Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Success and confidence

Sadly I have finished the fabulous sewing/pattern making/design course that I have been studying for the past 18 weeks (yes, 18 weeks gone already!).  I'm just waiting on grades for a couple of subjects, but classes are over and I've handed everything in.  Three of the subjects aren't graded, they are just pass or fail, but two are graded.*  The sewing component of the course was graded and I'm terrifically excited to say that I received a 'Distinction' for my jacket!  It is so amazing to think that a few short months ago I couldn't sew and now I have a beautiful fully lined wool jacket.  And not just that, but now I have the confidence to sew clothes.

[*For the two subjects that are graded, the grading system is 'Fail, Pass, Credit, Distinction, High Distinction'.]

I received an ungraded pass for Pattern Making - the most challenging of the classes for me.  For the first two months I didn't even know there was a difference between facing and interfacing.  I used to get so confused.  This was the one class when sewing experience (particularly knowing how to at least read a pattern) would have been really useful.  But I persevered and my teacher was really pleased with my final assignment.  We had to design an item of clothing, draft all the patterns and then make a toile.  What a wonderful challenge!  Initially I was quite worried and thought I would never be able to do it, but once I started working I realised that I had been taught everything I needed to know.  Ok, my dress isn't high end couture, but it is 100% my work.  Such a wonderful confidence boost to realise that I can do it.

Next semester they will be teaching advanced pattern making and pattern grading - I would love to learn how to tailor items so they fit perfectly.  Bespoke fashion!  But sadly it is back to full time work for me starting Friday.  The past few months have been wonderful and I'm so lucky to have had the opportunity to learn these incredible new skills.  Thank you so much to my amazing husband for supporting me and agreeing to live without my wage while I followed this flight of fancy, and to my boss and colleagues at work who kindly let me work one day a week.

And before this post turns too much into some sort of weird Oscar's speech - here it is (finally!), my jacket...

Sadly still without buttonholes (the threads are tailors tacks marking where the buttonholes should be)

We even had to make a clothing tag, the glare is too strong here to read it, but it is a proper tag.

And my final assessment for pattern making...



Pattern construction

Pattern pieces

Endless paperwork!  Including fabric samples from my stash (I think some of you reading this will recognise the pink fabric...?!)

The toile! 

I'm going to make a few changes to the pattern and then I'll make it up using some nice floral Japanese rayon fabric that I bought on the weekend.  [Yes, fabric stashing is as much of a problem as yarn stashing is...!]


  1. Wow, that jacket came out fabulous! And who knew there was so much paperwork involved in making dresses? How inspiring!

  2. Agghh, the paperwork! The course is designed for people wanting to enter the clothing and fashion industry, so we are taught all the industry methods - including paperwork! It is all useful information though, so I think I might end up doing a lot of that paperwork for my own dressmaking.

  3. Holy Stitching, PatternGirl! That is absolutely incredible! I'm way impressed and it's super beautiful. How nice to have the skills to make your own clothing that fits YOU! Kudos from Ohio!