This was a 3-day pre-conference workshop at Convergence 2008, the conference of the Handweavers Guild of America that is held every two years. I think most of the students were handweavers who wanted to learn how to fit sewing patterns. We could fit whatever pattern we wanted but Cynthia did give useful advice on whether the pattern’s style was suitable. Most people started with a jacket pattern but some students fit dresses and pants so we all got some idea of the specific issues in fitting different types of patterns.
Cynthia personally measured every student on the first day and having a complete set of measurements by a professional made the entire class worthwhile. Each person’s measurements took about half an hour so the other students spent the time prepping their patterns by marking the seam allowances. Then, using our own measurements, we adjusted the pattern step-by-step. Cynthia’s method is based on comparing the pattern’s measurements with your own measurements and making the necessary adjustments. We then sewed muslins from the altered patterns and Cynthia tweaked the fitting. Cynthia takes particular care to fit the back properly and, for the mock-ups that were completed, the results were outstanding.
Before this class, I had read various books that advise how to make adjustments for specific fitting issues such as narrow shoulders or a full bust and had tried some of these adjustments; often I fixed one problem only to create another problem. In this class I learned to check all my measurements against the pattern and make necessary adjustments in a systematic way. I am very pleased with my first efforts.
Cynthia is a generous teacher and gave us a lot of useful advice and tips (including sending some of us out to buy proper bras!). She can be frank and some people found this a bit disconcerting but I appreciated her no-nonsense attitude and thought her comments were very helpful. I highly recommend Cynthia’s fitting classes.