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Class Reviews > Palmer/Pletsch Fit For Real People

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Posted by: Learn To Sew
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Member since: 4/12/05
Reviews: 36 (classes: 3)
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Skill level:Advanced Beginner
Favored by: 8 people
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Posted on: 11/2/08 0:20 AM
Last Updated: 3/1/09 11:18 PM
Rating: starstarstar
Review Rating: Helpful by 1 people   Very Helpful by 18 people   
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Fit For Real People is a very informative hands-on 4 week class where we learned how to tissue fit 2 patterns to our bodies. The classes are in Portland, Oregon. I live about an hour away, so I could easily take the classes. I�ve wanted to take these classes for 2 years and my time finally came. I was so thrilled with the experience.

I took the 3 hour morning classes for 4 weeks. I had a total of 12 hours of class time and usually stayed for 30 minutes after, just to watch others and get help if I needed it. You will be amazed what you learn by watching someone else do the same alterations you have to do. There were 7 of us in the classes. We will learn to correctly tissue fit ourselves as best we can. I have to admit I find it hard to tissue fit my back, even with mirrors. I will get better after each pattern I do.

In our first class we learned about how patterns are made and how they have changed over the years. While this was interesting, I suspect what all of us really wanted was to try on the gingham bodice shells and see what we would have to learn! We are all different in how a pattern must be altered to fit us. Marta measured 5 people before it was my turn. She took my upper bust measurement. Snug, but not as tight as I would have though it would have been. I was a 16 DD. She then measured my hips for skirts. For now, I want to work on blouses and tops. What I learned about my alterations surprised me. I am long waisted. I always thought I was short waisted. I do not have a forward shoulder. Surprisingly, most of us did not.

The one thing I had a hard time understanding is I do not have the broad back I thought I did. Mine is round instead. The fitting shell fit well over the shoulder blades and in the CB. It did not come out far enough at the rear shoulder. It seems I have a broad rear shoulder�but not a broad front one. The rear shoulder needs 5/8 inch more fabric and the front one needs that 5/8 removed. It did not occur to me that the front and the back of my shoulders would be different. Every one of us had to learn the upper round back alteration. I knew I would need an Full Bust Adjustment, but not one that is 2.5 to 3 inches. And I need to learn to do the Y type on top of it. The sides fit pretty well, so I would not have to add to the sides much, as the FBA would take care of that for me. By the time the first class was over, I was confused. So were others in the class. This is normal.

In week 2, we were to have our pattern chosen, cut on our size, with the seam allowances marked. We also taped the neck and armholes. We clipped the neck and armholes, just like you do in the book. I chose McCall�s 5630 as my pattern�and so did 4 others. I chose view B.
I am so glad I choose a Palmer/Pletsch pattern for my first attempt. All those alteration lines really helped.

It was fun modeling our unaltered patterns and having others notice where we needed to alter. I just wished I could see what the others were seeing on my back. I did see the same thing on someone else, so that helped some. As we did this, Marta told us she would show us how to do an alteration on each of our patterns. On me, she did the Y-FBA. This is more involved and harder for me to learn, but I will understand it after I have done it several times. She also showed us how to add to the back shoulder on those of us who do not have a broad back but a broad rear shoulder. Both were done on my pattern pieces. On others, she lengthened, or shortened, or added to the sides. On all the McCall�s 5630 sleeve patterns had to have an inch or more added to the sleeve. The pattern is narrow, it seems. She showed us how to do the round back. This seems like it is over the shoulder blades. Some of us need more length in that spot. I did not have a sway back on the McCall�s pattern, but I did have a small one on the KS pattern I chose to work on at home.

In class 3, we were to bring in a Princess style blouse, top or dress if we wanted to try one. Only a couple of women tried them. Most of us wanted to really understand what we had learned in class 2 and not get confused. The women who had their princess patterns ready got to learn a lot that day. We stood around a cutting table and watched Marta teach us how to alter for princess. It is quite a lot of work. There were at least 9 cutting lines to adjust and maybe more than that. This took well over an hour to do all this. When she was done, it was amazing to look at the pattern on the woman and you could just imagine it in fabric. It was going to be really good! I had traced Kwik Sew 2952 at home and brought it too. She had me learn the Y-FBA on it. I got some of it right. I still need to work on this pattern at home to have it ready for fabric. I wanted to see what I had learned, so I tried one of my own.

In our 4th and final class, we were to bring our altered pattern cut in fabric. We tried the fabric on and Marta pin fit them as we wore them. I goofed and had mine right sides out, but she pin fit me anyway. Now I get the fun job of changing the pins to the wrong side, and not messing up the fit. After each of us was pin fit, we went back to our tables and made changes on the altered patterns with the pins still in the fabric. I had Marta fit my sleeve to my arm. I have never done long sleeves and a tailored shirt with cuffs is much harder than a simple short sleeve top.

I loved the classes and look forward to taking the Fit Review when I can. This is an ongoing class once a month. After I have worked more on my blouse, I will want to attend. For right now, I want to sew the blouse and see how it comes out.

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Learn To Sew said... (3/1/09 11:20 PM) Reply
I changed the FBA to Full Bust Adjustment. I simply did not think about using the shorter term. I remember a time, not so long ago, that I did not know what that meant. It means I have to alter the pattern of a B cup for a DD+ bustine and learn to fit the pattern to my body.
Tempest61 said... (2/28/09 11:20 PM) Reply
Not sure what a FBA is. If there are readers new to sewing then maybe the full term could be used with the abbreviation in brackets
Tempest61 said... (2/28/09 11:19 PM) Reply
Not sure what a FBA is.
cindy-lou said... (1/12/09 3:30 PM) Reply
GREAT review! Thanks so much. I'm very interested in learning more about the P/P methods of fitting and of teaching.
Mufffet said... (1/6/09 12:09 PM) Reply
How did I miss your review in November? I was away, but anyway now I see it, and thanks - it is terrific. I got the book for Christmas and it is just great. I had no idea it was such a comprehensive book. I will probably never get near one of the classes because of location, but the book is sooo great. How lucky you got to take this class! And your review is excellent and full of good detail! m:)
Pati Palmer said... (11/13/08 3:18 PM) Reply
Hi, Nice to hear good things about my co-author Marta Alto. We just finished a 4-day fit workshop with every person needing a full-bust adjustmen and hardly anyone needing a forward shoulder adjustment which is very common. I wonder if there is a relationship!!! Pati
Annette1 said... (11/12/08 4:47 PM) Reply
What a GREAT review! It sounds like you learned many, many useful techniques in this class: time well spent!
Learn To Sew said... (11/9/08 9:12 PM) Reply
I really did enjoy the classes. If any of you can take them, it is well worth the drive. We had a lady from Salem drive up. She had over an hours drive to get to class. She said it was important for her to learn what she had been doing wrong all these years. She made the blouse up in week 3 and wore it week 4. It was lovely. I have not worked on mine yet. I have another project to finish before I continue working on my blouse. My reason for attending the classes was I wanted to learn as soon as I could what adjustments I needed and what I was doing wrong. I thought it was best to learn early in my sewing life and not wait.
Honeyface said... (11/9/08 5:29 PM) Reply
Thanks for this review. I live in Eugene and have been wondering if it would be worth the drive...sounds like it would be awesome!
Jennifer shaw said... (11/9/08 1:38 AM) Reply
Learn to sew, thank you so much for writing up a review for this class. I hope to do this soon.
Rosebeee said... (11/7/08 12:55 PM) Reply
Wow! Sounds like you really got a lot out of that class!! Someday, I want to go to that class, too - I didn't know they had a morning class, I could actually take that one (I live a little over an hour and a half south of Portland)! And only $100? (plus gas, of course)... VERY tempting - especially with your great review of the class! I'll have to put this class on my list of things to do someday (like when my husband is no longer a student & working full-time)! Great review!!
KathleenNW said... (11/6/08 7:04 PM) Reply
I've taken the 4 day workshop and found it to be a great experience. Pati and Marta are the best! Thank you for the great review, and how lucky you are to live so close!
Dmd4106 said... (11/5/08 11:39 PM) Reply
Seems like you got your monies worth. Glad to see that it was informative and you enjoyed it. I wish I wasn't so far away. Great Review
nancy2001 said... (11/4/08 2:08 PM) Reply
Sounds like a great class. How wonderful to one on one instruction from Marta Alto. Thanks for your very helpful review.
MelissaB in WA said... (11/3/08 2:11 PM) Reply
Great review of the class. That is on my "to-do" list (write a review that is). I just got done taking the class too, only I was in the evening class! Small world. :-) I also just took the pants fitting class with Tricia Crockett over the weekend and it was fabulous, I highly recommend it.
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