There are two posts on this adventure. A travel log (Sioux City, Iowa) and sewing class review (Joi Mahon’s Sewing Holiday).
Joi Mahon’s tagline is “Your source for REAL fitting solutions and practical sewing knowledge” I am a believer!
I own both of Joi’s books. “Create the Perfect Fit – Measuring and Pattern Fitting for Real Sewing Solutions” and “Designer Joi’s Fashion Sewing Workshop”.
But this was my first class with Joi. It was the 4th year for her “sewing holiday”. The holiday was broken down into specific classes that you could pick and choose which ones to attend. There was a two day quilting class, a two day leather handbag class, and 3 one day classes on each of these subjects: Fitting, Transforming Woven patterns into Knit, and Draping. I signed up for all of the one day classes. There was a one large prize and several small ones each class day. And at the closing pizza party, a Baby Lock Imagine serger, a Baby Lock Jane sewing machine, and a Baby Lock embellisher was given away. With the small class size everyone had a great chance of winning something!
One of Joi’s sayings is that learning is in degrees. That is you can learn a concept, but you can continue to learn and hone that skill and expertise. There is no way that anyone can teach all there is to know about any subject in a day.
Draping was my favorite. Instead of starting with a paper pattern, we created our own patterns by “draping” fabric on a dress form. Everyone in class had their own dress form. Some brought their own, some used full size, some used half scale. The class had a wide variety of participants – costumers, garment sewers, and a teenage girl learning to sew. We first draped a sloper bodice front. For those not familiar with the terms, it is a close fitting top with a bust and waist dart. With Joi’s fitting method, you can make any size pattern fit anyone. Next we created a princess line bodice. A princess line top has two pieces – a center front and side front. Then we created an asymmetrical top. It was fun to see the individual creativity.
Moni working on her half scale dress form. You can see the class did not have fun!
In the fitting class day we adjusted Joi’s McCalls’ pattern M7280 to fit ourselves. The dress in person is so much more beautiful than it is in the envelope picture. The details are amazing on this ensemble. The fabric is from Chanel, and the jacket sleeves are cleverly cut on the bias.
In the woven to knit pattern class we used McCalls 7659. Joi wrote an article for the March 2018 Threads magazine, and this top is featured on the cover. I learned that you can add all of the shaping (back and shoulder darts) you like to a knit garment, just like you would in a woven one. What you take into account is the degree of stretch of your knit and you adjust the ease accordingly. Check out the Threads issue to learn more!
Here are the current patterns Designer Joi has created for McCalls :
Besides sewing we had fun cooking and shopping together!
And of course let there be cake!!!
You too can learn about all of these sewing techniques by following Joi