At Sew Expo this year, Jan taught her "Smoothie Panties" class and I was lucky to attend.
At first, I wasn't sure that I'd really learn much. "It's just sewing elastic on knits. I've done that on many skirts, and stuff. Oh, maybe I'll just try it and see." I thought. And boy oh boy did I ever learn. I learned ways to put elastic in that will be useful in so many other garments. Not to mention, if I'd been a little faster, I'd have walked out of class with a new pair of panties. Yay! But, I was taking my time, learning, and being careful.
The Nightie Class
- the pique knit fabric (Thank you Jan!),
- the length (just below mid-thigh)
- the style (Knit with a wee bit of lace is divine. Give me stretch fabrics any day!)
- Widen the straps (not fond of spaghetti straps - they seem too delicate and I tend to be a bit rough on my clothes)
- shorten the straps and bring them in or even crisscross them (they fell off all night)
I will definitely be making more of this pattern, and especially a few camisoles. I really want to try a thin polar fleece or an activewear wool in the cami for winter. Yum and Warm!
The Dress Form Workshop
Why do I love this dress form so? You should know that I have attempted my double at least 2 or 3 other times, plus I've had many a feeble self-attempt at tissue or final fittings on my person. For me, none have worked or helped the sea of warehouse 13 lights turn on in my vast mind more than this "flour and water glue on brown paper" as Jan's mom & auntie called it.
- I've made the duct tape double - was literally stuck in it for 5 hours and had to wee like the dickins. Not fun.
- I've tried the saran wrap which works great, but I always need someone to make new ones and there's no chance of draping.
- I've fitted myself on myself and taken workshops on it. To quote John Hurt as Olivander when Harry tries the wrong wand, "No! Nope! Definitely not."
The real beauty of the paper tape dress form is:
- You can pin into it
- Jan selects high quality paper tape for her kits and provides a book
- You can drape on it - which means you can try a top on and fit yourself.
- You can see fitting issues that you'd never know when wearing a garment.
- You can see where your actual bust point needs to be and how big a bust dart or other darts you need
- You can play with dart placement - pin, release, pin, release - until you find the look that best suits your taste.
- You can make custom draped patterns with any fabric and most of your wearing ease is already included.
As soon as I got home, I tried on my Perfect T-shirt from Pamela's Patterns that I'd been fussing with for weeks and never hitting the right drape without drag lines. OH. MY. GOD. STOP THE DAMN PRESSES. I made it fit. I mean really fit. For the first time in my more than 25 years of sewing I had a shirt that had NO DRAG LINES. And, I had 2 different methods of fitting in a knit - one with a back dart from bust to waist, one without. I haven't yet modified the pattern, but I now have 10 million times the confidence that I will achieve a perfect Gwen-fit. Now, instead of dragging my feet to sew, I can't wait to get to my machine. I'm pulllin out patterns and am digging into my stash. Hooray, use the stash. Enjoy the chic clothing. Thank you, Jan. You have given me a priceless gift. Thank you.