In the interests of full disclosure, I’ll tell you I took this class at work as part of my job. However, no one asked me to write this up and I wouldn’t if I wasn’t impressed.
First, the Miraculous: Today I made a full set of basic blocks or slopers or whatever you want to call them. Maria Opresnik is a very clever dressmaker and drafting teacher in Australia, she invented a special ruler designed to take 7 measurements and create a perfectly fitting block. It’s called Maria Martin’s Pattern Drafter.
After wrestling with a vintage pattern-making textbook which yielded questionable results, I didn’t think it could be that simple and approached the class with a certain measure of skepticism. I knew I made rookie mistakes with my other sloper, I wasn’t sure how to take some of the measurements and used reams of polytrace making a series of so-so slopers which I don’t use. It’s frustrating because I spend enough time altering patterns to fit I often think I should just start from scratch, but I lacked the right foundation. So how could a little template work magic?
Maria ran a lovely class of 12 individual women. We were all different body shapes and had varying levels of skill, as you’d expect. I am blown away. Not only did I make my dress front and back, a sleeve, two collars, a pants sloper, dress and pants muslins in five leisurely paced hours- everything fit. Mine fit me, my partner’s fitted her, everyone had a good fit.
Those of us with larger busts needed a little tweaking, but she tweaked deftly and transferred it to our slopers. After my bust tweak (hehe), my sloper closely resembled my usual bodice pattern after I do a FBA- armscythe, width, length, and dart depth. I’m sorry I didn’t get a photo of me in my dress before I cut it up to transfer the tweakings but I’m itching to extrapolate a new blouse.
Worth looking into. I think this could be the next “thing.” Her design is elegant simplicity, not “slap it together and make it work but it looks like crap” simplicity. If you know what I mean. The book is spiral bound and painfully clear (imagine if Amy Butler wrote the instructions…), and Maria herself is calm, patient, and she dressed in an impeccably fitted linen dress with pleated interest.
Here’s my pants muslin, my photographer didn’t inform me I pinned too hastily, that’s the wrinkle-pull. Just wait til these become K.Hepburn pants.
No smiley shorts. Nothing. The pulling is my pinning but I’m not going to re-photograph.