I marched in with my pencils, pins, and enthusiasm, and plonked down for the first of five three-hour sessions.
Our teacher turned out to be a softly-spoken, rather serious fashion industry type. He gave us a slim volume of photocopies from what we were told is the standard text for patternmaking students, Metric Pattern Cutting by Winifred Aldrich and instructed us to take measurements. Note he didn’t instruct us how to take measurments, just to refer to the handout and do them – while explaining that measuring is an art in itself. Add this to the awkwardness of needing to ask classmates for help (trying to measure yourself is difficult and often ends in trouble) and making complete strangers fumble about with measuring tape and bustlines. It was a little frustrating.
That done, we started drawing up our close-fitting bodice blocks following the standard instructions (see pages 14 – 15 here) – a pretty simple process with flashes back to year 7 geometry, except instead of protractors and compasses, we were using these:
By the end, I’d pretty much finished my first bash at the bodice block but it looked a bit screwy to me. I was keen to go home and test it out.