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Build a better tee (Online Sewing Class)

A Class
Viewed 5136 times
Review rated Helpful by 2 people   Very Helpful by 12 people   
Posted by: dr. liz
About dr. liz star
Member since: 11/15/07
Reviews written: 23
Sewing skills:Advanced Beginner
Favored by: 2 people
classes reviewed: 1
Bio: more...
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Posted on: 3/23/08 0:35 AM
Rating: starstar
Web site/URL: Build a Better T-SHIRT
i recently completed this class, taught by Shannon Gifford. Shannon is a wonderful teacher and a fount of sewing knowledge. I learned so much about fitting in this class. Shannon was extremely generous in her attention to each individual student.

The basic organization of the class is this: you purchase a tee shirt pattern, suitable for a knit fabric. You then use this pattern to generate two master patterns: one for wovens and one for knits. In fact, you work out the woven first, then use that to create your master knit pattern.

Although I learned a great deal about fitting, adding darts, making FBA, etc, I have a beef with this method. To me, it simply does not make sense to start with a knit and convert to a woven. The end product was a highly fitted woven bodice, with darts front and back, created from scratch. To then use this to back-create a knit pattern makes even less sense. If you want to fit a woven bodice, why not start with a woven pattern? And if you want a master pattern for knits, why not use your original tee shirt pattern as the jumping off point? I found this process to be very time consuming, if not draining.

I thought the class was going to be quite different--focusing on the basic tee, nice and easy, with our learning different neck treatments, or other variations. Learning something about working with different types of knit fabrics would also have been good.

As I said, I don't want to slam this course, because I did learn a lot and basically overcame my fear of modifying patterns. I would gladly take another class with Shannon. Maybe the patternmaking course would be a good choice--judging by my experience, that's where Shannon's real interests lie.
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8 Comments      Login to Add a Comment
librarylady said...
I agree... Shannon's always fun but the woven shell game wasn't what I expected or needed really.
3/24/08 7:50 AM
ryan's mom said...
Wow. Your take on the class is very interesting. I guess it depends on one's perspective. When I started tissue fitting for knits, I used a zero-ease principle in wovens and was so pleased that Shannon's class was based on the same principle that I was using. If my top fit in zero-ease with a woven, then it would surely fit just fine in a knit. I guess these are just preference things for all of us. That's what makes sewing and fitting so interesting :) .
3/24/08 7:56 AM
Lindaw said...
Thank you for the review and thank you Ryan's Mom for your comment. Unfortunately I did not take the class. For those hard to fit persons I can see the value of making a woven top with no ease as the fitting garment for a knit "T" top, the knit fabric would give the ease needed for wearing. Great idea taken from the pattern drafting world without the actual drafting of the full garment.
3/24/08 9:12 AM
thaiyal said...
I see the logic behind making a knit pattern with woven fabric. the woven fabric will show the wrinkles more easily and help you with the fitting problems that you have whereas a knit would probably stretch and makeup for the fitting mistake. Another knit with a different stretch will not fit as the first one. But I have a question - how would I know if the knit pattern has zero ease? I had read somewhere that some knit patterns have negative ease. In that case, how would a woven fabric work for making a master pattern??
3/24/08 1:25 PM
Mufffet said...
I loved this class, and I liked fitting the woven because then I had a simple bodice pattern I could adapt to other styles. The whole experience of Shannon's classes was simply great. It remains with me, which isn't always the case with me when it comes to hands on things. :)
3/24/08 3:49 PM
dr. liz said...
I'm glad to have generated a discussion on the class. As I said above, there was much good to be said about the course. Maybe it just needs to be renamed, or described more clearly, so prospective students have a better idea what to expect. Apropos of the comment about negative ease, that is indeed part of the difficulty. My pattern did have negative ease, so adjustments were called for that I would never ordinarily need--like FBA. (I'm a B-cup.) That's part of my criticism. Why not just use a fitting shell as the base pattern? Anyway, I appreciate all the varied reactions. Thanks for the comments.
3/25/08 9:59 AM
Jan B. said...
As a classmate, Dr. Liz, I expected the woven muslin and understood the reasoning behind it. However, I agree about it being a long drawn-out process. I feel too much time passed between a student submitting questions and receiving a response. Then, perhaps the entire question submitted wasn't answered. I wondered if there were simply too many students for the time allotted to the course. It was difficult to keep track of the queries and responses to see if the information applied to one's own problems so that a solution could be gleaned that way. I still have not resolved the muslin and therefore my fitting problems--which was the reason I took the class. Shannon's a wonderfully patient teacher, but my hand's going to sleep from being raised in the air.
3/28/08 1:27 AM
Merlot said...
good critical review
4/28/09 5:21 PM

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