|Two weeks ago I took a three day class in Phoenix, MD, just north of Baltimore, with Sarah Veblen. I was thrilled after reading Sarah's articles on fitting sleeves in Threads (issues March and May 2005) to find out that she was teaching near my home.
Sarah Veblen class schedule
There were only three of us attending the class so we received individual, personalized attention. Our pre-class work was to make up a fitted mock-up for at least one jacket and blouse, preferably with side bust darts or princess seams...and we could bring as many as we wanted since Sarah would fit those for us if she had time during the three days.
We started each day with some guidelines from Sarah about fitting and garment sewing...such as wearing a good, well-fitting bra, making sure that as we made adjustments from her pinned changes that we made them from the seamline, not from the cutting line and very importantly, that often rasing the armhole and increasing the sleeve cap made slimming and flattering silhouette and sleeve fitting changes.
Her wonderfully extensive experience (check out her pictures on the website) in patternmaking and design were invaluable. As Sarah noted to us, and I finally accepted in my heart, we shouldn't have to keep buying new patterns that are just versions of the same one. A fitted jacket and a fitted blouse can be the basis for hundreds of variations in length, collars, sleeves and other design variations. It's something I've heard others like Shirley Adams say and demonstrate for years, but seeing Sarah's fitting changes on my garments convinced me of it's practicality. Of course, I'll never stop buyi g patterns, but it's fun to consult them for details rather than fitting a new one each time.
First Sarah fit the basic garment on each of us, then we made a second mock-up for Sarah to check our adjustments. It was just as useful to watch Sarah do fittngs on others since we could see dramatic changes as she did a almost a common raising of the armhole, shortening of the shoulder seam length, and made suggestions for interesting design changes to consider on future garments.
Here's what I worked on during the three days:
Simplicity jacket 4256 (I love Simplcity's cup sizing now avaiable in certain patterns)
My next goal this summer is to learn how to use my digital camera so I can start posting reviews with pictures, especially as I use my new adjusted patterns for some new wardrobe additions.
I would definitely recommend a class with Sarah. I've taken many garment sewing classes with different teachers around the country and highly, highly recommend Sarah. She brings a wealth of experience but is gentle, encouraging and positive at all times. She truly works with each person from where they are and inspires by her kind insight and patience.