotten, I know if I don't write things down they don't happen!
Have a great week!
Welcome Andrew to the Le Grand Chic family of tailors!
What a wonderful young man and so enthusiastic! He actually created a pants front on his own and got it right! Kudos Andrew you really want to complete the program in record time.
Your homework for this week is create two more pants patterns using different measurements bring them to class to cut out a pajama pants. Please bring in both pants drafts to class along with the measurements so I can check them.
Things needed for next class
I'm sure Andrew will excel at this program, there is fire in him that burns brightly showing a passion for clothes that is a prerequisite to being a great tailor.
You will never guess the job I was just hired to do...... I have to create a uniform for the official town cryer of Barrie!
Yes you read right the town cryer of Barrie!!!! I had no idea there was such a position or that it was a position at all but apparently it is AND there are competitions as well, yes international competitions! Who knew.....
Lucky for me the uniform only has to look authentic and not be historically accurate in the construction and materials modern materials and methods may be used whew! We are meeting in a couple of weeks to go over the design, take measurements etc and then I will start.
A big thank you to a very good family friend Joe, who gave me a book on the history of men's fashions that includes the pattern pieces for each garment. This gentleman is going to require a coat, wasitcoat and poet shirt so this book is going to be invaluable to me! Plus it's a great way for Andrew to learn more about the history of men's wear, what better way than to help create one. Lucky Andrew!!!
Keep you posted on the progress
More new students! This morning I had the pleasure of meeting a wonderful couple of ladies from Montreal, they came all the way here to talk to me about my passion pattern drafting! They are very interested in it because they have fit issues, sound familiar? I explained a few things to them on how to adjust the patterns not the garment but the paper before anything is even cut out. They were so thrilled to see how easy it is to fix fit issues they promptly purchased a kit each and are going to start Skyping with me when the get back home. I know they will be so happy with how their clothes are going to fit they will want to learn more and more!
Anyway a big welcome to Janet and Miriam to the Le Grand Chic family of well dressed people!
It looks like I will be doing much more long distance teaching! A big welcome to Evangeline from Australia who is planning to start on the long weekend (here in Canada anyway)! We still have to figure out a mutual time as there is quite a time difference between us but we will make it work!
Another big welcome goes to Andrew who wants to learn only men's wear. He is fairly local and will come for private lessons to expedite his studies. I am very excited to start this endevour as it is a first for the school as well.
There is also a possibility I will have a couple of students from Montreal who want to learn to draft their own patterns but more importantly learn how to fit the body. The upside of learning in pairs is that they can split the cost of the lessons and they can fit each other learning so much more than possible when one is working alone. Keep this in mind if you are thinking about starting classes in the near future, besides it's more fun with a friend!
I also have to ship a kit to London Ontario as well as Alberta Canada!
I am truly humbled to see how much interest there is in pattern drafting and many people reaching out to me for instruction. I do my best to accommodate students and give as much instruction as possible in the shortest time.
I also just posted on my youtube channel a couple of videos of my daughter singing "Wind beneath my wings" as well as beautiful rendition of Ave Maria please check them out:
So today was a education, I don't often get to go out shopping with family members but today was an exception, there is an upcoming daytime function and we both need a new outfit. Yes we NEED a new outfit!
We went to a store that sells off the rack clothing because the family member, who can sew by the way, wanted to find something to wear without any work involved. Well I can tell you that it's more work trying to find something already made rather than buying fabric and making something! In looking at the garments all I could see were plastic bags that were sewn together to make a garment. The styles were not bad but the fabrics were hideous and the prints were worse.
WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO OUR GARMENT INDUSTRY????? WHERE HAVE ALL THE TAILORS GONE???? It seems unless the fabrics can stretch around the body and show EVERYTHING no one knows how to shape and tailor a garment to fit the body anymore. It is very disheartening to go shopping especially for anyone who is of age or does not have a perfect body to fit into these casings that squeeze women into them much like a stuffed sausage. Sorry to be so blunt but this is my opinion and my opinion only feel free to disagree and let me know where there are garments for sale that are tailored and fit well using natural fibres with no stretch in them and oh yes at a reasonable price not the kind that one has to put a second mortgage on the house to buy! This alone is incentive to learn to sew, draft patterns and design one's own wardrobe.
My family member ended up buying some Italian linen for a jacket with a print and dress in a contrasting solid colour complete with lining, zipper etc she spent a whopping $160 for a garment that off the rack would set one back at least $1,200! Especially because we are going to underline the linen with a silk organza to keep it from wrinkling as much as linen normally does. The jacket is going to have a tuxedo collar and cuffs in the same fabric as the dress that will contrast beautifully with the print. The pattern will be made using her personal measurements along with a mock up so it will fit impeccably. When it's done I will post some pix so you can see our handiwork!
For now have a great day!
Hello all so back to normal! After a very busy time with moving back home, selling the property, trip to Vegas, company as soon as we got back, Whew! It sure felt good to be teaching again!
We had a great class with Nita who is an experienced sewer already but could never draft patterns, in her words "I could alter patterns, move things around but never start with a piece of paper and a pencil, this has been a gift from God for me to find you to teach me how to draft patterns"
I only spent one hour with Nita last night, we had a preliminary session prior to me leaving just to check and make sure everything was working fine, webcams, lighting etc so while we were face to face, so to speak, I explained a few things to her and actually gave her homework to complete even before we formally started classes! Well I have to say Nita did a great job of completing the homework, she has a great understanding of garments and patterns which in itself is a big help but can be a hindrance at times if students over-think things. Not this time!
To backtrack I had Nita try to figure out the pencil skirt draft on her own after giving a few pointers on how to read the instruction book and by golly, by gum she did! So the time we spent was very productive we covered an A-line, tapered, low-rise as well as a godet or bias skirt. ALL IN ONE HOUR!!!
So for homework Nita is to draft one of each; A-line, tapered, low-rise as well as a godet or bias skirt. Plus she is to create a pencil skirt with 2 darts on both the front and back along with a mock up to see the fit on her. If she doesn't feel the need to sleep at all she can also do a mock up of one of the other skirts! I can tell she is going to zip right through the skirts section without a problem! Keep up the good work!
Yesterday was long day of driving but in the end it was an enlightening day. I was a judge at the Skills Ontario provincial fashion competition and I learned there is a lot of raw talent in the high schools as far as fashion is concerned, the students did a great job in only 8 hours to create an unlined jacket with a notched collar, front snaps and a design feature of either pleats, yoke, style lines etc. The winners of each category, of which there are many, will go on to compete in the nationals in Moncton in about 2 weeks, and every couple of years there are the worlds students compete in. I had no idea these competitions even existed! What a great showcase for our talented young people to show their work!
I only wish the ministry of education would realize the fact that as artistic as fashion is it should be recognized as an academic course with full funding to hire qualified instructors to teach the curriculum. I know for a fact that at some high schools the fashion arts course is taught by teachers who barely know how to thread a machine let alone teach pattern drafting! This is not fair to anyone, not the teachers who are teaching something they are not entirely comfortable with (not the teacher's fault they only do as they are told), especially not the students who are learning this trade/art and deserve the best instruction possible. Many countries see the merits of fashion as a viable, highly productive, profitable business why not in Canada, more to the point Ontario? Why do we have to rely on off-shore, sub-par (for the most part) or exorbitantly expensive garments?
After all what are the necessities of life, are they not food, clothing, shelter?
If you ask me anyone teaching fashion arts to high school students should be an expert in the field in order to have the most confidence and inspire students not only to be creative but share with them the technical expertise they is acquired only after years of experience. This will benefit students the most which in turn will benefit all of our society as a whole providing us with a talented pool of designers/tailors to accommodate our needs
I think the school boards in Ontario should wake up and smell the coffee, make garment construction an integral part of the education system at the high school level which is where young minds are molded into the leaders of tomorrow.
Maria Calautti, "Jack of all trades"