Friday, July 13, 2012

Review: Moulage Class with Kenneth D. King

Dear readers, here is the part one of the promised review of Kenneth D. King's Moulage class. The class took place at the Sew Right Sewing Machines in Bayside, Queens, New York. Yet despite the remote location - it takes at least one hour to get there from Manhattan or West Queens - this class was worth every single minute spent commuting.


Instruction was excellent, the only thing that I found confusing was the organization. I dragged way too many things, including my sewing machine on the first day. It turned out we didn't really need the sewing machine on the first two workshop days at all, alas. But let's focus on the essential things: the class itself.

DAY ONE: MEASUREMENTS AND BODICE BACK

When we arrived everyone got a print-out with moulage instructions accompanied by an insight into Kenneth's rich biography. I loved his stories about Simmin Sethna, Kenneth's  patternmaking teacher. Simmin, who "was considered THE ONE to go to if one really was serious about learning", taught him the moulage method.
"When I get done teaching you, you won't need ANYONE - you'll KNOW! You will be able to draft anything," Simmin said to Kenneth reportedely. 
Kenneth was cracking jokes and telling anecdotes non-stop, yet despite this rather cheerful distraction we managed to take about 25 accurate measurements to draft the front and the back bodice block. Kenneth demonstrated how to take measurements on one of the students. We filled out our measurement sheet and proceeded to calculations.

This image was actually taken on Day 3; and, if you are a Threads magazine reader, you can see that Kenneth is wearing sheer jeans he made for the latest issue. He is fun! )
Once we were done calculating fractions (horror, I tell you), the back bodice was drafted. Kenneth demonstrated only a few steps at a time and then let us do it on our own. He regularly checked what we did and pointed out occasional mistakes. I thought he was completely in control. He also encouraged us to ask questions and was happy to answer them in detail.


(By the way, this was so different from the continuing ed patternmaking class I took at Parsons couple of years ago. The instructor just demonstrated the steps and never really explained the 'why' of the process. I just think you cannot learn patternmaking without understanding the link between the body shape, its movement and the flat pattern.)

However, I guess, at the end I was a little too inquisitive because Kenneth told me: "Just trust me". Yet, he did answer that last question later, when the block was drafted and he could demonstrate how that previous step made sense after all.

That's it, readers. I will finish this class review next week - there is more to say about the process, the fit and the slopers we walked out with.

What's your patternmaking experience? How did you learn it? Do you prefer to draft patterns yourself, or would you rather use commercial patterns?

1 comments:

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