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Fitted Bodice Block – Fashion Design Course Update

Well I’m happy to report I had more good news from my last fashion design course assignment (No.4).  I got another HD (High Distinction) which I have to admit I’m quite proud of.  So far I’ve received 2 Distinctions and 2 High Distinctions.   Not doing too bad for someone who’s turning 47 tomorrow… Oh my how fast those years go by… I can still remember when I was 27 like it was yesterday!

Anyways, back to my fashion design course.  For assignment No.4  I had to draft a cowl neck top and this is the top that I made from the pattern I drafted and blogged about here 

Self drafted cowl neck top

Yes, I drafted the pattern and made this top all by my little self… geez it’s a great feeling to be able to say that. Can’t wait for the day I can draft anything I want to make!

My assessor provided some wonderful feedback about my sewing skills and I thought I’d share some of what she said.

Well done. Your cowl top is beautiful! You have demonstrated your skills and knowledge in drafting a pattern to design with the desired alterations, cutting pattern on bias grain and making to a high standard.

Your patternmaking skills are very good. You are forward thinking while patternmaking like altering the neckline, adding facings to finish off the edges, cutting facings on straight grain and adding all the necessary seam allowances.

The fit of this cowl is excellent. The neckline falls and drapes beautifully, shoulders, armholes and body all fit very well.

The fabric you have chosen for this style is great as it allow for that neckline drape. You have finished your garment to a high quality by finishing of the edges with facings and sewing the garment very neatly.

Your wriiten evaluation is very good and the photos are very nice and clear.

Part B was carried out very well. You have an understanding of fabric performance and characteristics and how they affect designing and garment making.

Overall excellent work.

How good is that feedback?  I had to read it twice when I received it.  It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that all the hard work and effort you put into an assignment and your sewing actually pays off… not only with a great grade but the feedback actually meant even more to me.

I’ve just submitted assignment No.5  which was to draft a fitted bodice pattern block.   Not too sure how I’ll go with this one but hey it is only a pattern block after all and fingers crossed will become the basis for many project I will actually be able to wear.

Here’s how my fitted bodice pattern block turned out.

Fitted Bodice Front View

I didn’t sew the right side bust dart all the way to the bust point and it really shows. I should have fixed this before I submitted my assignment but I was feeling a bit slack and didn’t… I did make note of it in my assignment notes though.

Here’s a pic of the back view…. don’t laugh at my lumps and bumps… ah what the heck… I did hahahaha

Fitted Bodice block back view

Don’t think I’ll start wearing skin tight clothes as I’d rather not show off all my lumps and bumps LOL

Overall I’m pretty happy with the fit of my fitted bodice pattern block considering I didn’t have to make any alterations to the pattern I drafted.  I’m not expecting to get a HD again but hey you just never know my written component of my assignment might make up for the bust dart that I should have fixed before I took the pics and submitted my assignment…. but I did write about it in my assignment lol

I’m now working on my next assignment (No. 6) which is a fitted vest.  I’ll be using my fitted pattern block to make the pattern changes I need for the vest so I’m already putting my fitted bodice pattern block to good use.

I’ve never made a vest before and come to think of it I don’t think I’ve ever even worn one.  Once I finish drafting the pattern (which I nearly am now) I’ll make it in calico and see how it looks and then decide whether I’ll go ahead and make it in a fashion fabric or just submit my assignment using the calico and save my fashion fabric for another project.  There’s lots more projects to come yet so there’s plenty of opportunity to use up some of that gorgeous fabric sitting in my stash calling me and looking at me everyday.

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  1. says

    It’s no surprise to me that you’re achieving such good marks on your course, your sewing is coming on in leaps and bounds! We’re always very critical of our own efforts, but from over here it’s all looking great.

    Now, about that bit of old leopard print stuff you said you didn’t really want ….

    • says

      Thanks Fiona thank you so much for your support and encouragement. We sure do tend to be critical of our self… good reminder… thank you :)

      Now about that fabric… mmm don’t recall that… old age is creeping on me and memory is not so good anymore hahahahaha

    • says

      Big thank you Lena that means so much coming from you! I so admire your sewing skills and your pattern drafting skills. I’m so looking forward to seeing your pattern company grow :)

  2. says

    Lovely updates.. I wanted to do a course online. But things did not work out as it was quite expensive for me :) kudos on the great appreciation from your tutors !! Looking forward to see your vest ;)

    • says

      Thanks Diya :) What I’ve learnt so far I probably could have learned using books, online sewing classes, and YouTube. You could start by doing a Google search on how to draft a basic pattern block… so don’t give up on what you’d like to be able to do.

    • says

      Thanks BeaJay! I can’t wait til I can draft something I actually like and want to wear but I suppose I need to learn the basic first… like they say you have to learn to crawl before you can walk LOL

  3. says

    Gorgeous!!!! And, you got some terrific feedback there. This sounds like a great course you are taking. Keep up the good work! Kitty and I are very proud of your skills.

    • says

      Thanks Catja & Kitty you both make me feel special and I’m definitely getting stuck into my studies and enjoying the process especially know that I’m actually starting to draft patterns :)

  4. Judy says

    Congrats on your course work..So proud you did so good..
    Love your top, that you designed.. PERFECT!!
    And looks like you have the fitting down prefectly too.. Best wishes on your upcoming work.

    • says

      I’m kinda proud of that top Judy and I have a design in mind that I can’t wait to do that I’m going to add to on it. It’s super comfortable to wear as well which is a plus. Thank you for your kind words and support. It really means a lot to me :)

    • says

      I sure was Lisa and when I have those times of doubt I think I’ll refer back to the feedback as it will give me the boost I need to keep myself going… along with the lovely support from you and my fellow sewing supporters :) I would definitely recommend giving a cowl neck pattern a go and especially in a lovely soft fabric to help encourage the cowl to drape beautifully. Cowl tops seem to be quite fashionable at the moment as they’re popping up in stores everywhere. I hope you love yours as much as I do mine :)

  5. says

    I really like the cowl top Chris. Congratulations and well done.
    I completed my Cert 4 in fashion in 2006 (i think!!) and really enjoyed it – I could never get my personalised bodice block to fit me correctly though and drove myself insane. I did so many drafts/alterations and toiles and came to the conclusion I was deformed!!!!!! Mind you, my size 12 bodice was a work of art ;-) Yours is looking good.

    • says

      Thanks Jennifer :) I’m really enjoying the course too and I know that I’ll be able to use the skills I learn for many years to come. Love how your bodice turned into a work of art LOL… my pattern draft at the moment for the vest is kind of turning out like that too hahaha. Oh the fun and games of learning to draft and I know you can totally relate to what I’m going through at the moment. Ah well no one ever said learning a new skill particularly pattern drafting was going to be easy :)

      • says

        What drafting book are you using? We used the winifred Aldrich book – version 3 . We drafted a size 12 and we also had to draft everything in 5th scale. The 5th scales were for all our notes and had to be exact with all markings . We had to paper toile first and fit to the model and then calico toile everything. Our set of size 12 blocks were used later to grade up and down so we’d gave a complete set of blocks from s:8 – s: 16. And of course our own set of personal fitting blocks. It was alot of work!!!

        • says

          We don’t have a great book for the course… just a booklet with basic notes LOL. But I have Helen Joseph-Armstrong’s Pattern Making for Fashion Design 5th edition which I bought online last year and it’s a godsend! Thank goodness I can already sew as there’s others doing the same course and they’re really struggling as they don’t even have basic sewing knowledge. I definitely wouldn’t recommend this course to anyone unless they’re experienced. We have a private Facebook support group that I’m an administrator for we really support each other. We do have an online tutor we can access but that generally takes time to wait for an answer. There’s no structured classes and the course is self passed. I do practice blocks in different sizes and my finals for myself… later in the course though we have to grade patterns and design a collection as well which I’m really looking forward to. I’ve still got about another 12mths before I get there though LOL It sure is a lot of work but I know in the long run it will be worth it. Not sure yet what I’ll do when I get to the end of the course as I don’t really have any plans or big visions. Might just use what I learn to be able to draft patterns for myself and maybe a few friends… already getting lots of requests so you never know could have a client base ready to go towards the end of the course. I’d love to be able to sew all day and make a living out of what I love doing as then it wouldn’t feel like a job and could work my own hours and best of all work from home :) When we eventually move back to our own home I already have the perfect sewing studio as we have a dual living property and I could use the unit for a studio… now that would be a dream and you never know some dreams do come true and this one might too :D

Comments are welcome :)