I ♥ my teacher

Where to start. Last year, when I signed up for sewing class, I was hoping I could get more insight in how patterns are constructed, on top of learning more advanced and couture techniques. But within the first 5 minutes of the first lesson, I was told by my teacher that this wasn’t going to happen, that she wasn’t “going to go there”. Great. What do I do now? I sucked it up and showed up to class anyway, sort of attempting to sew a dress from a vintage 1968 pattern. I say sort of because the dress isn’t finished and I also don’t plan on finishing it. I just needed an excuse, “some thing to sew”,  to justify spending my Wednesday evenings sewing with the group. Needless to say, I didn’t renew for another year. Don’t get me wrong, she’s probably a great teacher… for beginners. But I’m not a beginner anymore.

Fast forward to 2 weeks ago. I’m on a group mailing list for expats living in my area. I receive an e-mail (sent to the group) from someone who was offering beginners sewing classes. I gathered all my courage and e-mailed her back, asking if she has enough knowledge/background to teach me more advanced techniques, especially pattern drafting and draping, the two things I want to learn the most. Her reply was more than what I could have ever hoped for. Pattern drafting is her passion and yes, she would be pleased to give me private lessons. We could start by drafting my own sewing block (top, skirt, pants, coat, etc.), learn about all sorts of variations and try some draping. I was EX-TA-TIC. I could have jumped off my office chair and done a happy dance 😀

We met for my first lesson last week Thursday. She’s wonderful. She knows what she’s talking about and she’s an excellent teacher. We could have talked for hours and I could have definitely listened to her for hours talking about drafting, fit, fabric, etc. Fascinating. We took my measurements and drafted a half-scale version of what my pattern blocks for top and sleeve would be. My “homework” for the coming weeks is to draft the blocks at full-scale, cut it in my fabric and sew it up. We’ll examine how it fits the next time we meet.

What I admire the most from her is how enthusiastic she is about showing me how to be myself,  develop my own style and be “free” from RTW and its ill-fitting offering. She is genuinely interested in helping me get the best fit possible, as fitting a plus-sized body like mine is a challenge. And she likes a challenge. She can learn a lot herself from this exercise.

I’m so happy I found this gem 🙂



  1. WOW, that is wonderful, finding a teacher like that who wants to give private lessons too.

    • marieclaude says:

      Hi Sigrid, I still can’t believe how lucky I am to have found her. I knocked on so many doors without finding what I was looking for! I considered signing up for an opleiding (modinette, coupeuse, etc.) but I couldn’t invest that much time or money 😦 Now I can do it at my own pace and benefit from personalised advice… I couldn’t ask for more 🙂

  2. I am so happy for you! A good teacher like that is priceless. When I finally found a good teacher, it changed my sewing and fitting rapidly….everything just clicked. Sounds like the two of you will be a wonderful team.


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