A post from Carrie in California-
I confess, I have a secret dream to take my love of sewing from a hobby to a business, so I can get paid to do what I love. However, one of the glitches to this idea is that I don’t have a fashion degree, no time spent apprenticing under a professional, or well known design school name on my college degree. I’m a home sewer who loves to take classes and enjoys learning from a community of experienced sewers. So, in order to bridge what I see as a gap, I’ve been looking around for ways to quickly become educated to a level that I can sew for myself and others with RTW like results. As we all know – the holy grail of fine quality sewing is correct fit. Just search Amazon “sewing fitting books” and you will find at least 243 results. I’m sure we all have some of these in our home libraries- I have at least 6. I’ve also looked for seminars, which suits me because I’m more of a hands on kind of learner. There are several well known names who offer fitting classes. However, most classes focus on learning how to fit yourself. But my fitting issues are not the same as someone else; so learning how to fit the most common adjustments will be important in order to sew for others. In my search I found there are a few options for fitting instructor training. Palmer Pletsch offers training in their pattern based fitting method. But I was more attracted to what Silhouette Patterns offers – which is muslin based fitting. The Silhouettes seminar is 3 1/2 days including instruction and hands on experience fitting others. I signed up for this class in Dec, and have been looking forward to it since! The preparation for this seminar includes making at least 9 muslins, covering the basic silhouettes: top, jacket, pant, dress and skirt. It’s a lot of work to make 9 muslins, but each one takes only a few hours. It takes a little extra time to extend each length wise seam to 1 inch, but the actual sewing using a long stitch length goes pretty fast. I paced the prework out over a month -and have now completed all of the muslins. Here is a picture of my completed work bagged up and ready to take to Dallas, TX! I’ve now worked with at least 9 Silhouette patterns and haven’t run into any issues of pieces not fitting together or major construction issues. However, from past experience, I know that sometimes the instructions are written for an experienced sewer, in that some details are left off – for example how to finish the hem on the wrap skirt. The instructions for making the muslins were much the same – the exact instructions could be confusing to a beginner, but if you have some experience sewing – it’s easy to get the gist of the message and work from there.
At this point, just a few days away, I’m not sure if I’m more excited to have a new wardrobe of 9 patterns that have been specifically fit to me, or developing the skill of being able to fit others 😉
More to come, I promise to wrap up with a note during the training itself, and one after the training.
Also, if you have any comments or experience sewing for others, or helpful learning regarding fitting others- please add a comment below.