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Class Reviews > Pick A Project (Fabric Place at Framingham)

Massachusetts, UNITED STATES
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Posted by: CMitchell
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About CMitchell
MA USA
Member since: 3/27/04
Reviews written: 3
Sewing skills:Beginner
classes reviewed: 2
Bio: more...
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Posted on: 4/21/05 3:07 PM
Rating: starstarstar
Review Rating: Very Helpful by 3 people   
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Information from the class website:

Price: $96.00

Linda Turcotte

Do you know how to sew but feel you could use some guidance with more advanced fitting or sewing techniques? Come to our sewing class with a current project (or start a new garment) and receive individualized instruction on how to achieve a professional look.

* Date: Saturday 5/21
* Time: 10:30am - 1:00pm
* Frequency: Weekly
* Sessions: 8 sessions
* Skill Level: Intermediate

MY REVIEW:
Like most sewers, I learned to sew from reading books and postings on websites like PatternReview. Since I didn't go through a formal, structured program, I have many questions about all stages of pattern alteration and garment construction. This was the perfect class for me and fellow advanced beginners and intermediate level sewers. It let me sew at my own pace, which meant that I sew as much as I could at home and bring in problem spots for Linda (the instructor) to look at each week. I got lots of individualized instructions from a very experienced sewer and excellent teacher; Linda Turcotte has been teaching at Fabric Place for a long time (from the early 80s, I think).

My class started with about 10 people but ended up with around 6 people. Regardless of the number of people in my class, I almost felt that it was a private one-on-one class because Linda was so good at going around the class and helping whomever needs her help. (She was also very responsive and helpful during the week by email.) Everyone tackled at least 2 to 3 projects during the 8-week course. I started with a lined pants suit, then a wrap dress, then I got help on random tricky topics such as identifying fabric content, matching plaids, hemming, sewing knit, picking right interfacing for tailored jackets ...etc.

In the class, I got measured properly and learned to fit different parts of my problem areas: long torso, short legs, no butt (no fullness but yes hip), narrow, forward shoulder, crotch area, muscular calves...to name a few. I also learned from watching Linda teaching others. Since everyone was working on different types of projects, Linda sometimes would let people know if she was about to cover an important topic that others might be interested in learning. For example, she taught us how to ease the sleeve cap into the armhole and how to make fabric covered buttons.

After many muslin fitting, I took away from the class a new appreciation for interpreting wrinkles (e.g. smiles and frowns) and how one might solve fitting problems. Granted, I have only seen the tip of the iceberg and have a lot more to learn, but at least I know not to cut the pattern according to the measurements presented at the back of the envelope and expect everything to fit just like that.

Linda was an excellent instructor in that she diagnosed problems, gave me some possible fixes, and guideed me through the process. She’s very easy going and fun to learn from. She's more of a "show you" type of instructor rather than a textbook instructor. At first I was hoping for more exact instructions such as "raise the bust dart by measuring X and moving Y above by Z." I didn't like being told "just eyeball it" because I couldn't see how things fit on myself very well. Eventually, after her many clear explanations, I began to appreciate the fine art of fitting. (It's much more like molding than I realized. Hence I think I should go build myself a body double to make my alterations more precise and easy.)

I would highly recommend this class to people (and other classes she teaches at Framingham’s Fabric Place – my classmates highly recommended her other classes). If you are looking for a class where an expert takes you from A to Z, this is the class for you. At $12/class (2.5 hours), I consider this a bargain. The only negative thing I have to say about this class is that it’s held at Fabric Place, where I had a hard time not buying something every week after my class. (Fabric Place is more expensive compare to other stores, so I wish I had more self control…)

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4 Comments
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Liana said...
This sounds like a wonderful class series that any sewer could benefit from. Wish she was in my area!
4/21/05 11:40 PM
Georgene said...
Heheh, they are not dumb over there at the Fabric Place! They are hoping you will be tempted each week! That said, sounds like you found an excellent instructor. Several of your comments made me want to say 'Hallelujah', and 'Yes, Lord'. You got some excellent insight, keep up the good work.
4/22/05 0:35 AM
AnneM said...
This sounds like a great class, very useful! Funny on the dangers of the class location.
4/22/05 6:54 AM
Reedy said...
This sounds a lot like the class I am taking through LSU, except it is not self-paced. A good teacher makes all the difference in the world!
4/22/05 8:22 AM
 
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