Thursday, October 09, 2008

Words of Wisdom from a Fit Class Flunky

Okay, I'm not really a flunky per say, but I did goof up on my homework for this past week's class. First up, in case you missed the info before, I started a fit class last week is based on the principles in the Palmer/Pletsch book Fit For Real People. The four session class (3 hours each class) is taught by co-author Marta Alto. Following the book's teaching, she helps each student tissue fit as many patterns as we possibly can stuff into the class time.

Our first assignment, to be brought to our second class, was to bring in a top and skirt pattern cut in our size. During the first class, Marta measured each of us and then had us try on the fitting shells. Based on the information she gathered, she told us what size we need to cut for tops and skirts (no pants are covered in this class).

Since I mostly sew with BWOF and am trying to use the existing patterns I already have, I traced off a blouse & skirt pattern on Pattern Ease from my BWOF stash. I thought I was doing myself a favor using the patterns I typically use, but instead I messed up. My first mistake was not tracing them onto tissue. I learned from Marta that Pattern Ease is not the best medium to use for fitting. There isn't much drape in PE, so getting it to fit properly is a challenge. Ultimately the fitting session with my BWOF top told me one of my adjustments was a 1/2" FBA! I knew there was no freakin' way! Thankfully I took a Butterick pattern to class with me and cut it out quickly so Marta could fit me with that before class was over. After fitting that blouse, she compared both pattern pieces and they were very similar, thus proving the tissue is a much better medium when you're tissue fitting than PE. So lesson learned, use tissue if trying to fit yourself with the actual pattern pieces. And since tissue like the pattern companies use isn't readily available to buy on a roll, simply using gift wrapping tissue paper works like a charm. It's easily and cheaply obtained at your local dollar store. :-)

For next week's class I'm going to find a handful of patterns at Joann's this weekend during the $1 Columbus Day sale and have them 100% ready to try on in class. So this weekend I will be cutting patterns (which is totally against what I typically do any more, I always trace them off), taping necklines & arm holes, and pinning them together. I really want to maximize my time with her so I'm on the right track making the correct alterations for my figure.

My blouse alterations thus far are only a forward shoulder (the pattern I used this last class was 3/8", however this can vary based on the pattern), broad shoulder of 5/8" (very common in smaller size patterns), and then I needed to let out the waist about 5/8" (this came as no surprise because she had me cut a size 8 for my top and says I need a 14 for my skirt - I am thinking 12 for skirts, but next time I'll see for sure since I'll have that ready, in tissue, to fit). I'm taking a straight skirt because I think this is the hardest thing to perfect so if I can get that down, other skirts will be a piece of cake.

Lastly, coming up at the end of the month is another class called Fit & Sew Trousers. It's two class sessions, one 3 hour block and one all day block. By the end of the second class we're supposed to have finished pants to take home. I'm not sure if we can use any pattern or if we will have a selection to choose from. I'm waiting on the supply list from the instruction, but am very excited about making pants that actually fit! :-)


Christina said...

Sounds like a great class! Are you doing this at the Palmer/Pletsch school?

cidell said...

You know. I have a general sense of the alterations I need. I just never make them.

Candace said...

Wow - what a great class! It sounds like you are really getting a lot out of it.

Susie said...

I just recently learned that ironing interfacing (light weight) to the tissue pattern creates the drape you were looking for. I'm planning to try it out soon for myself.