So far 2020 has been a year of, shall we say uncertainty, one bright spot is Amanda on Skype always with a bright smile and a willingness to learn more stuff! For this I thank you Amanda!
We are working on the blazer, the open book exam to complete book 1, the work has already begun with the pattern draft but now the REAL bespoke work begins with hand basting the canvas to the jacket front and then everyone's favourite; the pad-stitching!! I told Amanda to find a favourite movie or three for each side, relax and enjoy the ride LOL!!
Homework is to finish basting the other side of the jacket to the canvas following the work already done, adding the front stay to the canvas in the same manner as the first side. Continue with the pad-stitching on the lapels as shown in class. Do a practice piece first cut the same shape as the collar to see if there are any issues. The pad-stitching is to follow the roll line in the collar fall and horizontal on the collar stand.
Install the pocket by cutting the canvas around the pocket opening for the installation, that is the only difference between the storyboard and the jacket. The next step is to hand baste together the jacket together to fit the body including one of sleeves.
The next step is to add the twill tape to the centre front using a catch stitch and tacking the canvas to the pockets as well as the princess seam which will be done in class as well as a demo on how to baste the shoulder incline together, there is a specific method to do this.
Finally back to school for this great group of ladies! They are starting with Book 2,
"La Modellista" or the pattern maker. This book presents students with new challenges starting with asymmetrical skirts, if anyone knows anything about asymmetry then they can understand the challenges of trying to keep everything straight! Students will be working essentially backwards when looking at the front head on, the left is the right and the right is the left! Add to that a lining and then it's backwards again making it forward, does that make any sense??? But this is what tailors and pattern makers for ladies wear are faced with on a daily basis, I guess this is why we see things a bit differently than the rest of the world LOL!!
Anyway we will also be looking at pleats, some rouching in the asymmetry as well as cutting a plaid on the bias to make a whole new design. Just to keep things interesting I have added a skirt from the very old book 2 in a circular design with only one back seam! I think this group will be challenged plenty don't you?
Can't wait to get started!
Well I must say the mock up fit exceptionally well today!! There are a few minor adjustments that need to be done but that is to be expected when creating a blazer. This is the stage when many decisions are made regarding the width of the lapel, length of the jacket/sleeves, pocket placement etc...
Amanda did such a good job on drafting this blazer that the adjustments are minimal.
Homework is to pre-shrink the fabrics and press them when dry, cut the jacket pieces out and mark them with tailor tacks using red thread on the roll line on all pieces. Sew together the front pieces only and press them ready to add the canvas next class, there will be basting!
All the pattern pieces must be marked with tailor tacks for the blazer construction.
We will also be covering the pad-stitching on the under collar. Be prepared for a lot of hand sewing in the very near future!!! I like to put on a movie or three while pad-stitching the lapels it becomes almost relaxing... that's my story and I'm sticking to it!
I am so excited to be starting on a new adventure in my work! It has been a very steep learning curve to the point it hasn't started to crest yet, but a good one, keeps those brain cells hopping LOL!!
So many things that don't even enter one's mind that need to be done for online classes, there are no physical borders but there are documents to be filled out such as the US tax form... well I thought our Canadian forms were convoluted, they don't hold a candle to this one! But I got it done.
The other thing is the attention one has to pay to details that in a live class are dealt with organically as they occur, not so for online, I had to imagine every possible scenario and question I may be asked and answer them on the videos and with supporting documents. I only hope that the answers are as clear to the students as they are to me!
The Launch special pricing is being held over until October 3, 2020 on both the courses and the tools. If you are thinking about registering I would encourage you to take advantage of the discounts.
I already have 6 students registered!
A very short class last night! We discussed many things to do with knit/stretch fabrics, how to take into account the stretch and reduce the pattern accordingly. There are a few ways of accomplishing this, the most straightforward way is to actually place a pin the fabric, hold the end down at the end of the measuring tape and pull to see how much it actually stretches. This, to me is the best way of doing it because there are so many fabrics out there with so many different stretch factors that no one rule/formula can apply to them all.
Kerise found this out the hard way when she combined two methods and came up with a very small garment LOL! She went against the little voice in her head telling her not to and guess what, the voice was right! I always tell my students not to second guess themselves, the first instinct is usually the right one and then they start thinking....
Great job anyway I'm sure the next one will be perfect!
There is homework:
Homework is to draft a new pattern using the proper shrinkage for the stretch fabric and create a mock up.
What a class tonight!! We did have many technology issues today with the screen freezing, my audio not working at times but we overcame and finished the class!
We covered so much ground from discussing the warp and weft yarns in fabric to body issues and how to solve them then we went on to some stretch fabrics technology notwithstanding....
I showed Kerise how to figure out the stretch before drafting the pattern. Then we went on to do the math and I also did a demo on the pattern draft for knits/stretch which she was totally enthralled by!
There is homework:
Homework is to draft and sew a sleeveless mock-up using stretch fabric. Create or adjust a sheath mock-up from the last class to fit the body and make the necessary adjustments.
Great class last night with Amanda, she is starting her blazer exam! Yikes it's a lot of work in live classes let alone on Skype which is how Amanda has been doing her lessons.
Amanda got the mock up done so the class was on fitting the body, there were a few issues with it that were a direct result of incorrect measurements, this will happen from time to time so nothing to be worried about it will all come out in the wash...
During the class we took (I use the term we loosely, I explained, Amanda measured LOL) the measurements to find they were off so they were fixed, the biggest discrepancy was the bust height and half bust width, the rest were not bad.
We also discussed the pocket placement... I chuckled when Amanda wanted to know how to place the breast pocket, my answer was that no we will not be adding a breast pocket on the first blazer, it will be enough to do all the basting and padstitching for the first time let alone a breast pocket that has to be inserted BEFORE the canvas!
In any case it was all sorted out, the part that sucks is the homework:
Homework is to draft a new pattern using the updated measurements and create a new mock-up to fit the body again. Next class we will be going over the mock-up and the finalize the pattern pieces for the blazer.
I am so excited! The online classes will be starting October 1, 2020!
The pants are the first section that will be open for registration! In these courses students will start with the basic pattern draft for the front and back complete with the storyboards, yes the dreaded storyboards! They are a part of the course for two reasons 1) they get the students to practice
2) they are a great reference to use especially at the beginning rather than trying to do it from memory.
Anyway the courses have step-by-step videos on how to draft, mark, trace the pattern pieces; how to cut, mark and sew the mock-up plus the most important aspect of all HOW TO FIT THE BODY! I provide generic measurements for students to start with and then they will be drafting using personal measurements their own pants, how cool is that?!
The platform is Teachable, emails will be going out very shortly with all the details, pricing etc.
It has been a very steep learning curve I have to say... but so worth it in the end I feel such a sense of accomplishment. This is only the beginning, I plan to have all of book 1 online in good time...
It's always a pleasure teaching this young woman! She is working on the final exam for her certificate from Italy, the blazer! It is a very challenging job to create a blazer from "scratch", literally from a right angle, to a pattern, to a mock up, to a finished garment that fits.
She will do very well I know it even though we have not had a single live class! Amanda's lessons have all been using Skype. She has persevered and made many patterns/garments all while working full time, as anyone who has taken this program knows it's not for the faint of heart. I look forward to presenting her with the certificate of completion in the near future.
Homework is to re-do the side front of the blazer on the mock up as well as correct the master pattern and pattern pieces. Finish the mock up ready to fit on the body for next class when we will be finalizing the remaining pattern pieces for the canvas, front stay, lining, upper collar and facing.
We are going forward with Kerise, it has been a while since her last class, she has been a bit under the weather but much better now.
We had some challenges with technology at the beginning of the class but got it sorted out and then proceeded to have a great class on how to "read" a mock up! We discussed the "drag" and "pull" lines and what they mean. They are tell tale signs of where to make any adjustments especially around the bust area where there are always numerous issues with anyone who has a slightly larger bust line. Does this sound familiar? Well Kerise was very excited to learn some new tricks that can only be done at the drafting stage to address some of these issues. Taking into account all of these factors will sculpt the garment right to the body giving that elusive perfect fit we all strive to find.
The one thing I tell my students is they shouldn't try to draft from memory at this stage, it is too stressful and unnecessary when one is just starting out, it takes time, patience and practice to learn the steps in pattern drafting it can't be hurried no matter how badly we want to move on. Eventually the muscle memory will kick in and it will become second nature but until then, follow the book.
Homework is to take into account the adjustments discussed to make the base dart larger by taking the ½ shoulder width on the pattern BACK to see if the shoulders need to be taken in, if so mark the amount that needs to be taken in and record it. Go back to the base dart and enlarge it by the same amount, this will ensure there will be no gaping at the armholes on the front.
The next adjustment was the sway-back adjustment to remove any excess fabric that is bunching at the waist on the back. This is done by pinching out the amount on the body from the centre back to feathering it to the side seams. It will resemble an horizontal dart that will be closed and eliminated getting rid of the bunching. *** NOTE*** the back darts may need to be re-drawn to be straight and the centre back line may need to be smoothed out if the horizontal dart is too deep.
Create a new mock up for the sheath taking into account all the adjustments discussed in class to see the difference between the ‘before’ and ‘after’ mock ups.
Once this is done then go on to the princess and mock princess seams shown on pages 44-45. Create a mock up for the princess seam. Next class we will continue with these styles and be adding to them.
Maria Calautti, "Jack of all trades"