Sewing · SJPP

So I’m missing my graduation tho…

Yeah, so after that not-so-productive birthday sewing challenge, it may not be the best time to talk about my formal sewing training right? Oh well, I needed the reminder that I can actually sew…

Today is graduation day for the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP) here in Barbados, and I had no idea that Evening Programmes were included in these activities until I received my graduation notice about 3 weeks ago. Not only did I complete my Basic Ladies’ Tailoring Class successfully, it seems my tutor awarded me the honour of “Most Outstanding Student”. *insert Grammy/ Oscar shocked winner face here*

Since I’m here struggling with acute sinusitis and can’t attend, in honour of my little achievement, I decided to let you guys see the work I did for the class, which started in August 2011 and ended in May 2012. For the basic class, the tutor focuses on sewing basics, with a focus on skirts in the first semester and on shirts and dresses in the second.  And please forgive the quality of the photos as I had just gotten my new camera and had no idea about its fancy settings.

Abbey Dabbles: Three Skirts: Tailored, Panel, and Gore

At the end of Semester 1, these three skirts were submitted for grading and no, I don’t have any photos of me wearing them at all. How did I not notice that before?:

  1. Purple Linen Tailored Skirt with a back vent, small waistband, hook and eye closure and lapped zip
  2. Pink Linen Six-Panel Skirt with back vent, faced waist and invisible zip at centre back
  3. Black Mechanical Stretch Eight-Gore Skirt with faced yoke waistband and centred zip at left side

Unfortunately, my particular class had a fairly rough time in semester two with our fittings for the blouse patterns and so time literally ran away from us and we didn’t get to make any shirts at all. Instead, we worked very hard to complete two different style dresses:

Abbey Dabbles: Shoulder Seamed Shirt Dress

The first dress was a shirt dress with straight princess seams from the shoulders, set-in sleeves and self fabric buttons and belt. Not even this gorgeous magenta linen could not make me a fan of this pattern. I really dislike this pattern. It is grossly unflattering. It seems so old school housekeeper-ish but it was a required design for the class. Anyone has any ideas on how I can make this more attractive? As you can see, this photo was taken before I hemmed the sleeves and skirt. Also notice that there’s still some bagginess in the back that I thought we got fixed after 3 fittings, but at least in the second dress, there was greater improvement in this particular area.

Abbey Dabbles: Sleeveless Panel Dress

The next dress was a sleeveless sheath dress that had armhole bust darts and waist darts, with a contrasting colour waistband that turned out to be way to broad in retrospect, as well as fully faced armholes and neckline. The more interesting features of this dress were the neckline and the inverted pleat vent, the former of which I clearly need to fix and the latter I nailed!! How do you fix the bagginess below the zip? I really feel that area should be more fitted. And yes, no hemming done yet in this one either. I definitely want to sort out the issues in this dress so I can actually wear it.

All in all I had a pretty awesome time and met some fantastic ladies in this class. The best parts? I loved drafting patterns and figuring out how to add particular features to garments. I was also able to discover the features I preferred, like the curved princess seams and the inverted pleat vents, and the skirt styles  I liked as well, such as the panel and the gore. Most importantly, I have gained immense confidence in using the sewing machine and the overlocker.

The worst part? Fitting. Wow, I did not enjoy the fitting process. Poor fit meant adjustments to the patterns. Those beautifully drawn patterns I had worked so hard on. That turned out to require a lot of adjustments. Especially in the bodice area. Yup, the blessing and curse of a more than ample bust. The disappointment of the poor fit was definitely the worst part of class for me. Who doesn’t want their patterns to be give a perfect the first time? Honestly, I know that this is an unrealistic expectation when you consider that we are all shaped differently, with all kinds of curves and lines that have to be accommodated for.

Fingers crossed that we can do advanced tailoring *yeah pants and linings and prints* next September in 2013, since the class quota wasn’t met this year.


One thought on “So I’m missing my graduation tho…

  1. Hi Abbey! Thanks for stopping by and leaving those sweet comments. I’m happy to hear you’re taking those courses, they can be so useful especially if you have a hard time finding clothing that fits well and that’s well-made. I love the feeling of satisfaction I get when I complete a project. Your projects look great! I know what you mean about the shirt dress though. Maybe shorter sleeves, a deeper neckline, and contrasting belt? (possibly)

    Keep up the good work!


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