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Class Reviews > Pants Fitting and Draping

Massachusetts, UNITED STATES
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Posted by: Ann B.
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About Ann B. star
Member since: 4/20/02
Reviews: 58 (classes: 4)
Skill level:Advanced Beginner
Favored by: 11 people
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Posted on: 5/23/04 6:01 PM
Rating: starstarstar
Review Rating: Very Helpful by 8 people   
Web site/URL: photo
This is a pants fitting and draping class taught by Martha Palazo at the Needlearts Institute in Stoneham MA. This is the sewing school owned by our own Colleen and Lisa. Martha is a guest instructor at the school. She teaches patternmaking and other sewing and visual fashion classes at several local colleges and institutes.
This woman is a dynamo. Take any fitting or drafting class you can get with her.

The class is held on 2 consecutive Sunday mornings. Beware and be ready. We are getting about a half a college class in this short time. In addition to a finished pants pattern we are given many hints, tips and tricks of the pattern designers trade in this class.

Day 1: Martha comes to class with several sizes of pre made pants patterns she drafted from the “Armstrong Book”, crafted on oak tag. She brought us trouser drafts. She mentioned that in her college classes that she uses a pant draft, a slimmer cut for her teen and twenty age students. We were seven adult women. In addition to every possible fitting line, at least the largest pattern she brought had grading lines. Another woman and I needed to grade up the largest pattern she brought. I feel we learned a little more with her mini-course on grading than the folks who fit into the traditional size range.

We broke up into groups of 2 to take a few basic pattern measurements. She really does not ask for many measurements, as she uses this information basically to get us started with the closest size. She wants us to have plenty of fabric in our mock-ups. We then broke up to trace and grade our pant patterns. She gave us advice on preparing our muslin for the “fitter” or muslin mock-up. Do not pre wash the muslin, clip the selvedges, and block and press the fabric.

We spent the remaining afternoon on zipper applications, each doing an invisible zip and watching a fly front done. We are to finish cutting out our little shorts mockups and finish our zippers for homework. Next Sunday afternoon we work on waistbands. These technically are two different, separate classes. I went home exhausted; Colleen went home and hosted a PR chat!

Homework: We are to finish our patterns, cut and mark our fitters and sew them together. We are to present them pressed and on a hanger for Martha’s inspection at the next class.

Day 2:

We look like a bridal party gathering in the parking lot holding our fitters on hangers. Martha gives a few minutes of talk, and has us change into our fitters. Most look quite good, but Martha gives us all very precise fine (or not so fine) tuning on our patterns. Most of us changed in and out of our fitters several times during the class. Martha has us fine tune one or two areas, then goes on to the next set of alterations.

We had a little joke that the person who used the most tape wins. I think that I did win. In addition to all the “typical” alterations we need to do from the thigh up, I had to make one from the knee down! I am a slow worker, so I actually did my pants pattern work through the next class, a class on waistbands. At that time Martha demonstrated how to make a typical waistband, custom drafted to your measurements, a petersham waistband drafted for you, and a (very very slick) faced waist.

My only request with this class is that it would be offered over 3 days than 2. Otherwise, it was terrific. Martha is very experienced in both sewing and teaching, so we really did get the best of both worlds. I had a ball, and would tell anyone who wanted a whirlwind pattern fitting class to sign up early. Because of the great amount of one on one interaction with the instructor, the class size must be kept small.

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MarilynB said... (9/19/07 3:11 PM) Reply
Shadheen, this review is about a fitting class. There was no commercial pattern used, rather the pattern was drafted by the instructor. The review is meant to give a general idea about this class, not detailed instructions as to how to fit pants.
shadheen said... (9/19/07 0:51 AM) Reply
its fine but would be better if we can get more info on pattern. we could learn somthing!!!!!!!!!!!!
victoriaj said... (6/3/04 11:29 AM) Reply
I took Martha's class at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education. I thought it was fabulous and would recommend it to anyone. There were people with various levels of sewing abilities, but the focus was more on the techniques of pattern fitting. I have already made 2 pairs from my custom pattern!
AnneM said... (5/24/04 7:20 AM) Reply
That sounds great! I will have to look up where Stoneham is; this sounds worth the trip. I am also slow at these things, so I bet I would prefer a 3-day version.
PVA said... (5/23/04 11:36 PM) Reply
Thank you, Ann for a very detailed review. This sounds like a very worthwhile class. I actually did do a pants fitting workshop with Peggy Sagers last November, came out of it with a very well-fitted sloper, and have been making pants like mad ever since. I certainly would love to do her week-long workshop when you come out with a jacket and skirt pattern! Thanks again, great review!
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