Behind the Scenes: Palmer/Pletsch Pant Fitting Workshop

Fabric Depot has had the privilege of being home to the Palmer/Pletsch classes here in Portland for nearly 20 years.  Pati Palmer and Marta Alto are extremely knowledgeable when it comes to all things sewing and fitting for your body.  Rebekah from the Social Media Department took the four-day class and is excited to share her experience in the pant fitting workshop.IMG_9841photo 1 copy


When I was asked to share my experience in the Palmer/Pletsch Pant Fitting Class, my first thought was, "where do I begin?"  Although I've been sewing for a few years, I do not consider myself a professional by any means.  Despite my ability to make a rolled hem on a circle skirt and a perfectly square quilt binding, I am no wizard when it comes to making clothing.  The Palmer/Pletsch workshop has transformed me;  I have a new found respect for all seamstresses, and to my surprise, myself.


We all have different figures.  I am 5'3"; most pants I try on are a mile too long and too large around the waist.  I've found that ready-to-wear clothing in retail stores might be what you want, but they do not meet what you need.  That is where Pati and Marta came in.  In the class I was able to make a pair of pants that fit me.  I wasn't the only one either, everyone in class made pants that fit their body, personalized to each individual.  Plain and simple, they fit and they looked good.  What more could we ask for?


One of my favorite elements of taking this class was the opportunity to meet a room full of amazing women.  We were all there to make clothes that fit us and made us feel confident in what we wear.  Do you know what it does to your self-esteem to hear how great you look in a pair of pants you made?  There isn't anything like the camaraderie that comes from this workshop!   I met women from all over the United States, a woman from Puerto Rico and two sisters from the Bahamas.  The classroom at our store has become a place for laughter, learning and creating relationships through the art of sewing.  It was pretty incredible to witness and be a part of friendships formed in such a short time.


photo 2 copyPati is full of knowledge.  She shared her own experiences and methods with the students in the class.  She has been perfecting the art of fitting for years.  It has been fun getting to know and learn from her, and it was wonderful to hear her little insights along the way.  For example, while explaining the process of attaching the zipper, she says, "Do you know the difference between pressing and ironing?  Pressing is just short up and down motions of the iron on the fabric, while ironing is a long motion moving across the fabric.  They are both used in garment making but at different times to achieve different goals."


Who knew?  I sure didn't!  It was little things like this that kept me fascinated the entire time.  By the end of the four days I had one completed pair of trousers with lined pockets, front fly zipper and a cuff hem, PLUS another pair of nearly completed pants that I  can finish up in no time!


We learned to work with a size and alterations worksheet to fit to our bodies, how to properly insert a zipper for two kinds of zipper options, work with the right tools (especially pins), learning how to make a proper pleat, and the right ways to fit your pattern to your body.


palmer pletsch pic


The amazing thing about this workshop is the opportunity to learn a skill of pant fitting that can be used over and over again.  My pattern is fitted to my body.  I can use it again and again to make a closet full of perfectly fitting pants!  I learned a skill that I can now practice on my own and teach others in the future.  The Palmer/Pletsch workshop is more than a sewing class, it is the most valuable class I've taken.


Thanks to all the classmates and teachers in this pant fitting class!  I had the best time!  Be sure to check out upcoming classes from Pati at Fabric Depot and other locations at her website!



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