Finish my first pair of Magic Pants using Pamela Perfect Pant pattern #113. More pics and my post here.
This 10 class course is conducted by Lynda Maynard. I believe she is renown in many circles, but this was my first experience with her. I’ll start by giving her 2 thumbs up. I thought and felt that Lynda knew what she was doing and communicated well. The creative process can get quite frantic, but Lynda was always calm and the mess contained. That being said, I’m not keeping any notes from this course. All the information she provided is basic fitting which I’ve learned from other instructors. BUT as I was viewing this course, I couldn’t help but think of the many new sewists who visit Stitchers Guild and ask for help with fitting. Lynda did an excellent job showing and correcting fitting challenges as related to the models participating.
Class 1 INTRODUCTION is the typical Craftsy introduction and instructor background. Since I was unfamiliar with Lynda, I did listen all the way through.
Class 2 GETTING STARTED is taking measurements, determining size and starting a test or muslin garment. Lynda doesn’t make it complicated. She shows 4 basic measurements that are needed to choose a pattern size from the big 4 pattern companies. She is working with a Vogue pattern. Interesting she recommends not preshrinking muslin fabric. In her opinion shrinking the muslin builds in stretch something she does not want for this course. She wants you to work with non-stretch methodologies. I think she has in mind showing how careful fitting can create a comfortable garment even if it doesn’t have stretch. The 2nd interesting thing, to me, was that she believes in the stretch, pull and tug method of truing the fabric. My personal experience is that I can do all that but the first time my garment is laundered the fabric will return to its pre-stretched -pulled -tugged state and completely ruin any careful sewing and fitting I’ve done. Lynda does agree that if you can’t true the fabric it should be discarded.
Class 3 MUSLIN TEST GARMENT – Lynda recommends and adds 1″ seam allowances for all seams. She transfers all markings with carbon paper and the prickly tracing wheel. Then with contrasting thread, stitches over all markings. She adds at least 1 horizontal grain and 1 vertical grain marking. But recommends several more. She recommends stay stitching and clipping all curved lines; basting together with a basting stitch but without securing at either end. (This doesn’t work for my HV Ruby. I’ve found I need to back-stitch several stitches at my Ruby or the basting stitch will fall out before I begin fitting.) I was pleased to see that she recommends pressing the muslin and pressing open all the seams. So often sewists will ask SG members for a critique on an unpressed test garment. It is very hard to separate drag lines caused by fitting issues from those caused by unpressed fabric. Truly, if there is anything I could politely tell them all it is, carefully press this muslin before asking for advice.
Class 4 FITTING STANDARDS Please don’t skip this class. Our society has grown so accustomed to read-to-wear that most people – both men and women- have no idea how a garment should fit. There is a difference between design and fit. It’s important to be able to recognize a good fit before deciding that something is right or wrong with your muslin. Lynda points out that fit is not whether the garment is tight or loose. You are looking for how the cross and lengthwise grain hangs on the body; where the darts should end; how the shoulder sits and on and on. She also points out that many fitting issues are posture issues. Her opinion is that you should fit for the natural posture and body shape. I would have loved to have been her student when I started fitting. It was years and years, I think about 40, before I found the narrow-shoulder-adjustment which solved my bodice fitting issues. Instead of padded bras, shoulder pads and hearing “stand up straight” hisses, I could have been comfortable and confident in my clothes, had only she been my first instructor. I love her philosophy “most of us are not going to change our posture. It is better to make the garment fit us.” Lynda goes on to state “Proper fit is also characterized by your range of motion and level of comfort.” Towards the end she states that your fitting challenges should be consistent within the same line of patterns. i.e. whatever change you make to the basic Vogue fitting pattern will be needed for every Vogue pattern. She demonstrates that with a model who needs more ease over the rear; showing that simply choosing the full skirt style over the pencil skirt style is not the solution. The skirt will not hang properly, the way the designer intended and BTW most flatteringly until even the full skirt is adapted for the models generous rear. I only wish the Big 4 would conform. I find that Burda and Ottobre Design patterns are consistent but the Big 4 are wild. Any pattern I choose to work with from the Big 4, must be treated as a total unknown. Class #4 is worth the entire cost of the course.
With class 5 Lynda starts working through specific fit issues. She fits her 2 models working through Neck and Shoulders, Class 6 Upper Body, Class 7 Lower body, Class 8 Sleeves, and Class 9 Armholes . I watched Class 5 carefully and then again Class 9 Armholes. But I have to say it gets boring watching the same process over and over again. I’d really suggest watching Class 5 intently to see how she handles the neck and then skipping to the class which covers your specific issues. If you don’t know what your issue/s is/are then by all means stifle the boredom. Break the classes up, watch a portion each day but work through all classes. By all means take photos and post them to Craftsy. Ask her for help and ask her what you need to do so that she can accurately diagnose and advise fitting issues. The last half/third of each class is transferring the fitting changes back to the pattern. Once you’ve worked through this process successfully once, you probably can do it without watching Lynda. I loved Lynda’s calm at times plodding work in this arena. Too many times those of us who are experienced say ‘transfer the changes to the pattern” without realizing, someone new to the process doesn’t have a clue. While this level of detail was sleep-inducing for me NOW, years earlier I would have been eagerly following every step, in every class and objecting to the editing which speeds the process up. I mean at this point in my sewing, I don’t need to see every pin put into place and every spot measured then marked. But 30 years ago I would have killed for the opportunity.
Class 10 is Truing the Pattern. I was pleased, really pleased to see her emphasize that the pattern needs to be trued with each change that you make–something I really should have done with the nearly perfect pair of PP113′s. I transferred my changes, but did not true my pattern. I paid for that omission. Paid dearly. I used a wonderful fabric that I wanted in my wardrobe for years to come. Instead, that pair of PP113′s will probably be recycled at the end of this season. Entirely my fault for not truing. Her recommendations to true are spot-on but even better is her demonstration of how to true. This is a complicated and can be awkward/fussy/frustrating process. Lynda calmly works through truing the same shoulder time after time. She proves the old adage: actions speak louder than words.
This is a GREAT beginners class. Probably not so wonderful for the experienced or if you have a specific problem that you’ve not been able to solve otherwise. For example, she was no help with the diagonal, back leg wrinkles on my pants. (Totally forgiveable as her course concentrates on bodice and skirt fitting) Still if I have more thumbs to turn up, I’d give them to this class.
Finally experimented with my belt loop folder for the 900CPX. My post here.
My search for a surplice style that fits continues Here.