Michelle sent me an interesting email in February this year, she came across 1st Class Patterns while searching for intermediate fashion courses based online. At the time, I only had the beginner’s pdf classes online which came about from our learners and a build up of weekly email enquirers. We were in the process of creating beginners video classes as requested from our students.
Michelle asked me if I could teach her intermediate/advanced draping techniques used in the industry through Skype, so she can follow her passion become a designer pattern cutter. At the time I was a bit skeptical about teaching online, let alone I didn’t have the time to teach one-to-one, so I asked Michelle if she would be interested in an online membership video course if I created it – she said, yes in a heartbeat, so I asked a few of my fashion students the same question, bearing in mind they had been asking me to do this for years.
April 2014 I launched the trailer video for the 1st masterclass, because of my schedule the masterclass launch was delayed, eventually, I put the masterclass online in September, I thought I would have about 7-10 learners including Michelle sign up for the online class. The first day I had 2 sign ups, little known to me a week later I checked to see how many sign-ups there were, the response blew me away, I was lost for words.
I paused the cart button on the website three weeks into the launch because I needed to make sure that all of our beta students received our undivided attention and also to fine tune the 1st masterclass. Initially, I had a set number of 10 learners only in my head; it turned out to be way more sign ups than I anticipated. I only had one masterclass topic in the bag covering intermediate/advanced fashion draping a red carpet dress from the initial design to the finished product. Once our members joined and gave us feedback, the most frequent question asked was will you be extending the course to cover more topics and make it into a longer course?
I’m truly grateful to those of you who jumped on board and signed up. I’m in the process of gathering feedback from the beta class implementing, refining the class and extending the course to include more topics on the website.
On another note: Some of the designers and fashion houses that I collaborate are constantly looking for creative pattern makers in the industry. There is a huge shortage of creative pattern cutters, who can multi-task which makes it sometimes impossible for designers to employ them.
If you are studying to become a fashion designer you have to learn other skills in order to stand out from the crowd, by this I mean pattern cutting, fashion draping, machining (know how a garment is sewn together) etc. Twenty-five years ago a designer was just that a fashion designer only if you wanted it to be so!
Although I’m a trained fashion designer I also learnt so many other valuable skills that I still use now. Today with the internet we collaborate with international fashion designers, students, graduates, schools, colleges, universities and home sewers with a click of a mouse. XX Ez