Fall Wardrobe e-course

Four-Piece Wardrobe: Four Great Garments, Unlimited Possibility!

Sewing with patterns can seem intimidating, but once you learn to use the pieces properly, your whole world of sewing opens up!  The newest styles, vintage details, and the ability to customize your every article of clothing are all just a stitch away when you have the universe of ready-made patterns at your fingertips.  This e-course covers the basics of sewing with patterns, and goes all the way through tips and techniques to help you see when to follow the instructions and when to toss them out the window and do it your own way.

Designed for advanced beginners through experienced stitchers, we won’t be covering the basics of how to thread your machine or wind a bobbin here–but we will be covering how to successfully sew with a commercial sewing pattern, from the ground up.  Beginning with seeing the pattern selection on the market today, through choosing your size and preparing the pattern tissue, pinning and cutting, then assembly and varying construction techniques, this course is intended to build your confidence and comfort when working with patterns so that you can grow your sewing!

Over the five weeks of the class, we’ll cover:

  • the various brands of pattern out on the market today, from the Big Four through the lesser-knowns, plus independent pre-printed patterns and online, downloadable PDFs
  • how to select the proper size from the pattern envelope–it might not be the way you think!
  • the best way to prepare your pattern for sewing, depending on how it’s made
  • pinning and cutting techniques that will make a world of difference to your final results
  • deciphering the symbols pattern companies use, and unlocking the universal language of sewing patterns
  • understanding why the instructions are ordered the way they are, and how to follow them accurately
  • determining the difference between home-sewn, ready-to-wear and couture construction techniques so you’ll know when to follow the instructions and when to go your own way
  • bits and pieces of wisdom along the way, like when to use your serger (and when not to), how adding a lining changes a garment, references to help you adjust pattern fit as you go, and plenty more!

Salivating yet?  Just wait til you see the fantastic patterns we’ll be using as the basis for all that there learning!  I’ve worked to balance various pattern styles and manufacturers so you get a real cross-section of what’s on the market today, and can better understand how much variety you have available.  Seeing different pattern brands will also allow you to figure out which ones might work best for your figure!  We’re making a skirt, a dress, a blouse, and a jacket–a complete wardrobe in just five weeks!

Patterns include:

The Proper Attire skirt from Anna Maria Horner has two sweet variations, and is a universally flattering shape that’s perfectly on-trend for ladies all over.  Make it in twill, denim, velveteen, home dec weights or maybe leather–and you’ve got a classic skirt you can wear from office to office party, from carpool to car date.  Option A has a wide yoke cut on the bias, and Option B has a sweet sailor flair with piping trim.


McCall’s 6741 is a lined dress with fitted-and-flared shaping, flattering for nearly any body shape.  You’ll choose sleeveless (which can be worn under a sweater or over a fitted tee in the cooler months) or a cap sleeve variation, and we’ll walk through putting in chic slash pockets on the princess seams.  Try it in shimmery fabrics for formals, or in nubby fabrics for cool weather, or in clean solids for a classy look that goes everywhere with everything.  Easy to put under the jacket (below), you can wear it to pick the kids up from school and be the snazziest mom in the carpool lane.

The Sorbetto Top from Collette patterns is a style in high demand: simple construction with classic styling make it perfect to wear with pants, skirts, capris, to the beach, to cocktails, to Target, or just around the house.  I love a pretty style that goes anywhere, and have found that the prettier I feel the more I get accomplished each day–even if it’s just tidying the playroom.  Having a quick pattern that I can sew up with great results makes it easier to throw on something that makes my work fly by, and a classic shell like this goes under sweaters and jackets for close to year-round wear!  Working with bias tape, fit adjustments and hemming techniques make this a great place to begin if you’re just starting to work with patterns, or if you haven’t used a downloadable PDF design previously.

If you already love Oliver + S for kids’ clothing, then you’re sure to love the Lisette patterns from O + S founder, Liesl Gibson.  We’re making the Passport Jacket, a city-friendly unlined jacket with a go-anywhere-do-anything relaxed attitude.  I love the stand collar and the front wrap design, and the shape makes this perfect to pair with the blouse or the dress, above.  Put it with some fancy pants, and you’re ready to see the in-laws and say, “Thanks!  I made it myself.”  This jacket looks great in any bottom-weight fabric, and I’m giving it a spin in some lightweight wools to add texture and flair to my fall.

There’s something so appealing about the chance to build staples into your closet–you’ll find enormous freedom once you’ve tackled the core skills of reading patterns and getting them to work FOR you.  The techniques we’ll cover in this course are universally applicable, too, so once you’re done with these four, you’ll have the chops to check out almost anything in that pattern book and know that with a little focus and elbow grease, it can be yours.

This course gets two spools out of four for difficulty, and is suited for advanced beginners and up, including intermediate/advanced stitchers.  If you have any questions about whether this is the right course for you, don’t hesitate to email me by writing deborah (at) whipstitchfabrics (dot) com!

The Fall Wardrobe e-course begins Monday, August 5, 2013 and meets weekdays through September 6, 2013–five weeks of instruction in all.  Content is live and accessible through early November 2013, giving you three months to work at your own pace and learn to make sewing patterns work for you!  Registration fee of $89 includes five weeks of lessons, delivered online via video, audio, chat, PDF downloads and blog post, plus community and personal guidance, motivation and the thrill of knowing you can do it!   (Please note: patterns not included in registration.)



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