Monday, 20 October 2008

Desperate Measures

Today I am almost hysterical with excitement!! Just as I was leaving work earlier feeling rather deperate and despondant about ever being able to make my own clothes from my own patterns, and even resolved to put a desperate plea for private tuition in the Post Office window in the hope there might be a local dressmaker watching, I was introduced to a lovely lady who not only lives in the village but is an ex teacher .. of PATTERN CUTTING and DESIGN!!!!!! I have arranged to call her tomorrow to set up a session or two with her so she can "point me in the right direction" !! I wonder if she noticed the tears of relief in my eyes!! (I am now deciding which offerings of thanks to leave for which gods now that I have discovered that there really is someone up there listening to me ! Or was it the wish I made on the chimney sweeps brush last week?)

You see, after months and months of web searching and site trawling, looking for a course where I can learn Pattern Drafting and Cutting - so that I can design my own Corsets and make custom made ones for other people, and perhaps the odd dress or two, it seems that the only course within commuting distance for me which is part time and seems to do everything I want it to do, is at The London College of Fashion. Next Summer! Boo HOO!

This isn't much good to me really, so I ordered some books from the library and resolved to teach myself.

I made my first ever Block yesterday. Here it is (apologies for the photo-quality. easiest option when alone is to take it on the trusty mac cam). As you can see it's not a brilliant fit which is fine, since it's the first ever. BUT the most frustrating thing is that after I made it, there was nobody to consult regarding the problems - not least because the instructions I followed weren't that clear. Now you see why I was so relieved today!

I've been glued to the programme British Style Genius on BBC2 (iplayer), and not so glued but interested nevertheless in Twiggy's Frock Exchange which led me to this handy BBC site which is all about green and recycled clothes. You might not like the re-styled garments (I didn't), but there are lots of handy little sewing tips in the watching - like using a safety pin to turn through bag straps etc.,


Tiff said...

I am so glad you found someone to guide you! I'm sure it takes the stress away doesn't it?

Lorna said...

Never made corsets but am a good dressmaker. Always prepared to be opinionated ... give me a call.

Helen said...

That's great! It makes such a difference to learn techniques like that one on one, much as there are some fantastic resources out there. Have fun!

Indigo Blue said...

This block is a good fit. The 'bagging' at the arm area can be gotton rid of at the block stage by putting in a small dart in the paper pattern to reduce the fullness but is not actually sewn as a dart. The armhole will be re-shaped. Pattern cutting is blooming hard to do and even after years of learning how to do it it is still blooming hard. If you have found someone to hekp teach you even better. Have you got a dressmakers dummy? They are on ebay and would help you alot in gaining shape, making corrections. pinning etc. I learnt alot from just fiddling around with calico, pins, paper and the tailors dummy. Good luck. keep us informed of how you get on. i have a book that i used when i did my degree, I will find it and email the details. May be useful, i still use it now sometimes.

Florence said...

What a wonderfully strange couple of weeks of things falling into place for you! I'm so pleased for you - there is nothing quite like learning from an actual person. x

Becky said...

Lucky you! Hope the sessions go well, and I'll be looking forward to seeing the resulting corsety goodness. :)

Anonymous said...

I look forward to seeing the results of the sessions!

Indigo Blue said...

I have found the book title for you,
'Metric Pattern Cutting@ by Winifred Aldrich
isbn 0-7135-2564-9
Unwin Hyman.
It may be out of print but amazon or ebay may have it. It has instructions, diagrams etc. i will try and scan a few pages and email. But this would solve some of youir questions.

Primrose Corner said...

Arh! I'm really pleased for you. Hope it works out well. There's nothing like having a 'real' person to learn from. Followed your BBC link and discovered a wealth of fascinating bits and pieces. Not sure I like the association of sewing/knitting with a 1940's style scary granny, but it came good in the end.

Mr MK said...

Well done gorgeous and can't wait to see the results... I'll have to keep an eye on that chimney sweep, all that jumping round roofs and singing.

Kathi D said...

So great! There is nothing better than learning in person from a master.