Saturday, 14 June 2014

Pattern Cutting, Next Steps - The Fashion and Textile Museum

Whenever I visit Bermondsey, where the FTM is located, I always notice something new.  This time, it was the cast metal map of the area along with the PediBus, which just happened to be passing by.  It's an amazing contraption and enables several passengers to bike along the road together!

In this pattern cutting session, we learned how to make a torso block, developing a seam from the bodice through the waist.  We also covered Princess and style lines, along with collars, sleeves and skirts.  A lot of ground to cover in two days but we did it!  Michelle Lewis was our tutor again and she broke each topic down into several easy to follow processes that make you keen to learn more.

Michelle Lewis teaching
The torso block is the foundation for more fitted styles such as sheath dresses with straight skirts and pinafores.  It's a case of joining the bodice and straight skirt block, making sure they flow into each other, to make a continuous whole.

Making a Princess seam is involved but not as complicated as it first looks.  A procedure needs to be followed for the removal of bodice and waist darts into one continuous line.

We also learned how to make gathered and pleated sleeve heads.  We could make them flared, which would look good with chiffon styles.

The collars section of the course covered basic principles and Peter Pan styles along with the more complicated shirt style, which again was demystified by the step by step process.  We went on to learn how to make a folded front and placket for a blouse or shirt.

Lastly, we looked at skirts again, particularly skirts with a yoke, achieved through the removal of the darts and drawing a curved yoke line.  This allows for all kinds of styles such as pleats all round, or in the centre front for examples.  I actually got as far as cutting my skirt out of calico and sewing the front section.

Once again, things ended too soon for me ... so keen to learn even more!  I am hoping there will be some more sessions at the FTM - I will be there for definite!  


  1. They look really great. Lovely top and skirt designs.

  2. Thank you for sharing those lovely photos.. The trolley cars [is that what you call them? we do here.ha]
    anyway.. just gorgeous..
    I know you are having so much fun with these classes.. your skirt is looking good.
    happy sewing..

    1. It's a PediBus Judy! The classes are fun Judy - I'm down there again on Wednesday for a look at Couture dresses of the 50's.

    2. Diannne, how fun.. sure wish I lived nearby.. Would love to be doing those classes with you. Have fun.

  3. Oh dear Diane! This sounds so fun ... learn pattern making is always fun ... you can do and undo everything at your whim ...

    1. Hi Rosy, I'm so looking forward to putting all these new skills into practice!


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