Have you always dreamed of learning how to design and make your own clothing, but feel confused, frustrated, and stuck when it comes to commercial sewing patterns?
Sewing patterns are essential tools and are the templates that we use for clothing design. However, they are extremely overwhelming to learn how to use without someone to guide you through your first patterns. Even experienced stitchers experience confusion and frustration when using them!
Learning how to use a sewing pattern to create your own clothing, is really like learning how to speak in a new language. When you pull all of the parts out of the envelope, suddenly you realize that an “easy” project...isn't so easy. And unfortunately, the initial confusion can potentially discourage and delay you from your dream of making your own clothing.
when you pull a pattern out of the envelope, you are supposed to understand:
Does this design match the vision of the garment I have in mind?
What kind of construction do I need to know to accomplish this?
What do all of these symbols mean?
How do I know I’m making the right garment, and selecting the right pieces?
What are these drawings and legends?
Is this the right size, will this garment fit me?
How do I take my measurements, and do my measurements match the pattern?
Did I cut that right?
What kind of fabric am I supposed to make this out of?
How do I cut it?
These are just some of the most common questions that I get from sewing students as they begin to work with sewing patterns. And honestly, if you don’t get past the problems you are facing with sewing patterns, then your goal to learn how to sew and make clothing is going to be significantly delayed. Or worse, potentially abandoned, because patterns are our tools that we must use to design and create great garments.
WHEN YOU KNOW HOW TO USE A commercial SEWING PATTERN, FINALLY YOU CAN BEGIN CUSTOMIZING YOUR CLOSET AND CREATING GARMENTS THAT YOU HAVE THE CONFIDENCE TO CONSTRUCT.
Because you know exactly what to do and the pattern actually helps you create a garment that you will love for years to come. When you know how to use a sewing pattern, there are fantastic designs that you can complete in a Sunday afternoon, in your own fabrics and colors that you love most.
Learning how to work with a pattern can be challenging, but when you have the right information and know the steps in the process they are actually a lot of fun.
And especially now, with so many great designs available online from all over the world, sewing patterns are changing and becoming more accessible ways to create great designs while engaging you a bigger fashion sewing community. Innovative designers are now publishing their patterns for you to use, and your options to create high fashion garments are now at your fingertips.
To start working on those projects, you need to know the language of sewing patterns. No matter how much they have evolved, you will still use the same universal language, symbols, and steps of sewing patterns to make a garment, and you need to know what they are and how to complete the steps in the right order.
Maybe you already know how to use your sewing machine and sew the basic items, but if patterns are keeping you stuck from moving on to more projects, then you need my course Basic Patterns.
In Basic Patterns, you will learn how to make patterns work for the clothing you want to make. This course is comprehensive and in-depth, with lessons that will teach you how to:
Choose the right pattern for your project
How to take your measurements
How to size your pattern
How to choose the right fabric and notions for your project
Interfacing and how to use it
How to read a pattern, its symbols and its legend
The core concepts of grainline and fold line
Principles for pattern layout
Principles for cutting out your pattern
How to fit your pattern
And so much more!
Basic Patterns is a series of 10 modules and 25 lessons, that walk you through the pattern step by step so that you can work with them with confidence. In this class, I will walk you through a pattern, all the way through till you cut out the pattern from the fabric. Because I have taught so many beginners how to work with sewing patterns, each lesson is packed with explanations to demystify common confusions and help you maximize a pattern, especially its size and its fit. Each lesson you are going to want to revisit again and again, as you advance in your sewing and move on to more advanced designs.
I also have included a modules on fabric selection, knitwear patterns vs woven fabric patterns, how to prepare your fabric before you cut it. And I created a special advanced module to teach you how the pattern will fit, and troubleshoot common fitting pitfalls that lead to major disappointment in the beginning. These lessons are core issues that I’ve seen many students face and I’ve worked hard to explain and demystify these problems before they start causing set backs for you in your sewing practice.
My course is an online video curriculum that you can have access to 24/7. This format will enable you to start and stop lessons as you work, and revisit them when you need help. The course is self paced, and you can work through it as slow or as fast as what works for your unique learning style and level of experience.
I would go to the craft store with an idea in mind of what I wanted to sew, but every time I looked in the catalogs, I could not find the exact dress I was hoping to make.
For years, I tried to figure out sewing patterns on my own, and I sewed them exactly as they were designed. I made no alterations to my patterns, because I didn’t know you could do that without screwing up the pattern. I was unhappy, because I never really made what I had envisioned in my head, yet did not know how to make my own patterns. So I kept chugging along, struggling with the fit and style of my sewing. The patterns were not helpful, in fact, they were holding me back.
I stopped using sewing patterns and started just cutting out shapes from the cloth.
They weren’t the most sophisticated, but at least they were a way to make my own design. Then I started going to thrift stores and hacked into the clothes that I bought. I’d cut off the sleeves, take in shirts, shorten dresses, lengthen pants. This was good, because I was seeing the kinds of alterations I needed to make in order to really make the kind of clothes I wanted.
However, patterns still evaded me. And even when I started my first clothing line, I went back to repurposing. I made one of a kind garments from repurposed customized clothes. See how you can be pretty advanced and still not understand a sewing pattern?! That was me! And it eventually really held me back.
When I began my relationships with stores I had to provide them with multiples, so at that point, I was forced to learn how to fully utilize sewing patterns as the efficient and helpful templates that they are designed to be. My path was so long and arduous, when I think back to those days, the struggle was so real!!
You can totally create your sewing practice the way I did taking years to stumble upon the information. But I’ve looked and sources are still not covering sewing patterns to the level that you need in order to not get stopped in your tracks and delayed in your creative progress like I did.
I want to learn how to alter my patterns, will this be covered in the course?
I am going to show you the BASICS of fit, and a few beginner alterations, but more advanced pattern alterations that are specific to body types are not covered in this course. That topic is so broad that it needs a course in itself to work through all the different ways patterns can be changed dependent on different fit problems and their solutions.
Will this course teach me pattern drafting or how to make a sloper?
No. In my experience teaching, that is a much more advanced skill set (see this blog post) and I think its better that a student know how to work with existing patterns before tackling the skill of drafting. This course is for beginners, if you already know how to work with a commercial sewing pattern then this course isn't for you.
I need help with garment construction- will we cover that?
This class is all about the pattern, and getting a pattern cut out of your fabric. Garment construction and sewing is not covered, but look for that class coming soon to follow up to what you learn in this course.
When does the course start and finish?
The course is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
I want you to love my course, but if you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact me in the first 14 days and we will give you a full refund.
Can kids take this course?
This course is designed for adult learning styles, so for children under age 13, I recommend that an adult be present to help assist with the pattern and the information.
What materials and tools do I need to take this course?
You need an internet connection strong enough to stream video, and a desktop or laptop computer and a pattern that you would like to make.
What if I have questions?
You can always email me and I will respond within 24 to 48 hours.
How long does the course take to complete?
You could work through all of the exercises and recommended reading in one focused weekend, or two weeknights for 2 to 3 hours. However because this course consists of video lessons and trainings, you have as much time as you need to focus on specific modules and techniques. If you are a really busy person with not much free time, dedicating just 15 minutes a day for one month will give you the time you need to learn how to work with your sewing pattern.
Andrea Eastin is a designer and educator and the founder of Fair Fit Studio, a fashion design studio and education platform that teaches you how to sew and design clothing. Eastin’s passion is to bring unique garments to the world, her signature collection Fair Fit is defined by hand-dyed garments sewn into complex constructions. Her elaborate couture collections have been featured in runway shows and presentations that showcase her expertise as an experimental creator, storyteller, and surface designer.
Eastin graduated with honors for her BFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Iowa, and in 2010 she earned her MFA in Fiber and Material Studies from the prestigious School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has honed her professional sewing skills by working on as a costume seamstress for the movie Pitch Perfect 2 when she helped construct knitwear and dance uniforms for the major motion picture, and the first season of the television show Underground, where she learned tailoring and advanced sewn construction working on elaborate period costumes. Her studio practice integrates personalized clothing design and construction with mentoring and creative entrepreneurship. Eastin is an expert and teacher of innovative surface design techniques, fashion design concepts and craft, and intentional approaches to self made wardrobe concepts and construction.
If you love fashion, and have aspirations to make your own clothing...
without getting stuck in the first part of the process, then you need to learn how to use a sewing pattern. Basic Patterns is perfect for those of you who are just getting started and need to know how to use this essential tool without getting stuck, confused or frustrated.
Maybe have attempted a few patterns on your own, but you aren’t getting good results. If are struggling to create polished garments that fit correctly, then you need some of the lessons that address the fit of your pattern. And if you have been confused about cutting, layout, and fabric, its time to stop wasting fabric and learn a better process. Even experienced stitchers will get a lot out of the pattern fit module.
This course is designed for students of at all levels of learning and the video format will allow you to slow down, take notes, pause and rewind the modules that you need the most work. It is a video course, with power points, demonstrations, and lectures from me to illustrate each point in the process.
Choose a pattern for your level of garment construction skill.
Find and choose the right pattern for the garment you want to make.
The criteria I use to figure out if this project is going to turn out the way I want.
Know your measurements and how they apply to the pattern.
Understand ease and sizing and how to know what size is right for you.
Understand the pattern and its symbols.
Understand the difference between knitwear patterns and woven patterns.
How to look at the pattern and really determine how difficult the project is to complete.
How to fully utilize technical sketches.
The 3 most critical parts of the pattern that make or break your final garment.
How to choose the right fabric and prepare it for your project.
How to prepare and layout your pattern for cutting.
Minor pattern alterations.
Trouble shooting the pattern’s fit.
And of course, lots more!!