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Thursday, 20 May 2010

Block and roll

I've been away a while I know! I've had a flooded bathroom and I've started night school both of which have soaked (pardon the pun) up some of my time in recent days. I'll leave the bathroom out of it and focus on the fun stuff namely that I'm back in the classroom (or the studio to be precise). Having completed my first dressmaking course last year I had a good grounding in the basics but lately I've been hankering for something more.

So last Wednesday I found myself with Maria in her studio and the four lovely ladies who are my classmates. We're learning fitting techniques and pattern drafting and cutting. Goodness and I've already learnt so much. Maria has so far taught us to make our basic 'block' which is the most basic fitted, sleeveless shift dress pattern which is fitted to us to within an inch of it's life. You will see here that mine needed quite a lot of work even though this first version was constructed from accurate measurements taken just a couple  of days previously.

Notice that the shoulder seam needed moving forward as it was sitting too far back on the shoulder. This was redrawn and moved by increasing the length of the back and shortening the front by the amount shown here. Additionally I have a very narrow torso and the neck line was way way too wide resulting in the need to increase the darts by the amounts shown by the tucks at the neckline below. I carried out these alterations at my second class on Wednesday and I now have a very well fitted block. Having translated these adjustments onto paper I've taken off the seam allowances and voila I have the basic pattern perfectly fitted to my measurements and from which I can now draft almost any pattern of my choosing. Who would have thought it could be so simple. And I still have six weeks to go!

Next I'll reveal my first sketch of my first attempt at designing... I think you'll love its retro vibe... More to come...