It's about something I learned while teaching at iFabrica: the teaching of pattern making (here in the Netherlands at least).
My students-for-two-days were both interested in pattern making but where they lived, they could only learn it as a part of a three year course intended for the wannabe professional dress maker. Not an attractive prospect for a hobby seamstress who just wants to make well fitting clothes to her own design for herself.
And one of the ladies who worked at iFabrica had actually done that particular course but told me she didn't feel confident drafting patterns at all. And she had never been taught to make her own designs.
I was surprised at all that. When I wanted to learn pattern making, I found M, here in The Hague. An experienced designer and pattern maker who also taught drafting to small groups of interested amateurs.
My earliest training in drafting patterns was about making slopers to my measurements and then coming up with designs based on those. Of course, I was a very enthusiastic student and got in loads of practice over a relatively short time. The whole thing gave me what I would consider a well-informed can-do attitude towards both designing my own clothes and drafting the patterns for them.
Now, it seems like I've just been very lucky. Most people looking for pattern making lessons are confronted with extensive education programs involving thick books with separate slopers for all kinds of garments (which I don't think you need…). Education focussed on teaching rules rather than on developing insight and building skill. And not targeted at those who just want to expand their options when sewing for themselves.
Apparently, pattern making courses are like that all over the country.
I kind of knew there were a couple of institutions teaching sewing and pattern making, I didn't know they were so dominant.
They're like the arcane sisterhood of the Dutch sewing world…
As a heretic savant, I'm wondering if there's anything I could or should do...
P.S. Of course, I know there's a wealth of information on pattern making to be found both online and in books. However, and I am speaking from personal experience here as well, a bit of real-life teaching makes it much easier to get started.