My goal is to change the way you think about and use commercial sewing patterns. The big commercial pattern companies sell paper. They print magazines, maps and other items. They are successful when you purchase the paper. Not all of the indy patterns are done by skilled pattern makers. If you adjust your expectations of patterns and learn how to overcome the exceptions between the paper and your body you will avoid wadders and your garment sewing will be successful.
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Deanne Smith is a lifelong sewing enthusiast and student of sewing who has taught for the local chapter of the American Sewing Guild for several years.
Deanne has taught basic sewing through advanced garment sewing at Ashby Sewing Company, Atlanta Technical College and Factory Girls Atlanta, a designer workroom and other central and North Atlanta locatons. Deanne designs, makes her own patterns and sews all types of garments. She has expertise in fitting, designing from a sloper or basic pattern and pattern drafting. She has certifications in pattern drafting, draping, garment construction and tailoring. She has studied fashion design and garment construction at Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona and has created apparel and décor for feature films and television productions.
Deanne's soapbox: I recently did a program for the American Sewing Guild. I was saddened that several members that I know are outstanding seamstresses said that they no longer make garments or that they now quilt because they have been disappointed with the fit of sewing patterns. We try on ready to wear and can accept that not every garment fits or flatters, yet somehow we think that because we have sewn the garment it should fit. Fitting is a chore, to me it does not seem efficient to fit every new pattern.
Fit is challenging for a lot of those who sew. It is complex for me and I have made a concerted effort to avoid fitting every time I want a style change. I have three basic bloccks; shoulder seam princess, armscye princess and bust dart. I have versions for jackets with more ease and slightly larger armscye and sleeves, a t shirt version with less ease and a sleeve with little ease. I have 10 fronts for my jackets blocks with various lapels, necklines and closures.
Currently in my closet are more than 60 tops and jackets made from these three slopers. No one, even my sewing friends have ever said: "oh you used the same pattern for all of these." Getting a well fitted block is not a one shot process. It may take several “muslins” before all the fit areas are really good. A lot of fitting issues are interrelated so fixing one may cause another area to need adjustment. It is well worth the effort in my opinion to make garment sewing easier, the outcome more predicable and more fun. I copy details that I like. Great designers; Armani, Yves St Laurent, Claude Montana, etc are great with curves...I am not. Some details are a pain to draft or drape so copy them and add them to your tried and true patterns This is why I implemented the fitting and developing master pattern classes. I have been using these methods for many years. The current concept in fashion and sewing seems to be that there is something wrong with the body and the fabric and pattern are perfect. This is absurd...the body is perfect. Cloth and paper are not.
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