Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sandra Betzina

Bondell at the Sassy Sewer sponsored a class with Sandra Betzina. I used to watch her show on HGTV and she was so personable and friendly. And she showed the insides of her clothes. It was a wonderful day and lived up to all my expectations. We started at 9 and finished close to 6. She was fun and upbeat and had loads of energy. I also ran into Towanda. We met over the internet and see each other occasionally at ASG meetings. Sandra started class with a discussion of various notions that she uses to make sewing and fitting easier. I’m guessing that like most others sewists I had at least half. One that she had that I wasn’t familiar with was a fusible tape. She uses it to stabilize necklines and curves and I intend to use it make wrap tops snuggle close to my chest. I’ve never gotten one to fit properly and now that I’m better endowed, I’m not giving anyone a free peep show. She also highly recommend a magnetic seam guide. I’ve used one for years. I can’t sew a straight line otherwise. It was great knowing that the Grand Dame of sewing and I think alike.

After notions she began discussing her pattern line and how it differs from others. Sandra uses letters of the alphabet to denote size. We get so hung up on numbers. I guess psychologically the letter “D” doesn’t have the same stigma as a size 14. She then proceeded to fit the entire class (all 23 of us) using a jacket, pants or jeans made from her jacket patterns. She had complete samples made in each size. For the pants I need to add 5/8” to the back crotch. That’s it. I forgot to give Towanda my camera, so I don’t have pics of me, but my fellow classmates said the jeans fit perfectly. But the jacket. Aargh!! I have several alterations to make. I really want to get this pattern, since I knew which alterations I need. I can incorporate them into the pattern, perfect the fit; then use it as a TNT. I’ve ordered it and am waiting (non too patiently) for it to arrive.

I will admit that when I realized we were going to set and watch her fit everyone, I was less than enthused. But I have to say, that it makes perfect sense. The more you fit, the better you get at fitting. After sitting through the sessions I began to see where the problem areas on each individual are and then you can begin to figure out what needs to be done to get the fit correct. Since all sizes were available it was easy to go up or down a size to get a better fit. We were also given printouts of the pattern and she annotated which alterations had to be made.

I’ve got to plug the Sassy Sewer while I’m at it. It was a wonderful venue. And a lot of fun. One thing Sandra pointed out was that if we don’t support these individually owned shops they are going to disappear. JoAnn’s or Hancock would have never had her (this is Melodye talking – not Sandra). Blondell’s prices are not bad ; it’s great to have a place to drop into. After my first visit I told DH it was almost like “Cheers” for sewers. If you’re in the Baltimore area, do stop by and check her out. I have no affiliation with the Sassy Sewer or Blondell, I’m just a very happy and very satisfied customer.

If you ever get the chance to take a class with Sandra don’t miss it. Hey Blondell, who’s next??


1 comment:

Two Cables and a Frapp said...

Blondell’s, I'll have to check it out one day. -- That sewing conference was very informative. I'm thinking of getting into sewing again.