Sunday, 16 January 2011

Results from my sewing course Friday and Saturday.

I got back from Birmingham last night around 9pm following two days on my sewing course.

Friday I had a 6 ½ session with the tutor Gill and then Saturday I was one of 6 taking the Principals of Fitting Class.

So I had a list as long as my arm for what I wanted to cover in my 6 ½ hours, sadly far too much to cover in the one day.

After an initial chatting process we settled on altering the pattern for a pair of trousers. I  had brought along the Vogue shell pattern for both days – trousers for Friday and the dress for the Saturday.  Unfortunately Gill informed me this was a body fitting pattern will really just take the shape of my body rather than the fit of a pair of trousers.  After a little while Gill found a Palmer Pletch trouser pattern for me to use (one which I actually have at home!!!) so I had to buy another one from her, plus a jacket pattern to do the fitting class Saturday.

Now for the depressing bit.  Like  everyone over the Christmas period I have put on a little weight, but more to the point I have put on weight due to lots of travel, lots of eating out and lack of exercise.  When Gill popped all the tape measures around me and jotted down my figures I was horrified and when she told me the pattern size I needed it was even worse.

So despite the fact that I have resolved to lose weight and exercise a lot more, I also want to make a pair of trousers that fit me and don’t have me bulging out all over the place.

So there are several steps (more involved than the Palmer Pletch method) in calculating both the size and fit of anything you wear.  Gill does the following:-

1.     Bring in a pair of trousers that fit me nicely – (that was the first problem, I don’t have a pair that fit me nicely) to take all the measurements from them and transfer them to a chart.
2.     Popp down all my body measurement taken while wearing a cami top and thick black tights (not a pretty sight).
3.     Based on my hip measurement calculate the approximate pattern size then transfer the actual pattern sizes to the chart.
4.     Add, or subtract the differences between my body size, the pattern measurements and the preferred garment size showing the figures that need to be added or subtracted.
5.     Mark on the pattern the waist, tummy, hip and thigh measurements so that when I fit it I can measure on the circumference lines all the way round to the floor to make sure they are even.  Its a good idea to use a plumb line for this, side seams, centre front and back etc to make sure the lines are falling straight and not to the back or front.
6.     Fold the legs on their hem lines ensuring they are even and crease the paper to form the creases in the trouser leg and mark with a pencil.
7.      Pin the paper and fit to body, making adjustments where necessary.
8.     Mark the seam lines where you have pinned and then unpin and cut the pattern in calico.
9.     Transfer all pattern markings to the calico and then sew together for the first fitting and any other adjustments.

I have to say, calico fitted pants, with the seams to the outside are not the most flattering, however I did think that they fitted will on the bottom.  They would certainly benefit from some nice double welt pockets in the back and some nice belt tabs to give them a design edge.
At this point I can't make up my mind if they are a little on the big side, but from all the calico samples I have seen, non of them look great.

I had a great weekend, hard work but very enjoyable.  Met up with a couple of the girls who were on course last time, and Viv and I hit it off liek two peas in a pod - chatting about current and future sewing projects.

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