FIT Draping I – classes 1-3

It feels like a year since I’ve updated much less read my blog feed. On August 31, I started back at FIT, this semester taking Draping I. For those of you who don’t know me, I am a professional musician part time and a paralegal the rest of the time and my sewing skills generally run to quilts. But I’ve hated how all my hand sewn clothing turned out. Plus I have never loved my performance clothing. Plus I’ve never liked my personal clothing. And my body isn’t an actual perfect size anything. And wouldn’t it be nice to have clothing of my own choosing that fit?

Enter FIT. You can take up to 24 credits there as a non-student so over the summer I took Sewing I and learned a ton. This semester is Draping and it is probably the most time intense class I’ve ever taken in my life. I am putting in hours per class per week. So far we have had 3 three-hour class sessions and I have spent at least 30 hours on homework. I’m tired.

I spent 7 hours yesterday and 2.5 today down at the school (thank you, state college that cancels class for religious holidays!) and caught up with the classwork up to this point. Bodice sloper front, bodice sloper back and set in sleeve (which shape we did not drape; rather used an industry pattern piece for our dress forms which we then had to set in).



So there are a few fit issues.  I need to re-pin the front as it’s not hanging straight but I think it actually DOES (just repined to form badly).  One of the darts is pinned in the wrong direction.  There may be too much ease (or not enough) in the back.  Still, overall I’m very pleased with how this came out.  I had to make 12 fronts over the past 3 weeks to get this one front mostly right.  While I’ve gotten faster, each front is taking at least 75 minutes to do so you do the math.  The guy in the back is a very nice sewing teacher ‘assistant’ who passed by – he teaches a couple of the draping students in sewing class and stopped to say hi to them and then hung out giving us pointers, pointing out errors, etc.  Seriously, this would have taken another 6 hours and would not have looked so good.

Our professor says at some point in the semester this will all just ‘click in’.  We’ll ‘get draping’ and it will become fun.  At this point, I’m still not great at analyzing fit issues and adding sewing ease (the bane of my existence) but I’m sure that it’s in me to learn this skill.  For now, though, I’m at home and it’s still light outside.  I have been feeling like a vampire, getting home so late each night.  I’m off to watch TV or read a book or do anything that doesn’t involve draping.  Tomorrow, we drape a pencil skirt and rolled collar for this (the collar we have to create a ‘design element’ for – I have no idea what I want to do so I am estimating living at FIT this weekend) and polish it up for grading next Monday.   Then we are onto the next drape.  All told we will drape 5 different types of sample dresses like above and then we finish the semester with a princess seam-based self-designed dress.  If nothing else, I’ll be trying many things I’ve never done before in this class so that’s cool.  For now, I’m officially taking the night off!

If you celebrate High Holidays, Shana Tova.  Be well, friends.


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