Sunday, April 01, 2007

Work in Progress: Little Girl's Dress

I'm back in college again.
For several years, I have been wanting to learn flat-pattern making.
Part of me thinks I might one day fulfill an old boyfriend's phophetic vision that I'd be making and selling board shorts.
The other part of me just wants to learn tips and techniques for my own use.
And fun.

So I finally signed up for a Saturday class at a local community college.
I was initially nervous that I'd be the oldest person in the class, but was relieved to find a class body spanning several decades, and a couple people older than me.
And four guys even!

I signed up for the prerequisite class: apparel construction.
I figured I'd pick up some new tips, regardless of the fact that I already sew.
What I didn't know when I signed up was how excellent the instruction was going to be.
My teacher is an old skool couturier.

What I also didn't know is that several of the instructors also teach at a fancy fashion school where tuition carries a $20,000 per year price tag.

I pay $20 per unit.

This also applies to the interior design program (I wish I had known that before I went to interior design school). I don't know if the instructors in that program teach at both locations, but I do know the community college's program is well respected.
Go figure.

For our first project, each person in the class is making a girl's dress.
It is designed to fit a child around four years of age.
We all have to use the same pattern, but we are allowed to add details like trim, piping, buttons, pockets, etc.

Why a child's dress? My teacher says everything we'll ever need to learn about sewing is in that dress:
clean finish, Hong Kong finish, blind hem...
The aim is for the inside of the dress to be as beautiful as the outside.

Here is my sleeve detail. I still have to gather it (you can see my temporary ink marks that is my sewing guideline for a channel for elastic).
Sleeve detail
The inside is completely finished.
Most of the class placed their facings to the inside, but I turned mine to the exterior as a detail element.

My teacher calls me 'manic' because I load myself up with so many extra details that I get frustrated. But the dress will be beautiful when it is completed.
She even helped me by cutting out the two back pieces so the design matches.
She jokes about my perfectionism, but I think she actually finds it refreshing.

I have to have this finished by Thursday (not easy for me), so I'll post pics of the completed project soon.



Blogger Thriftin' Gal @ Junk In My Trunk said...

Wish you the best of luck in the class, looks like fun! I really, really need to take a class in sewing, I want to learn how to do it correctly :)

6:19 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

That sounds like an awesome class. I would love to learn to make patterns.

7:31 PM  

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