I started my bodice block pattern cutting class at Raystitch yesterday. It was taught by the very lovely Alice who owns a bespoke clothing company nearby called Alice and Co. I would really recommend this course to anyone who gets put off by the mathematics of pattern cutting and drawing lines from point 1-2 etc.... This is how I did my skirt block and whilst it made total sense when someone took me through it this way was definitely a more fun and organic way of doing it. I call it a sort of freehand way of pattern cutting as it felt more fluid.
We basically took each other's measurements - why am I always much bigger than I think I am?! Then we chose a pattern size that was a close approximation but a little larger than our size from a basic block pattern, cut it out and sewed it up in calico. Then we obviously got the wine out as it's much easier to pattern cut with wine!!
The next part of the process was to make alterations on the bodice and sleeve with pins and pencil marks whilst we were wearing it until we felt comfortable with the fit - and I have to say I was amazed that the toiles were pretty accurate even at this first stage. We then transferred the pattern pieces on to dot and cross pattern paper and amended the sizing as went on to the paper. And voila a bodice block!! How easy!! We didn't even use rulers but just traced around them which meant it all took a lot less time than the other more 'correct' way of putting together a block. I think part of the difference is that Alice is self taught and at fashion antidote the teacher was a fashion graduate who was taught to do it commercially. It has been interesting trying it both ways.
The exciting thing is that there were only two of us in the class, weirdly both Sarah's!, and so it was a more of a one on one. We are a little ahead of ourselves so next week we will be shown simple manipulation and we are going to be bringing in pictures from magazines to make patterns from. I think I kind of like this top and want to try it out...it is from the film 'The Help' and I apologise for the bad quality images but I took them on my iphone from the tele! Its a simple top but I just love the colours and the shape of the cowl neck and of course the little ties on the shoulder are super cute. So excited about next week! Learning new techniques is so much fun!!