What about Specific Alterations for my body?
Pattern alterations- we all have them! While I know having to go through the process of changing a pattern can be the last thing you want to do when you'd rather be sewing, what I love about pattern alterations is that they can still be a creative part of the process. They create an opportunity to use your problem solving and critical thinking skills.
So pattern alts aren't just great for clothing, they are good for the brain!
In one conversation with a student, we talked about how easy it is to overthink fit. Honestly who wouldn't, when there are so many books and methods out there to help you get the "perfect" fit.
And ALL people have problems with fit. And luckily we have lots of options and solutions in the world to work with, if you are willing to approach it with a light touch and see it as another opportunity to be creative.
How I teach Pattern Alterations
My friend Dr. Casey Stannard, PHD, a fashion professor at Louisiana State University, found in her research that a significant problem garment sewers find when garments don't fit, is that to solve the problem the sewist now needs another skill set.
Pattern alterations are another skill set, and to learn them is comparable to pattern drafting. But you don't have to learn it at the same level of commitment and investment as pattern drafting. Rather I believe if you teach the student how to think through the problem with a creative approach (as opposed to a harsh self critical one) to find the solution that works, then they will absolutely build confidence to solve pattern problems independently.
I actually love it when I hear a student says, "I knew that already" or "ah! That's what I was going to do." And that's because I think it is more important that you learn to trust your visual skills to find the solution and to solve the problem on your own. I want you to trust yourself, so that when you are at home you aren't slowed by self doubt.
I think self doubt developed in sewing because it has been such an independent craft usually practiced alone. And in professional circumstances the trade secrets are held close to the vest so there hasn't been a lot of collaboration between home sewists and professionals. It wasn't until I was employed to sew professionally that I really saw the divide. Even in my professional career, I never had a set of rules to follow, rather, it was my problem solving approach and steps to think through fit that made me valuable to my clients.
Those problem solving skills I share in the modules of my course, Learn and Make the Fair Fit Skirt, and Learn and Make the Fair Fit Dress. In these two courses of the Fair Fit Method, I will teach you how to do your check fit, analyzing your first garment and creating a process to alter what you want to change.
How to Apply the Analysis to the Pattern
The videos in the course tackle the most common alterations that will come up with your check fit. And since I've gained a lot of students over the past year who have participated in the courses, I have a lot of recommended alts to show you.
The videos in the courses are filmed in real time in my studio to enable me to be responsive and adaptive to student fit and draping questions that arise. During our course durations, alterations and demos are added as they are needed, creating an archive of fit, design, and pattern customization lessons. When you do your check fit, if something isn't right, you are going to take a picture and send it to me so I can send you the recommended adjustment.
The flexible nature of how I have structured the courses allows me to add new videos when necessary to address student questions as they arise, creating personalized, in-depth video support as we work through course. Every season the course is updated with answers to student questions, so there is always more to learn. Sometimes Fair Fit students with different body types appear in the videos, and you will get the experience of an in-person class without have to be with me in person.
In the course, I will show you how to change the paper pattern.
As well as show you how to drape the adjusted piece and other ways to trouble shoot the fit on the form.
Within the course Learn and Make the Fair Fit Dress, there is also a video with archived alts from previous students and how to trouble shoot your fit through interpretation and experimenting with approaches I have tested on clients and other students.
Can you imagine knowing more about how to fit for your own body as well as other people, how to customize a pattern fluidly by applying draping skills, while also creating numerous garments that reflect your own creativity and perspective in design?
When you learn the Fair Fit Method, you will no longer be dependent strictly on the designs offered by the commercial pattern lines. Instead you will be able to analyze the look you want and know the steps to accomplish it, and how to use any pattern more effectively.
How great will that be?!
If you are interested in taking courses in the Fair Fit Method, the next opportunity to enroll begins March 1st 2018. You can visit https://www.fairfitmethod.com/ to learn more and read all about the program and full curriculum. If you want to know right away when enrollment opens again, click the button below and you will receive email updates, articles, and notifications when registration begins.
Coming up: Why we make 2 garments, and a look at more examples of what you can make!
Photography by Carolynn Amy Siebert and Lily Brooks and the other named photographers from the article. All Images ©Andrea Eastin Fair Fit TM and are used exclusively for fairfitstudio.com. Never use or post images or my writing without my written permission.