The workshop was primarily about pattern-making and fitting garments made from handwoven fabric. Several participants had woven yardage to be used in the workshop, and others chose to use purchased mill woven fabric that shared characteristics of handwoven cloth. Susan began with an overview, and brought several garments for students to try on and examine. Many garments were suitable for a wide range of sizes and shapes, and all were inspirational. Each student chose a style, and began by taking measurements and drafting a pattern, either from Susan’s book, or from a commercial pattern source. Susan rotated through the room, helping each student with her garment plan, and students were able to help each other, too. We initially cut the pattern from gridded interfacing, and used that to make fitting adjustments. In the photo on the right, Susan is explaining the fine points of fitting, and pinning Cathy’s pattern.
Once the patterns were cut and fitted, they were unpinned and used to cut the cloth into pieces for the garment. Susan and one of the participants provided sergers, so all the edges were serged in turn. We had a mini-lesson in how to use a serger, since many of us hadn’t used one before.
After serging, garments were pinned, adjusted, sewn, adjusted, adjusted, tweaked, and adjusted! Due to time constraints, not everyone finished, but everyone did finish fitting their pattern and cutting out their garment pieces; most had only minor finishing tasks left (hems, buttons, etc.). There were several lovely garments completed, and there are several more in the works! Susan was a gracious and patient teacher, and the participants all had fun learning more about sewing garments from handwoven cloth.