|Anyone near Beaufort, SC might be interested in Pat Willcox's Art of Couture classes. This year they are divided into segments -- everyday wear, tailored, bridal/evening, re-designing garments into new, costumes, designing for others. Beware though: runway show concludes classes. Lights, video, music and judging with a reception afterwards - not for the faint of heart! JUST LIKE PROJECT RUNWAY!!!
Last year's class was very intense. Starts out with introduction to conceptualization. You make drawings of concept with written description. Then Pat takes you on a field trip to fabric stores (last year in Beaufort and Savannah) for purchase of fabric for project. Pat shows you how to take body measurements. You get a big sheet of tracing paper and lots of rulers and Pat shows you how to design a pattern for your project. Of course, if you can find a pattern close to your concept, she will show you how to motify. From there you learn the process: laying out fabric, cutting, darts, interfacings - the entire construction process. You learn from your own project as well as the projects of your classmates. Last year we partnerned up and learned to fit the projects to our partner. Pat was big on pressing techniques, especially the "blocking" process when the project was in the final stages. Finishing and embellishments applicable to your project are taught. Last year we had piping, mitered bindings, fabric flowers, ruching, covered buttons, chinese knot buttons from scratch... (i know i am forgetting some).
Last year during the last two weeks of the class, many of us were with Pat from about 9 am to 8 pm including time on Sat. and Sun. She was not stingy with her time. Some of the students were preparing to enter the fashion design program at Savannah School of Art and Design. They certainly got a thorough indoctrination into construction techniques!
I think the class was about $275.00 for 6 weeks. It was meant to be about 25 hours of instruction, We all got so caught up in the process we couldn't stay away. Some were absolute beginners. No one was what I would consider an advanced sewer. Pat had her hands full, believe me! We pulled it off though and our garments were expertly constructed.
Her classes start again today. 4 weeks for each segment for $375.00 (I think). She has industrial and regular sewing machines, sergers, irons, tables - all the equipment you need. You might want to bring your own alteratiion tool (seam ripper) 'cause Pat will ask you to do it again Jack, if you try to take short cuts!
Pat is in a shop on Port Republic Street in Beaufort. I think her section is called Pat Willcox Couture and Fiber Artist. Jennifer Kassing Bradley has her Coastal Art Supply in the same building along with a yarn artist. Anyway, it is across the street from the Beaufort Inn.
Well worth the experience!