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PatternReview Blog > Moulage Workshop Update, Nov. 5-7, 2010
Moulage Workshop Update, Nov. 5-7, 2010 By DianeSev on 11/9/10 4:01 PM

November 5 through 7, 2010 was a big weekend for PatternReview members. We held our very first PR workshop at the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, Mass. And how exciting it was that our very first workshop was the Moulage with the wonderful Kenneth D. King!

It was an overcast morning when the workshop members arrived at the spacious and intriguing American Textile History Museum. And they traveled from all over! The travelers came to Massachusetts from the far reaches of the U.S. (loti from Florida and Kate48 from Washington State). We had some other East Coast travelers (like GinaRae from Tennessee and Pam in Virginia). Other workshop members came from the Northeast (MA, NH, ME, CT, RI, and NY) But the one who traveled farthest was SaSa250, who came all the way from London, England! Talking about hometowns made for interesting conversation before the workshop started.

Members also took in their first glimpses of the Betsy Bloomingdale exhibit currently on display in the ATHM's galleries. What a fantastic collection of haute couture! "Organized by the FIDM Museum & Galleries at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles, the exhibition examines the world of haute couture through 41 ensembles donated to the FIDM Museum by Betsy Bloomingdale, wife of department store heir and Diners Club credit card founder Alfred Bloomingdale, over the course of four decades," according to the ATHM website. The exhibit includes pieces by Givenchy, Dior, Oscar de la Renta, Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld, and other fashion luminaries. What an inspiration! During the weekend the group got a closer look at the collection, but more on this later...

Deepika and ATHM Director of Interpretation Diane Fagan-Affleck welcomed workshop participants, and then it was time for Master Instructor Kenneth D. King to lead the class through the mysteries of creating a personal moulage. Kenneth started off with an explanation of the origins of the moulage system and told an amusing anecdote about Coco Chanel. (You'll have to take the workshop to hear it!)

The first step in the process is taking measurements. The class worked in pairs, using elastic and chains to find their personal measurements, and followed Kenneth's instructions on measuring points on the body. Once everyone had gathered measurements, it was time to apply the system, which Kenneth demonstrated.

The class broke for a delicious catered lunch in the ATHM cafe (lunch was catered all three days) and talked about the class, the exhibit and, of course, what they were sewing at the moment. Then back to the classroom, where everyone worked steadily 'til 5 o'clock and were greeted by sunshine! PR members who were staying in Lowell got together to sample the local cuisine and discuss the day's events.

Early arrivals at the class on Day 2 perused the exhibits in a private showing (the museum didn't open for two more hours), and there was plenty to see! Director Diane was on hand to answer any exhibit questions. The ATHM documents the history of American textiles, supported by lots of great exhibits. You can actually touch samples of different kinds of silks, cottons, wools, and other fabric. On that day, the class was sewing their moulages, so the room was filled with an array of sewing machines. Nurse Jane and loti had a fun conversation about Featherweight sewing machines, which they love! And textura talked about the super-fancy quilting machine that she wants to part with now that she has moved on to garment sewing.

Kenneth started off with a focus on the day ahead, and the class set off to create their moulage pieces in fabric. Kenneth moved around the class to give individual instruction and help students through the process. As the day progressed, students finished their moulages, and a wonderful thing happened. As each one tried on her moulage piece and she found that it absolutely, totally fit, she smiled a big smile and the class said, "Wow!" The system really, really works! Yay! There were a few tweaks here and there (Kenneth worked with each student individually to make any adjustments), but everyone was really happy with the results. Success!

In between consultations, people compared notes on garments. Of course, the first thing you need to ask PR members is, "Did you make that?" Loreen was wearing a fabulous leather jacket that she had made. And jheralinn wore a very cute top (of course, she made it). And jorgel modeled a gorgeous purple wool vest wet-felted on silk. Metoosewsnh showed us her lovely beaded silk jacket that she had sewn for a challenge. And we talked about favorite colors (EleanorSews' fave is red; watch for it in her reviews!). And students bought copies of Cool Couture and PR's 1,000 Clever Sewing Shortcuts & Tips, autographed by Kenneth and Deepika, respectively.

The third day was sloper day! Students used their moulage measurements and added wear ease to create paper patterns suited especially for them. Kenneth talked about the differences in creating patterns for blouse & dress, jacket and overcoat. He pointed out that these patterns can be used as a basis for any style. Goodbye, Big 4, flashed through some students' minds! Students worked steadily throughout the day to produce their slopers. Midway through the afternoon was a raffle of two sets of 5 sewing books donated by Quayside Publishers, who publish 1,000 Clever Sewing Shortcuts & Tips. The lucky winners were Pam in Virginia and Zugerj.

Once everyone finished their slopers, the class had an exciting final experience. Director Diane prepared a number of study pieces from the Bloomingdale collection for students to touch and examine. What a thrill to actually touch a Dior gown! And what a great end to a great workshop!

Check out our photo album.

Discuss the Moulage Workshop.

17 Comments      Login to Add a Comment    
shaleenymay said... (12/29/10 11:21 PM) Reply
Those white shirts are cute! Was that workshop expensive? It looked interesting.
Nancy K said... (11/30/10 8:59 AM) Reply
It sounds wonderful. I do have a question though, why are some of the moulages longer than others?
tototo said... (11/21/10 6:25 AM) Reply
Would it be possible to record a session and make it available ? This way, all users could benefit from it. I would even pay to get access to that kind of material ;)
Amelia Airhead said... (11/16/10 9:59 PM) Reply
Wow, I am so sorry I missed this. I hope there's another one, I need the help.
Summerlea said... (11/16/10 1:41 PM) Reply
Amazing how through this whole article not a mention was made of What a Moulage Is! Seems to be a large oversight, since this seems written to sell future classes.
misemefein said... (11/16/10 8:16 AM) Reply
This workshop and museum visit looks wonderful on so many levels! Congratulations on a truly stimulating event! I join others who hope to attend a workshop like this in the future!
Chris Kelly said... (11/14/10 1:17 AM) Reply
I'm so jealous, Thank you Diane for posting pics and writing about the workshop. Hopefully I'll be able to attend the next one.
Michele Lommasson said... (11/12/10 6:22 PM) Reply
I am so very envious of those of you who were able to attend this wonderful event. How perfectly lovely it must have been.
sewfastseweasy said... (11/11/10 3:15 PM) Reply
Looks like great fun with our friend Kennith!
AuntieShel said... (11/11/10 10:54 AM) Reply
So sorry to have missed this, I know I would have loved it. Hopefully, there will be another.
moushka said... (11/10/10 6:24 PM) Reply
Yes, please have another one if Kenneth can fit it into his schedule over the next couple of years :)
EleanorSews said... (11/9/10 8:10 PM) Reply
Echoing the appreciation others have expressed to all who made this workshop possible. It was a huge success and the smiles that lit up faces as the muslins were zipped up were dazzling! For anyone who has not had a Kenneth King class, add it to your bucket list. He is outrageously entertaining while teaching in a way that empowers. And he was so generous with his time and expertise. The next one is when? (Gotta get it on my calendar ASAP) And any time there is a PR event and you can make it, do try. PR people are such good friends even before we've met face-to-face!
Sara in NY said... (11/9/10 4:45 PM) Reply
Thank you to Deepika, Kenneth, Diane and the ATHM for putting on such a great event. The experience was one that I will never forget. I'm looking forward to the next workshop!
Kat B. said... (11/9/10 4:39 PM) Reply
This was the most fun I have had in a long time! It was great meeting so many new friends that all sew! Can't wait to do it again. Thanks to all those involved in putting this together!
donna mel said... (11/9/10 4:22 PM) Reply
I should have taken the class! Great write-up and photos, Diane!
MorgenS said... (11/9/10 4:17 PM) Reply
Thanks for all your hard work in organizing this, Deepika! It was an amazing weekend, and I can't wait for Kenneth to come back for the next workshop!
Deepika said... (11/9/10 4:05 PM) Reply
What fun it was! Thanks to all those who attended. Watch out for the next workshop on the site!

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