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I love to sew

I love to sew

Monday, April 15, 2013

Two-Day Fitting Workshop

I've finally settled down from my two-day fitting workshop. I can't say that it was a total success but I'm trying to write this post as objectively as possible.

The workshop was from 10 am - 4 pm both Friday and Saturday. We were first measured with a method I'd never encountered before. Our high bust measurement was taken but the tape measure was not parallel to the floor in the back but rather draped down to the top of the bra band. It made my high bust measurement 2" more than what I normally used but I was okay with that. I was there to learn...right? Our full bust was taken as normal.

Next we tried on pre-made fitting shells to determine what size pattern we were to use to make our slopers. The pattern, (McCalls ) was included in the workshop fee. We trimmed and altered the pattern using the Palmer/Pletsch "pin-fitting" method. Finally we were told to start trimming a pattern of our choice to begin the alterations on it. When the question was asked how to use the "sloper" to determine the alterations on other patterns, everything for me started to go down hill.

We were told that the "sloper" had nothing to do with commercial patterns other than to show that we differed from a "fit model." WTF. I knew that. I had known it for years! I was totally deflated. You mean I'd done all that cutting and taping for nothing? She assured me it was not for naught. It had supposedly helped us become familiar with the Palmer/Pletsch "pin-fitting" method. I was already using the PP method and quite frankly was as versed as she was. I totally lost my focus and my interest in the workshop after being told there was no relationship between our "sloper" and commercial patterns.

On day two I decided to start the day with an open mind. We spent the day altering and "pin-fitting" our pattern. All the alterations were started from scratch. We did not use any of the alterations from the "sloper." Although we were told to bring fabric and sewing machines to be used for sewing our altered pattern, there was no time to sew. I guess we're left to our own devices to figure out if our alterations are correct.

On the upside, I did finally solve my back fitting problem. I usually say that if I can learn one thing in a workshop, I'd get my monies worth. In that way, I did get my monies worth. Maybe if I weren't already using the pin-fitting method I would have felt better about the whole experience. On the downside, if I didn't already have some knowledge of the pin-fitting method, I don't think I would have learned enough to do it on my own.

The real downside to the workshop is being told the "sloper" was useless as it relates to commercial patterns. I already knew that wasn't true but I posed the question to an accomplished designer who confirmed what I knew. If the same alterations are made to a commercial pattern that were made to the "sloper", the pattern should be a near perfect fit. It will also have the same amount of wearing ease that was intended by the designer. In that way, "pin-fitting" might not be needed!

This is absolutely my experience and my opinion on the workshop as it relates to fitting. Lately, in talking to some of my sewing friends I've wondered if they think I'm conceited or downright braggadocious. I may even sound that way in some of my blog posts, but rest assured it is none of that. What it is, is confidence! I've been a sewer for 46 years. If I were able to total all of my hours of sewing, studying sewing, and talking to people about sewing, I'm sure I'd have three or four PhD's in sewing. No, not bragging...just confident.

14 comments:

  1. WTF! Excuse my french. The whole purpose in the P&P method is to make that fitting shell (or sloper) so that the alterations you make to the sloper are the alterations you would make to every pattern that you sew! They even wrote an entire book to guide you in the process FIT for Real People...this lady was not paying attention in the P&P teacher training and should go back to school....

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    1. Maybe you don't have to be proficient to be a P&P teacher...could be you just have to have the money! LOL

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  2. Confidence is a very good thing. Hold on to it:)

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  3. That is really a bummer. I've seen your instructor do pant fitting a couple of times. I wasn't impressed. I like SureFitDesigns. I like that GlendaSparing teaches you how to use the sloper as a base to fit commercial patterns. If you go to surefitdesigns.com and click on "SFD Learning Center" and then click on "Video Library", there are videos there, showing how to use a sloper to fit commercial patterns.

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    1. Thanks Gwen. I'm checking it out right now.

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    2. Thanks for sharing the SFD link. She has a lot of great information.

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  4. I took a class from a lady years ago called "cut to the fit" in which she used a traced sloper and matched specific points to the commercial pattern and then either cut or pinched the pattern so the fitting points matched the sloper. It sounded good in theory, but when I got home I could never figure out what the correct fitting points were on the pattern. I think she was in an older issue of threads, maybe it's on their website.

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  5. Sorry to hear you didn't enjoy your class. Frustrating when that happens.

    And it's great that you have confidence. That is what come with experience.

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  6. I had the same feeling after attending another fitting class. The instructor said two things that caused me to tune her out. She said that the sloper can't be used to adjust commercial patterns and that one cannot draft pants from scratch, instead, you can only draft pants from a skirt. After those two comments, I stopped paying much attention to anything she said and only asked questions when I truly needed answers.

    The disappointment I have with the same class you took is that I still didn't have a good fitting and wearable garment at the end. The adjustments that were made to my sloper made it fit, but I still had problems with the sleeves. The instructor offered to continue to help me beyond the class, but since I live two hours away, I didn't take her up on the offer. Now, I just do my own thing and wing it.

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    1. It's sad that so called "experts" sometimes don't know anymore than us non-experts. It needs to stop. It cannot only be about the money. It will turn some sewers that are on the fence away forever.

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  7. I appreciate your candor with your reviews. I can't quite understand P&P's tissue fitting. I've been learning to use slopers to adjust commercial patterns to fit me using Lynda Maynard's method. I think she has an e-book on PatternReview (De-Mystifying Fit, I think).

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  8. Almost took that class, but it coincided with April 15 and I knew I'd be down to the wire on my taxes this year. I think you've saved me some money.

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  9. Love the confidence! I felt empowered just reading your post. I'm a new sewer, and I really hope someday I will feel just half of that!

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