At the Sewing Expo in Novi in November one of the best classes I took was with Joe Vecchiarelli who has been working in the fashion industry for over 40 years and is the costumer for Dancing with the Stars. The class was about draping and pattern making. Of course it was only a 3 hour class and we had to share dress forms so we got only the very basics but it whet my appetite for more.

I had never seen draping done in real time before and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I have always worked with patterns that someone else has made and honestly, didn’t really understand how the designers got to the point of a flat pattern.

But that evening my eyes were opened and I’m ready for more.

By just using a rectangle of fabric, 8 or nine pins and a marker magical things happen.

Using just these basics you can make any piece of clothing you want.

After removing the flat piece of fabric and transferring the markings to a bit of pattern paper you get a pattern like this! I actually made those pattern pieces!

I saw from this class how important it can be to have a dress form that is your size if you want to make patterns using this method and so, since there was a good show special happening, I ordered one. It should be here in March.

Until then I will be on the lookout for more draping classes.

The new things I learned in that short three hour class have already had a positive affect on my sewing and how I approach altering a pattern.

If you look around on the internet you can find plenty of videos of Joe teaching draping and padding a dress form. Here’s just one:

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