Although I have enrolled in the college courses for next term, there is a massive shakeup because of funding and the need to accredit courses. I've paid 50% more to attend next term and at the moment it's not actually clear it's going ahead and if it does, on which nights. We students don't feel it's right to alter the course and night ⅔ of the way through the year, so many haven't signed up. There was only one pattern cutting class but several dressmaking classes - at beginner, continuation and advanced level. At the moment there is only one all level course; the tutors have campaigned for more - obviously, it's their livelihood that's at stake. They have 35 names for a 12 place class! They did assure is that they would work with the students as before. I'm not sure they can actually promise that.
The original plan for pattern cutting classes is drawing up a trouser pattern, cutting and getting a decent fit to create a block (sloper) and then make some design modifications. I'm happy with this plan. I didn't achieve a good fit from the dressmaking class on jeans but I did spend the majority of the classes available making jeans for DH as I wanted to practice the techniques taught before I forgot them. so I only had a little time on mine. I'm absolutely determined to have a pair of well fitting trousers for me by term end.
I'm assuming it's still a bit early to be making mother of the bride test garments for my youngest daughter's wedding next year but I have a couple of items in mind - though please make further suggestions! At the moment, I'm thinking possibly a dress with a lace top layer or cardigan type item or jacket?
I like the lace top but am not keen on the dress though a bias dress can be very flattering I'm told
As if to bely what I said about this not being a structured class, the theme of this term is pockets and we have some homework to do for next week.
I've been working on my personalised bodice, using SFD. I drew up and cut out the pattern without too much difficulty, though I was concerned about bust dart placement. I started by using a material which was very difficult to use; I had bought it cheaply to use for toiles. It slipped so much and was so difficult to sew that I gave up on it. I then cut out in some polycotton which worked better. However, there was something far wrong with my front bodice side seams, related I think to the bust dart not being correct. I hoped that R could comment. I had a toile sewn by Sunday when I had a sewing bee with R, my pattern cutting tutor. She tested the fit on me and pinned some adjustments. These were - she lowered the neckline, slightly adjusted the slope of one shoulder, narrowed shoulder significantly by taking in at shoulder and also widening neck, took in at the upper side seam (I had enlarged here because of my large biceps) but lowered the armhole to give additional room, significantly increased the back darts and shortened pattern torso length. She noted that the toile was too tight below the waistline but it was supposed to stop at waistline and I had to lose quite a bit of fabric length.
I have a significantly forward tilting pelvis or forward sloping waistline which means that my front bodice length is a lot longer than my back bodice length. R and I had a discussion about this, which I find more significant in a skirt (or trousers), where I have to shorten front length and lengthen back. However, such a sloping waistband doesn't look good (DH commented adversely when I tried on). The conclusion of our discussion was that I needed to compromise and bring up the front waistband, to make the waistband sit more level. If I can't cope with such a high front waistband, I have the option to remove the same amount all the way around to make a waistline below natural waist - or I could cut off same and create a yoke.
I also had a skirt block with me. R suggested raising back by 2 cm. Otherwise it was pretty good except that the right side seam didn't lie where it should. Left and back were fine. R measured the pieces against my skirt block where I had to make separate sides because of asymmetry; this asymmetry accounted for some of the problem but I had used the slippy fabric I originally used for the bodice and that accounted for more. R felt my block from class was valid (though front waistline was very low and after our discussion, I feel I need to raise it.)
I have a bodice block from my pattern cutting class but when I started to design with it, R changed the fit rather a lot, so I'm not sure how useful my block is. R agreed. I also have one from a brief course I attended last summer (before I knew about the college course) - the 3 blocks I have are all completely different!! Ideally, I would sew up all 3 and decide which was best to work from, I suppose.
On Monday, I drew up a completely new pattern for skirt and bodice. I made some but not all of the adjustments R had pinned because I realised as I was redrawing the pattern that I may have made an error with the armhole. So I didn't enlarge for large biceps but did drop slightly. I shortened bodice significantly. With the skirt, I raised back by 2 cms.
I cut the pieces out of a well behaved piece of fabric, probably upholstery.
|A very significant gap - this is not the waistline!|
|Dart opened out|
I took the dress to D's sewing bee on Tuesday evening and tried it on for her advice as the other students were late. D shortened back bodice length even further as she said there was significant puddling - is this a sway back? Or just a large derriere? She pinned back darts longer and wider. She noted that the side seams were bowed - one side worse than the other. I took the toile apart and showed her what I thought was issue with front dart and she described how to fill this area out. The fill in is almost exactly the shape that she drew on the back pattern piece when drawing a straight side seam. So I'm sure this is the problem.
|New dart and side seam is much wider.|
|Pin shows original top of back dart - now both longer and wider|