I took Ann's bra-making/fitting class back in 2006 and have been ordering fabric, etc., from her ever since. I noticed on her website that she teaches several additional classes on fitting at her store, so when I decided to give up on trying to fit myself by myself, I contacted her to see if she could work with me on an individual basis at her store to fit the patterns and how much it would cost. I'm happy to say, I can afford Ann! During the last week of March, I visited her and also attended her in-store Swimsuit workshop, which was all day on Saturday. This is a review of the class.
Requirements before class day:
Ann took my measurements and I picked out a swimsuit pattern, KS 2500, which is OOP, but another person on PR reviewed it previously and it was just too cute! It turns out that if any KS pattern is OOP, Ann has the original, so she was able to draft a pattern for me from the original. This required no assistance from me! Each person in the class gets to pick their own pattern.
1. Time frame: 9 am - 5 pm
When you arrive in the morning, you pick out the fabric for your suit. Ann has lots of lovely fabric for swimsuits, all priced quite low. Then she helps you select the right shape/size of swimsuit bra cup - did you know that there are many more shapes than just the standard cone-like one? I had no idea they came preformed in so many shapes! I'm not a cone shape, and we found one that was perfect for me!
Since we didn't all use the same pattern, a lot of the construction steps were different, but sewing the cups in was the same. Ann was able to help us and we all got done by 4:30 pm (started at 9 am). We tried on our final suits, and mine fit perfectly except that the underarm needed to be reshaped (it came up too high) and the elastic around the top and to the straps was tight. Ann corrected my pattern for me, and I didn't get to fix it there, but know what to do. It came out really cute! (I used hot pink for the bandeau part and deep purple for the rest.)
Take home with you:
1. Ann's instruction sheet for sewing swimsuits (regardless of style)
2. Your fitted swimsuit pattern
3. Completed swimsuit
4. Enough leftover swimsuit material and lining to make a second swimsuit (due to the width cut)
I highly recommend this class, and I finally have a swimsuit I love that fits me correctly in the bust. Usually, there is way too much extra foam for the bust area, etc. Ugh - those feel awful on. Ann is a real pro at figuring out how much negative ease to subtract for swimsuits based on your measurements and the material you select. There are parts of the construction that would have been difficult to get right & understand if I didn't take the class with her. Again, since this class was at her store, the cost was very reasonable. (In fact, I think I've paid more than that for a single swimsuit before!)