The Fair Fit Method Sewing + Design - A Look at Sewing and Design Methods Taught in the Courses
The Fair Fit Method is a year long curriculum in which you will make several garments and learn the many fashion design concepts I have used to create variations with the Fair Fit pattern blocks. Each course and project builds on itself, introducing new sewing skills and techniques that strategically advance you with each project.
The projects are planned so that as you create a garment, you learn a new skill set with each one, and the steps learned in each garment guide you to the next. In the courses I am sharing my personal process of design, and a huge part of that process means choosing the blocks you are working with and the type of sewing you will use to accomplish your desired end result.
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In the Fair Fit Method courses, first you decide your design and choose which blocks you will use to develop and build your garment. The more courses you take, the more your pattern options expand, as more pattern sets are added to customize your design.
For instance, in the 3 photos shown below, you may start out with version one of the Fair Fit dress shown in the plaid. This is the most basic dress in the course, Learn and Make the Fair Fit Dress. When you make a second version, you may decide to shorten the torso to make it more of a tunic to wear over jeans. Or as you advance you may try out various necklines, like the pink dress and change the skirt up to a slim fitted pencil variation.
My hope is that by sharing sets of blocks in the courses for you to play with will give you valuable insight into how designers customize and iterate their designs. I've enjoyed using this approach, because you never really start from scratch when you design a dress.
Professional designers work from a set of blocks to iterate their designs, and these blocks are drafted to achieve the proportion, fit, and style of their designated target market. Blocks are the starting point for a pattern maker to begin the design of a specific garment. The block really exists as a firm starting point and then is manipulated and changed to create many different garments in a collection.
As you customize your clothing made from the blocks, if you choose to work through the progression of courses, you will start developing problem solving and conceptual skills like these too.
In each course you will receive a set of blocks for the projects to build the specific garments. Within the course Learn and Make the Fair Fit Dress, you will also have more sets of customized blocks to change to look and proportion of the dress, as several of our testers did. As you grow in your draping, fit, and design skills, you will also have the opportunity in later courses to learn drafting skills to continue to change the blocks, as well as collect a whole set of customized parts to keep changing up the skirts and dresses and adapt them to current trends.
Let's look at the first course Learn and Make the Fair Fit Skirt. In this class, you learn the beginning of the process I have just described, and you will use the same pattern to customize the skirt in different ways. Here are a few examples:
Sewing in the Fair Fit Method Courses
Throughout the year long program, course by course, I’m going to teach you all kinds of sewing methods. When you make your final garments, you can choose from mixtures of clean and raw, serged and sewn, topstitched and pieced, the options of sewing in this program are diverse and truly exciting!
In the past when I originally designed the Fair Fit dress for sale and for runway, the designs featured a strictly raw finish sewn method, shown below. It was a part of my brand and the originality of the design at the time, but as I have started to share the methods and patterns with sewing students, I realized that some sewists can not tolerate raw edges no matter what the design intention. Especially folks who have worked to develop a flawless finish in all of their sewing.
However, I saw an opening through the in person workshops and online tests to be able to keep the raw finish method a part of Fair Fit courses. With a dress this advanced and detailed, you absolutely should make 2 garments - one to learn, and the other to finalize and apply what you have learned.
In every course we make 2 garments- one for learning fit and proportion and the other to finalize your sewing and design. We don’t want any of your work to go to waste, so your “muslin” in the Fair Fit Method uses the raw finish sewing method so when its done it’s still a wearable dress! And the great thing is usually students end up liking their raw finish dress and wear it as a statement piece, or they end up making an avant guard fun version like our tester Brooke's Ikea bag repurpose dress.
Fair Fit Clean Finish Sewing Method
Once you nail the fit of your pattern, and know the draping, in your second garment you can apply the clean finish method of sewing that I will teach in Learn and Make the Fair Fit Skirt.
You will also learn combinations of serged and sewn, or clean and raw edges.
And piece work and repurpose.
And this is just a preview. In my next post I'll show you how fit and draping is taught in the courses, and later in the month I'll show you how I teach pattern alterations to help you develop this very necessary skill.
If you are interested in taking courses in the Fair Fit Method, the next opportunity to enroll begins soon. 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.
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.