This time, for real


At lunch today, I took my parents up on the BEST Christmas gift ever. I registered for FASH 104 at Baltimore City Community College:


Students are introduced to making patterns for apparel. Emphasis is placed on the use of master pattern for garments of original design. Further instruction is given in apparel construction.

I forgot how expensive textbooks are!  Classes start Tuesday. Thanks Mom and Dad!


  1. Ooh, you’ll love it! Flat pattern is a blast! All puzzly and figuring-things-out. 🙂

  2. Totally jealous!! Sounds like a really cool class. I agree with lelah, I bet you get an A+!

  3. Oh I have that book, its fantastic. You’re so lucky to be able to do a class though, I bet it would make understanding everything 100 times easier.

  4. I’m jealous too! Sure wish there was a similar class available near me. Enjoy the journey and share your “ah-ha” moments along the way!

    What a thoughtful and lasting gift!


  5. I have that book from my flat pattern class. I didn’t take too many design classes, but that book is a great reference book!

  6. That is the best thing you can do.

    I took classes on pattern drafting, block making, draping and fashion design about 8 years ago. What an eye opener, now I can look at a picture and create my styles.

    Love the Knipe Mode skirt, thanks for the line drawings.

  7. I’m SO jealous! We do have a few tailoring classes at our local JC, but they are all offered during the day when I am at work 😦

  8. I am so jealous, I have been trying to find something like this in my area (Augusta ,Ga). I am a beginner and I would love to take more classes, but I refuse to pay for a class that teaches me to make an apron or pillows. Until then I rely on help from my cyber sewists.

  9. Fantastic! Just curious (nosey!) what was/is in the prerequisite Fashion 101??

    I did Pattern Drafting at college (I think our college is equivalent to your community college, ie not at university) I did Unit 1 Skirts, Unit 2 trousers and was unfortunately not able to more than start Unit 3 bodices. But I have the course booklet.

    I thought I’d show you some of the equipment we used – I’d love to know what is the same or different at your class!!

    All in metric. L-Square

    Grade ‘n’ Rule can’t find exact one, but looks a bit like this, but has a french curve type bit sticking out the top

    We also used a 1/5th scale ruler for drawing miniatures of some styles

    tape measures, of course, pencils (lots of), eraser (useful to have large for wiping out BIG mistakes and a sharp edge one for teeny mistakes 😉 )

    Fave tools also included Pattern Notchers for external marks

    and a drill for internal marks

    I use/d those last two for preparing commercial patterns too. But you have to lay thicker paper underneath – they don’t like tissue paper!

    We drew all our patterns on plain brown paper – came on these humongous rolls on a special stand in the classroom.

    Blocks, ie the basic garment elements created from initial draft, were then supplied on thick card to draw round for manipulating into styles.

    Calculator is useful, but some teachers encourage their use and some forbid it!

    The full timers kept their patterns in the class between sessions, but I often wanted to take mine home. Transporting such things on public transport – ugh. Then I saw a girl with one of these telescopic drawing tubes got it an Art shop and apart from banging people’s shins with it, life became easier!


  10. I am beyond green with envy. I did a much shorter and less intensive course last year and loved EVERY second of it.

    I have that textbook, too. It’s my goto for any queries.

    Have a fabulous time. Your parents are the best.

  11. I am TOTALLY jealous! Give us lots of details about what you learn. I had this in college, but that was a while ago. Too much fun!

  12. Oooooo! If I didn’t like you so much, I’d be jealous!!! I’ve been looking for a class like that forever! Philadelphia University has classes, but I think you have to be matriculating in a degree program. Have fun!!!

  13. Lucky you! Would you believe it’s actually hard to find classes in the NYC area like this where you can take something like this in a non-degree capacity. Believe me, I keep looking.

    I answered your question about muslin fabric in today’s post.

  14. I am so jealous!!! A few weeks ago I searched for any fashion classes in the Columbus, OH area and did not find any 😦 I guess Columbus just isn’t that fashionable. I did, however, order a fashion illustration book that might help me. I also ordered a book of how to make patterns off of existing clothes. I’ve done that in the past, but woah is it hit or miss 🙂 Ha ha!

  15. I am so jealous! What nice parents! Pretty soon you’ll be designing your own stuff.

  16. Oh, I am so envious! I want to take a class like that!
    Keep us apprised of how it goes.

  17. Be fearless and you’ll do *great*!! The skills you will learn in that class will help you not only with original designs but with sewing from patterns as well. Can’t wait to see what you create!

  18. I took a pattern drafting class at the School of Fashion Design in Boston a year and a half ago, and we used that textbook. It was great! I feel like I learned so much about the basic shapes of most patterns. I also feel like I should use what I learned a bit more often in my sewing… usually I find I’m too lazy to take the time to make my own pattern and test it. In any case, best of luck to you — you’re going to love the class.

  19. Awesome present! Make sure yoy tell us all the nitty gritty details as you learn. 🙂 I use my HJ-A book all the time. This is a textbook you’ll use a lot! It is expensive (although there are others that are MUCH more) but it’s worth every penny.

  20. What a great present! Taking a pattern making class last year was one of the best sewing investment I’ve done. Also it was great hanging out with like minded people, since none of my friends are into clothes making as much as I am.
    The fact that you are already well versed in sewing will be really beneficial I think, since grasping pattern making can be rather mind boggling, I noticed that in the class I took, those who sewed much also had an easier time understanding the concept of how to construct patterns.

  21. Hello, this is my first post to your scrumptious blog! I just had to comment on your textbook, and how widespread its appeal is. I am the TA (teaching assisstant) for the Apparel Design courses at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada – and this is the textbook we use!

    As others have already mentioned, it’s a really great one! Although I don’t really need a textbook for drafting, I have been toying with getting it all the same as a great reference resource and to make my brain hurt less when drafting certain things.

    I hope you enjoy your class immensley! I know that when I was taking these classes (once upon a time), in addition to the technical learning of skills they were *such* and inspiration!

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