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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Well it's Sunday and there is lots to do seeing I took the day off yesterday by going to the gym in the morning and going out in the afternoon. This doesn't happen often but it's one of the privileges of being one's own boss!
The beauty of tailoring is that it can be done anytime nothing will go bad it will be there waiting for when the tailor is ready to work. This really works for me because I can map out everything in my mind before going ahead with cutting or sewing especially if there is a problem to be solved. I think it through, run possible scenarios in my mind with solutions already in place which often leads me to find a more simple solution than I had originally planned :)
Today I have to finish a top for a client, alter a mock up for another client or create a second mock up to be sure when I cut into the fabric the jacket will fit perfectly and if there is any time left at the end of the day I will finish my homework assigned to the Bradford class! I think this will keep my busy for a bit this afternoon.
After all this is done then I have another cooking video to edit and post on Youtube on how to cook chicken breast so it stays moist and flavourful. This morning I'm going to try something different for lunch, a rice dish that has the same ingredients as "arancini" or rice balls that are stuffed with cheese and pasta sauce, shaped then fried; this recipe is made in a bundt pan and baked instead of fried. Keep you posted on the outcome. It's actually a practice session for next Sunday when we have our annual family ladies day get together with 30 of our most intimate family! LOL yes 30 or so... everyone brings something and we have a great day full of bonding between the generations/family members. I look forward to it every year, eventually it will be my turn to host when my name is picked out of the hat.
Well another great class! It was all sewing yesterday, when it's sewing the class feels like we get there, work 5 minutes and it's time to leave! In fact 3 hours pass in no time flat!
Students are working on finishing book one so are now building on the skills they have already learned in previous semesters, this means I get to push them a little harder :)
This week's sewing class consisted of
Homework is to
What a lot of hard work yesterday! I push these ladies to the extreme and they deliver! Yesterday we drafted a coat dress with patch pockets, front overlap, self-facing, wing collar and a specific sleeve with an inverted V design feature at the hemline! This was all in 3 hours!
We analysed the pattern extensively then proceeded to draft, in the midst of all this there was also a pop quiz on how to prepare the armhole so the numbers can be used to draft the sleeve, they aced it!!!
But there is homework
Homework is to sew together the dress only, the collar, self-facing and sleeves will be sewn in the next class to finish the mock up
have a great couple of weeks!
Maria Calautti, "Jack of all trades"