|I loved this class!! Kenneth King is a Great Teacher, available, quick to respond to questions, and his lessons were clear with good illustrations. He's great, and if there is any problem, he is so wanting to help. If an instructor online could be said to be warm and welcoming, that is Mr. King. He gave me his email address at the end of the class because I wasn't finished with my bustier and I had some difficulties fitting the thing (more below for why that was).
This was my first online class, and it has sold me on taking more, at least from Kenneth D. King! I took this class because I was interested in learning something I had no experience with, and I wanted to learn a little of couture methods, even if I never use them in the future. I had no knowledge or interest in bustiers before this, but after reading about the class, the technique intrigued me: can I make a strapless garment that I could wear to play volleyball and not risk flashing any part of me to the world?
Lessons were clear, posted quite early and in entirety, because he wanted people to get as far as they could before the first chat. I did not know that, so I didn't really look at anything until just before the start date. It would have been very helpful to have looked at it all and worked on the first bustier before the first chat.
You don't have to go with the included pattern, which could be made just as a practice piece, not necessarily to fit anyone. I think it was a size 6. The pattern you use should be a sleeveless, not-supported-from-the-top garment, one that stops at the waist/hip area or that has a skirt attached (a strapless dress). I chose a bustier pattern that had a back opening instead of a front closure, and that made fitting a Lot Harder because these are skin tight garments and getting in/out of a rear closing one by yourself is much more difficult than a front opening one. In retrospect, I'd use the pattern he provided to get the technique and fitting down, then use that knowledge to make the back opening one that I wanted to have.
He refers to his moulage CD book and the online moulage class that happened shortly before the bustier class. They aren't prerequisites, but knowing what a moulage is and how to make one would have made the diagram of how to draft a pattern much clearer. I did not take the moulage class (didn't know about it), and I did eventually end up ordering the CD book from him so that I can better understand how to fit my bustier, and everything else I want to fit.
The chats were really helpful for understanding what the necessary materials are, why he does the steps as he does, and what the history of this garment is. There are no dumb or too basic questions. His answers were clear and comprehensive, and he obviously wanted to be sure we had the questions we intended answered, even if we did not quite know how to ask them. We occasionally wandered off to tangential topics, but he always made sure we got back to bustiers and the creation of this specialized garment. He points out the the techniques needed to make a bustier work also work for high-waisted pants, so even if you won't ever wear a bustier, the construction techniques are worth the trouble to learn.
The class was well worth the time invested in both the class and the project, even if you won't ever wear a bustier. With current evening and special occasion styles that are closely fitted and strapless, it would be essential to know what he teaches. But if you want to build a supporting foundation into a garment (as a full-figured person, this greatly appealed to me) the principles are the same. He discusses high-waisted pants and the same supportive construction applies to them as well.
Conclusion: I am very happy I took the plunge to take Mr. King's bustier class. I would take any class of his now, even if it was not something I was interested in. He's that good a teacher. And now I know how to make a bustier!