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Class Reviews > "Pattern Fitting Class"

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Posted by: Jackie M

About Jackie M starstarstar
Member since: 2/21/03
Reviews: 71 (classes: 1)
Skill level:Intermediate
Favored by: 51 people
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Posted on: 9/24/03 11:34 AM
Rating: starstar
Review Rating: Very Helpful by 15 people   
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This was a class advertised through my Hancock Fabrics mailer. It's offered by Design to Fit, and uses Lutterloh pattern making/adjusting materials. The cost was only $5, lasted 2.5 hours, and I came away with a free 3-hour video, 6 free patterns and some good lessons.

For $5, I expected the class to be a big sales pitch, and it was. BUT, it was also filled with useful tips and an ingenous pattern-making methodology. The Lutterloh system is based on mini patterns -- only about 2 inches high. You take your bust and hip measurements, which correspond to numbers on a special measuring tape. Then you push a pin into your measurement on the tape, push the pin and tape into the crosshairs of one of the mini patterns (which should be taped to a board underneath a sheet of vellum or other see-through tracing paper), then rotate the tape, marking dots on the vellum that correspond to lines on the mini pattern. Connect the dots using a ruler and a special dressmaking curve -- which is different than a French curve -- and you've got your pattern. Sounds confusing, but it seems to work pretty well.

The course also covers determing where darts should begin and end, what kind of dart to use, and how to move darts on a pattern. The instructor also showed us how and where to shorten a pattern, how to measure our bust and hips, and how to paper-fit a pattern once we got it made.

He also demonstrated the Bonfit slacks pattern maker, and discussed the uses of a roller foot and walking foot. THe instructor talked about how certain pattern pieces should be longer than others -- for example, the sleeve cap should measure no more than 1/4 inch longer than the armhole, and the back of a shirt should always be slightly longer than the front. Then he showed you how to get your sleeve cap the right length before stitching. One of the pamphlets handed out at the class demonstrated short cuts to use when sewing in sleeves and collars and crotch seams. Basically, Design to Fit recommends working with your machine -- letting the feed dogs to the easing when stitching a back shoulder to a front shoulder or a collar to a neckline, and using the walking foot when stitching same-length seams (such as center front of a blouse) to prevent the feed dogs from easing in your bottom fabric. According to the instructor, once you learn how to do this, you don't need to pin anything anymore. I kind of believe him, because this is how the clothing industry sews its clothing -- no pinning, and all fabric is prepared and cut before you even begin sewing.

Of course, Design to Fit wants you to believe that you can't do anything you learned in the class without several hundered dollars worth of their tools and books. The main book contains something like 250 mini patterns that you can mix and match as you please -- definitely a good buy if you sew for hours each day and make most of your own clothes. The tools that intrigued me and that I bought were the dressmaker's curve and the tailor's curve. I'm hoping to be able to use these tools to adjust many of the patterns I have at home.

The class also pushed you to buy the Olfa cutter and mat system, which I know is a great system, I'm just not ready to spend $150 on that yet. Rotary cutters scare the crap out of me. I just know I'll slice off a finger.

So, if you get a chance to attend this class, spend the $5 and learn a lot. Be prepared to be sold to, but don't feel pressured to buy. Of course, there are differences in the prices of everything depending if you buy it right there in class or mail order it. I checked Design to Fit's Web site and guess what? Their online prices are the same as the class prices. So if you want to think it over before you buy anything, and don't mind paying shipping fees, you can get the same stuff offered in the class at the same prices, without the pressure of a salesman. That's what I did: slipped out right after the class was over, thought about what I wanted, then ordered the curves online.

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CayeShoals.etsy said... (3/30/09 2:52 PM) Reply
I attended this class at Hancock's this weekend (3/28/09) and was pleased, though not thoroughly impressed. I knew it was a sales pitch going in, and had plans to purchase if I so chose. I bought the curves and the guage, however, I decided to research the system at home and was glad I did. The price of the system was significantly less on the site, though with S&H it may just be a difference of a couple of dollars. Some of the tools were unavailable on site. After researching, reading reviews, and learning of other systems (Sunburst by Helen Lemay) I have not yet purchased anything, but still have plans to do so. These systems seem to work for the majority of garments, so its an investment if you are serious.
Cheryl G said... (7/25/08 6:18 PM) Reply
I am hunting for this pattern system. does anyone know where I can find it?
MelissaB in WA said... (3/22/07 6:52 PM) Reply
So glad to see this review posted! I just got an insert in my Hancock flyer today - it sound like it would be worth the $5 to attend. I appreciate the thorough review Jackie! :-)
AngieC said... (2/12/07 0:38 AM) Reply
Thanks for sharing your review here on Pattern Review! I just got this flyer (I have seen it before) and wondered if any of it was worthwhile? It sounds like you can get some tips out of it for your $5 bucks that could be shortcuts. Have any of you used this system after all this time?
AngieC said... (2/12/07 0:37 AM) Reply
Thanks for sharing your review here on Pattern Review! I just got this flyer (I have seen it before) and wondered if any of it was worthwhile? It sounds like you can get some tips out of it for your $5 bucks that could be shortcuts. Have any of you used this system after all this time?
christine A said... (1/14/06 8:38 AM) Reply
Thanks for this review. My local ASG chapter was mailed a bunch of these dvd's for the Luterloh system so I was able to view this class at home without the pressure of sales. Yes, it does promote their tools and pattern system, but it was also very instructive. The dvd came with 6 free patterns which I hope to try before I decide to purchase anything else. Jackie, have you used your system since your purchase in 2003?
The Critic said... (10/8/05 9:09 AM) Reply
I just took the Sunburst Pattern Method with Helen LeMay. Sounds somewhat similar to everything you said, except Helen LeMay provided enough handouts and information along with one free pattern... you could actually use her method without spending a dime. Greatly appreciate your review. With LeMay's class - There was also no pressure to buy, but huge temptation.
plouise said... (7/18/04 11:37 AM) Reply
Jackie, you are one smart gal--I attended, and got caught up in the hoopla, and bought the pattern system. Used it once or twice, but it is a paint to draft every pattern! But you are right, the info. provided in the class is very good! thanks for the review!
Jacelyn said... (11/23/03 9:01 PM) Reply
I attended this class this weekend. I do not feel it was all a sales pitch... thos of course, it was in a way. I did get more than my money's worth, did not feel pressured at all to purchase anything. I did purchase the system of patterns and the supplement for men. I am looking forward to trying it out, as I am always so frustrated with commercial patterns that I make, and then the clothing article does not fit me correctly! It is not so hard to fit others, but it is hard for me to fit me. I am looking forward to it.
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