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Pattern Making

birdlady1 | Posted in Patterns on

Thank you for all your inputs.<!—-> <!—-><!—->

Next Wednesday is my first text.  I am hoping the second time around is a breeze but I don’t think so.  I am still having trouble understanding how to do a waist band and doing a skirt with a yoke and a centre front pleat together.  I felt so stupid on Wednesday at school.  My new teacher reviewed the skirt with a yoke and the pleat that I had done at home for homework.  Of course, I did it wrong.  I ended up doing the pleat at the side as opposed to the centre front.  She asked me to review the pages for the skirts with yokes and pleats.  When she asked me where the pleat would go if it was at centre front, I drew a blank.  I felt so dumb.  I got so nervous; my mind went blank.  She had to show me the page for the centre front pleat which in the fourth addition is on page 279 under the Figure 5a.  I may be wrong but normally the front piece of the fabric is placed on the fold and you only have to cut once.  If the pleat must show at the centre front, then it would not be placed on the fold but I would have to create 2 pieces; correct?  I have not done a commercial pattern of this before so I am not to sure.  If I create a front pattern skirt and when the steps are done, should it not have one side folded going towards the other piece that must also fold towards the first one?  If that is so, how can it be shown on a draft pattern sample (tissue paper)?  Or is it with a ½ sample, you only do one side of the skirt showing the pleat and if you were doing the fabric sample, you would join the pleats together by sewing down the centre front?  As I am writing this, I feel brainless.  The problem is that I have am not a person who sews often.  So I do find it confusing. I also find that when I do my pattern pieces, they do not finish smoothly like some peoples.  My looks rough because of taping, etc.  Also, since the the pleat is in the centre front, do I close both darts in the front?  If so, the darts legs will open up.  If that is the case then should the back skirt have the darts closed as well and have the dart legs spread?  When the teacher drew the picture of how she wanted the skirt front and back bone, there was one opening in the front and none in the back skirt.  If that is the case, how do you close the back darts without spreading the dart legs?

I am also confused with doing a waistband.  Let’s say this is for a basic skirt with a side pleat.  I appreciate the input that was provided for the waistband but if someone could indulge me, is the following steps correct in doing a waistband:

1.  You close the front darts and then measure the waist.  You also do it for the back as well. 

2.  I know you must give an extra 1″ extension for the buttonhole and button.  In the 1/2 scale, it would be 1/2.

3.  Let say (with the half scale) your front measured all together for example 10″ (I know that you must multiple that by 2) then you would divide it by 2 which equals 5).  Therefore, I would measure from the left side seam to 5″ then place a mark indicating a notch which would be the side seam then measure from there another 5″ and place a notch which indicates the Centre Back, then 5″ to indicate the Centre Front then finally another 5″ which is the other right hand side seam.  Is this correct?

The teacher indicated that you have to think about things but I find, as a beginner, there are so many different pictures and steps in the book, that it can become overwhelming.  Also, on Wednesday we had a chance to ask the teacher questions because we were to work on our skirt sketch and there was no assignment or lesson done.  I went to her and was asking her some questions.  Another student came by and I don’t know exactly what the student asked (I guess she could ask her a question and did not want to interrupt us) then I heard my teacher say while I beside her “It is okay.  I cannot spend an hour helping *.  Then when she started later on coming to each person, which there are not only 7 students and I was asking her another question, she said to me “* I can’t keep spending all my time helping you.”  It sure made me fell like running out of there.  I did not tell her to spend more time with me than the others.  I was only asking for help on some problems.

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  1. Pattiann42 | | #1

    So sorry you are having so much trouble.  I have not been following your plight, but I do believe life is too short to have to put up with this stress.

    I am not familiar with the book, but  I definitely think you should talk with the other students to see if one or more can work with you outside of class as a partner or study group.

    Is there a picture of the skirt? The description you have given reminds me of my old cheerleader's skirt - from back when girls wore clothes that actually covered their bodies. 

    Did you pay for these lessons?  If the teacher cannot be more reasonable, ask for a refund and see if that gets her attention.

    The teacher and the book you have referred to appear to be impediments rather than encouragements. 

    Best wishes an much good luck.

  2. NY2NZ | | #2

    You are dealing with the Armstrong book/text, correct?   I HATE THAT THING.  Its not very....um...user friendly.    So first off, its not you.   At ALL.

    Secondly, on other boards we have discussed pattern making classes and teachers and the sad part is that a lot of the teachers are not very "hands on" nor are they seamstresses themselves.   (Sort of the same with a lot of Business Professors in Uni, they talk a good game, but have been in Academia for so long or, alternatively, have no *real* business experience, they are parroting theory without having the practical experience).  The reason I say this is that I do not find this acceptable:

    .....She asked me to review the pages for the skirts with yokes and pleats.....

    If you were supposed to learn from a book, you could do that yourself without paying fees for a teacher, yes?  A lot of those classes are geared for book learners.  You seem to be more of a hands on learner.  Some people just don't do well in a classroom, doesn't make them stupid or inadequate, either.

    Are you taking this class at a local university with a lot of design students?   If so, the expectation might be that you should know a whole bunch of stuff that you don't, cos you aren't a full time design student, is that the case?

    I would sit down, relax with a cup of tea, and really write down what you are looking to achieve with this class and make the choice of whether this is the way to go.  Sounds way too stressful to me, and will turn you off from the moment you step into that lab because of it.

    Life is too short for this hon.  

    Hope this helps

    Nancy :-)




  3. meg | | #3

    If the class instructor is a true Teacher, then he/she will take the time to help you. If not during the class time, then he/she could suggest an out-of-class time to assist you or any other student. That is simply what a teacher _does_. Is this instructor singling out you as one whom she won't help?

    Sorry that I have no expertise in pattern making and cannot help you out there. I hope that you get the help you require; you are no doubt paying a fee for the class, and the instructor is receiving compensation for her time to conduct the class. I wish you the best in getting this straightened out to your satisfaction.

  4. tadochas | | #4

    I don't know what text you are using, but you sound so confused.  These are not difficult problems for an experienced sewer to solve for a novice or beginner.

    I think the teacher should be put thru her paces for not affording you the kind of help you deserve.  She is not patient.

    It really seems to me that someone over her should point out to her that she is there to teach,not make you feel inept b/c you do not understand.  sewing comes easeir to some than others, and she is not boosting your confidence, at all.

    In addition, if she only has 7 students, she should be able to get you over these hurdles.  All that I can come up with is that she must have some sort of hangover, or is a very unhappy person. 

    If you could, I would get away from her as fast as you can and wait until you find someone that really wants to teach sewing, and I would make known all the things you have learned thru this blog to the administration.

    I taught myself to sew, and it just came to me -- but that is not completely true -- I had a friend's Mother who loved to show us to make doll clothes, and I had a Mother, though she could not sew on a button, continuously encouraged me.  I am not an expert sewer, and would love some help with some things myself, but she is not helpful, but is rather a detriment.

    I am trying to learn the Peyote Stitch for beading.  I would happily take a class, but a very nice woman has stepped up to the plate and has told me she will help me.  No matter how many times I read the directions, I get NOWHERE!

    Do you see?  I love to do needlepoint.  I had a wonderful teacher.  I pd. for lessons for my Mother.  My friend, the teacher, told me I simply had to do my Mother's project................my Mother was beyond frustrated, and my friend just did not know how to help her.

    So, after thinking outloud, sometimes a teacher doesn't know how to communicate the needed knowledge, but this was a kind woman, and your teacher is not --- if this is a university course, find a tutor --ASAP -- AND I MEAN ASAP -- AND LET THE DEAN KNOW!  Really, this is just not acceptable in a learning situation.   What if this happened with a child who was struggling to read?  Do you see? 

    I hate to come on so strong, but I really believe this.  Weigh this with the other things people have written, but if I were your teacher's peer, I would tell you precisely what I have said, and I would go to the Dean myself.

    With comforting thoughts coming your way

    1. jjgg | | #5

      I have been following Birdlady's plight with her pattern drafting class since the beginning. I teach both sewing and pattern drafting, (NOT at a college though). First, I want to state that it is NOT the teachers responsibility to see that each individual student learns. The teacher in a college setting is responsible to the entire class, she has a syllabus and curriculum she HAS to teach. This cannot be held up for one student. If this were a math class or foreign language class etc, the student that just doesn't "get it" would need to see the teacher during the teachers office hours, and hire a tutor. If the student is in a class that is too advanced for her/him, the student should stop and take a more basic class. If there is none, then private tutor is the answer.I have a sewing student right now that was essentially kicked out of group classes because she just didn't understand and was disrupting the rest of the class with her very basic questions. If 1000 of you were told to "stitch the seam and clip the curve" even if you never did this before you could be shown once and understand why you clip the curve, Well, this student is the 1 in 1000 that just doesn't get it, I have finally figured out her learning style and what it takes to make her understand and incorporate the information into her brain, so she is learning to sew. I t hasn't been easy, but she is paying me to teach her privately and so she gets one on one indivdual attention.Birdlady is in her second (or is it third?) go round with this class, she has had 2 different teachers, she just doesn't get it, I'm not sure she ever will, she seems to be fighting it too much. Instead of placing the blame on the teacher as so many posters to this thread have, we need to know if all the other students are having the same difficulty - it doesn't sound like it from what little she has posted.I think I've mentioned this before, but no matter how hard I try to learn to play a piano, it will never ever happen for me, I am tone deaf and can't keep a rhythm. I don't even try to learn it anymore. It will NEVER happen for me, so I have come to grips that it's just something I can't do - even with a private teacher.Birdlady needs to stop interrupting the class and get a private tutor if she really wants to try and learn to do pattern drafting.

      1. sewchris703 | | #6

        I think that you might be right.  Like you, I can't and will never be able to play the piano.  I can, however, read Armstrong's book, look at the drawings and picture how the finished garment will look like before the pattern is finished.  And, vice versa, I can look at the drawings of the sample designs in the book and get a very good idea how the individual pattern pieces need to look like.  I can do the same thing with clothing, modern, eithnic, and historical.  Which is one of the reasons why I'm very good at altering bridalwear.  But not all people who sew can do this, I'm finding out.  Some have to follow the pattern directions slavishly because they can't picture the finished garment in advance.  Perhaps this is Birdlady's problem.  


      2. Pattiann42 | | #10

        I have never taken a sewing class other than during Jr high school were is was not an option at that time in history.

        Do you list a certain standard before the student signs up for the course?

        I do not think a pattern drafting class is the first step for someone just learning to sew.

        Birdlady states that she is a beginner and I from what I have read, may be a little timid. 

        This is her second teacher because the first one got sick.

        Everyone knows that not all teachers have the same style nor are they all good at teaching. 

        A student should feel comfortable and not intimidated.

        I have been sewing for a long time and have stayed current by watching sewing programs on PBS and reading books.  I think I could "get it", but if the teacher came across as snippy as Birdlady's current teacher I would ask for a refund and leave. 


        1. jjgg | | #11

          >>>Do you list a certain standard before the student signs up for the course?I do not think a pattern drafting class is the first step for someone just learning to sew.<<<<SpiceGirl,
          in the past I had not listed standards for people signing up for classes, but have learned that it is important. All based on this one lady I am doing private lessons with. She signed up for one class on bias bindings, her machine was brand new out of the box, she had never sewn before. We were working with silky slippery fabrics - she had no idea how to control fabric under the presser foot. So, now I try to clue into real beginners and not let them into advanced classes.I most certainly agree that pattern drafting is not for a beginner sewer. People need to be familiar with pattern shapes, how they fit together, what they should and shouldn't look like.What I found when I was in school, was that a lot of the young ladies in the program (fashion design) wanted to be "designers" they wanted to draw pretty pictures of garments and have someone else do all the work. They were not interested in the textiles class - you have to know fabric to design, the designer has to specify what fabric, they have to understand drape, fiber etc. They did not want to take sewing lessons, nor were they interested in pattern drafting. Well, if they don't understand how garments are put together (ie. you have to have some sort of opening - zipper, buttons etc- in order to get this garment on the body..... You get my drift.I teach a class where people draft a basic fitting sloper from their own measurements. The more experienced sewers in the class get a LOT out of this class in learning how to alter patterns, - how they are drafted and what you can do and not do to change things, how to fix armholes. How to use a french curve ruler. where to measure patterns/ people. How to understand ease. I often thought we spent too much time laboring over the drafting and it would be easier to use a computer generated sloper, but the students ALWAYS say they learn a lot from the drafting.

          1. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #12

            Too True!  Almost all of my basic skills were improved 100% after taking the drafting part of my Design program.  Now when I look at a pattern I am thinking of making, I take the instruction sheet from the package and look at the pattern pieces.  If they make sense at first glance, then I will buy the pattern.  I want a pattern with pieces I can easily redraft for fit. 

            Our Friend having trouble here may also be having problems "seeing" the illustrations in 3D.  Not everyone can do this.  Most of us here probably do as us creative types typically can. 

            If she really needs this course to finish a whole program, then she really needs a good tutor and a work buddy in her class. 

            If it is an interest class, then please, she is in the wrong program right now.  I understand her need to learn, but it is not a class at her skill level Yet.  I would step back, get my money back and find a more relaxed program somewhere else that would be more fun.  Nothing is worth that much frustration and money if I couldn't get what I wanted out of it.  Cathy

          2. birdlady1 | | #13

            Sorry if I sounded like I am a beginner at sewing.  I am not.  I have enrolled in a night school program for fashion design.  I am not going to be a designer but I found that with the proper equipment and experience teachers, I could learn a lot.  You do start as a beginner and move forward to the next course.   In order to move onto a new course, you have had to pass those courses, which I have done, except with Level 1 Pattern Making.  I do sew and have also made a suits, skirts, etc. but not continually at home daily. 

            I am able to follow the directions on a commercial pattern.  Sometimes it can be tricky to understand.  When I do have a problem, I try to review the books I have on sewing.  All I am saying is that there are some fashions I have not sewn, like for example, a 6 gore skirt.  Also, there are certain blouses I have not sewn as well so I have a harder time understanding how to draft let's say a 6 gore skirt. 

            I feel that taking a pattern drafting course will make me understand a lot more.  All I am saying is that sometimes you may be in a class where some students have been sewing continually for years and have most of the basics.  I guess sometimes I over analysis things instead of relaxing.  An example for me in the 6 gore skirt from page 251 to 253. 

            I followed the instructions at the bottom of page 251 (1/2 scale pattern) and then I took a folded tissue paper for the back gore and traced it starting a the gore flare line to the dart line to the centre back line back to the gore flare.  I followed the instructions for the rest of the back and front.  Then you come to page 253.  Ms. Armstrong states on that page to pencil in the perforated marks of the gorel panels.  She did not indicate this on the earlier page.  Also on page 253, she has placed a folded paper only on the front gore and back gore but does not say what to do with it.  Do you now trace from the grainline mark to the right side?  For me it is not really clear.  I try to follow instructions and I figure that books are suppose to help.  In this case, I know her book is a lot better than some I have seen but I wish it was more clear.  Also, people from my previous class have also stated that there are a lot of mistakes in this book.  I do get nervous when the teacher is asking me a question I am not too sure of and then I get more anxious and then my thinking goes out the door. 

            I have been enjoying all of the classes I have taken and have learned a lot; even pattern making.  I am a very determined person and will never give up.  But I, as I have stated previously, have never interrupted or bothered a teacher constantly with questions, sometimes I have not asked enough. 

            I am hoping that I will start sewing a lot more this summer and may be I will understand things a lot more.

            Sorry if I have been going on since my first class I failed but sometimes you have to ask questions or get opinions in order to improve on things and have piece of mind. 

          3. rekha | | #14

            where some students have been sewing continually for years

            Well, there is potential goldmine for you to gain more practical knowledge from. If you can arrange to meet up with some of them after the class for a specific project at a time, you will be miles ahead pretty soon.

          4. sewchris703 | | #15

            I think I see where you got confused.  The folded paper behind the front gore in figure 5b on page 253 is the same folded paper that you traced in figure 4d on page 252.  She wants you to pencil in the perforated marks you made in figure 4d, add the seam allowances, cut out the pattern and open it up to the full pattern piece.  The figure 5b on page 253 shows both the folded paper before cutting and the finished openned pattern piece at the same time.  Same for figure 6c at the bottom of the page.


          5. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #16

            Please forgive me if it sounded like I thought you should quit. NEVER. I was mostly concerned about the level of frustration you were voicing. It is definitely worthwhile to learn pattern making and it does help you become a better seamstress. I know that getting upset can work against your ability to learn.
            My personal experience with a teacher like that tells me that you must arrange to speak with her privately, explain to her that your needs are not being met, that your behavior is not as she has stated, and that you need some help. You also need to tell the teacher that you will take it to the department head or administration if the issue is not resolved. I'm sorry, but it sounds like the teacher is a bully if she spoke to you in that manner and it should be followed through on. Colleges and universities are based on a self study model, however, the teacher is there to guide you through it. If your text is not clear enough to explain things to you, perhaps a 2nd text by another author as another reference may be helpful as well. Often they cover the same ground, but the explanations and diagrams are different enough to make it clear. I myself have collected at least 3 different ones and use them all. Good luck. Cathy

          6. MaryinColorado | | #17

            This reminds me of students with "test anxiety".  There may be councellors at the school who have tools and exercises to help overcome whatever is blocking or interfering with your ability to learn this.  Stressors, allergies, chronic pain, grief, inadequate sleep, diet, illness, fear of success/failure etc. interfere with concentration and cognition.  (many children have been "diagnosed" with learning disorders, then had complete "recoveries" when red dye, sugar, etc. was removed from thier diets.  It was "simply" allergies.   Our brains are so complex.

            We all have unique learning styles, auditory, visual, etc.  It is also possible, as another poster suggested, that this class is just not a good "fit" for you.  Perhaps another resource or class with a different structure and more visual cues or mirroring another's actions would be more well suited to your learning style.  There is more than one road to success.

            I hope this helps and doesn't come across as criticism or doubt.

            I respect and admire your perseverance and determination!  Good luck in accomplishing your goals.  Mary

          7. fiberfan | | #24

            Have you tried looking at Modern Pattern Design on VintageSewing.Info?  This is a 1942 pattern drafting book that might help.

            I have looked at Connie Crawford's draping book at the library and find it much better than Armstrong's draping book.  Kathleen Fasanella reviewed Connie Crafowrd's Patternmaking Made Easy in this blog post.  I haven't looked at Patternmaking Made Easy but based on Kathleen's review, I am considering buying it.


      3. sewingkmulkey | | #23

        I totally agree with you and I'm sorry if Birdlady has her feelings hurt by your honest opinion of the situation.

  5. rekha | | #7

    I can empathise with your quandry.

    I just wonder whether you have taken on too much.

    Do you get a chance to discuss your 'grievances' with human resources or something equivalent? If yes, thrash it out to a positive outcome for you.

    Did you have any prior experience or knowledge before you enrolled for this course?

    I would also suggest that you move sideways to another class if the expense is not the consideration.

  6. sewchris703 | | #8

    To answer your questions about p. 279:

    The skirts will have a center front seam.  Figure 4a: the pleat will be cut on the fold and the center front will have a seam.  When openned out, the skirt front will have a deep rectangle cut out of the middle.  That takes a lot more fabric.  The skirt in figure 1 will take less fabric because the backing of the pleat is a separate piece.  Neither piece will be on the fold.  It might be easier for you to make a half or quarter sample out of paper first and just fold and tape to see what it will look like finished.  There are half and quarter size patterns in the back of the book.  You just need to trace them and transfer to card stock.

    Waistband, p. 236-237:  The waistband is the waist measurement (not including any darts, pleats, etc.) less 1/2".  Then add 1" for the extention for the button/buttonhole or skirt hook and eye.   For a side zipper, measure the front waist and mark the side seam on the waistband.  For a back zipper, just mark the center of the waistband, not including the extention.

  7. sewchris703 | | #9

    figure 5a, the pleat would go on the fold same as for figure 4a.  There are more notches because there are more folds in the pleat.  But basicly when cut out both pattern pieces will look the same except in figure 5a the cut out rectangle openning in the center is wider.


  8. User avater
    artfulenterprises | | #18

    Where are you located birdlady1? And what school are you attending?

    You have been given lots of good advice by some very savvy sewists and it seems to me you are missing some fundamental concepts of pattern making that simply either haven't been addressed or that went over your head. (Like how to measure your patterns!) Sort of like enrolling in algebra when you haven't been exposed to basic math. Never having been too math oriented, I was wildly frustrated with trying to pass Algebra...couldn't understand how my concept of myself as a reasonably intelligent, diligent student, was failing this course miserably. Then, on my 3rd try, I found a brilliant teacher who made it so simple and logical I "aced" the class without breaking a sweat. All along the problem was math teachers who "just knew" how to do what they do but couldn't explain what they did if their lives depended on it! So take heart, but keep looking.

    1. birdlady1 | | #19


      I am located in Toronto, Ontario.  Math was and never will be my passion.  I was good in school in other subjects but math and me were not friends.  I must say that I am learning to understand how to read the measurements on ruler we use in pattern drafting. 

      I am having my first test tonight at my pattern class and am crossing my fingers.  I just hope I don't go, like I did in my first class last time, and freeze.  I am trying to have a positive attitude.  It is too bad that there are no good CDs around giving lessons on pattern making.  I started taping my first pattern class but my camera was not always working so I didn't get all the lessons.  Do you know of any CDs that are good?  I have heard that the one is Armstrong's book is not very good and does not teach you the lessons in pattern drafting.  If not, why include it in the book?  If it was just for learning to design clothing, then okay but if your book is on pattern drafting then include a CD on that subject.  I feel far to many people are creating books on a subject and have no idea on how to lay it out properly for various people.  Most just want to make money and too bad for the buyers.

      1. rekha | | #20

        I don't know about CDs but Connie Crawford has DVDs http://www.fashionpatterns.com/

        Good luck and keep calm. Try having a good night's sleep before the test day

        p.s. I searched for CDs and found these sites with reasonable pricing



        There are many free demos on youtube http://youtube.com/watch?v=DlOnm5uBV-0&feature=related

        Edited 6/11/2008 4:13 pm ET by rekha

      2. User avater
        artfulenterprises | | #21

        Helen's CD was intended for advanced students who are taking a full time fashion program.
        I found them fun but challenging. They are certainly not meant to teach fundamentals.I'm sorry to say I'm completely unfamiliar with Toronto so can't recommend anyone to you. Perhaps I'll have to consider doing one myself! There are quite a few products out there but I've never seen them so can't say from first hand knowledge that they are what you are looking for. Perhaps some of the other sewists here can enlighten you on CD's!Incidentally, industry patterns are never made as half patterns with the "cut on fold" notation. They are always full patterns (both right and left sides) unless the right and left sides are different shapes or fasten in front. Industry pattern sets are also made with ALL the pattern pieces necessary to cut the garment ie: 2 fronts (if it closes in the front, 1 if it doesn't) 1 back, 2 sleeves, 4 cuffs, top collar, under collar,4 pockets, all facings, all interfacings, all lining pcs, etc. They are done this way because the patterns are laid out on fabric that is open flat on long tables so that many garments can be cut at one time using the least amount of material.

      3. MaryinColorado | | #22

        Watching a funny movie before a test helped me to release some good endorphins and a piece of candy just before the test (glucose for those neurons).   Good luck and think positive thoughts!  Mary

      4. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #25

        Which program are you taking and where? If it is the one I think it is you certainly have your hands full as it is a tough program. I am just south of Ottawa, and have a daughter in Bellville/Trenton who I see often. email me: [email protected] I may not be able to talk you through much of the work, but I can offer you some support and encouragement. If it is the program I think it is, I may still have contacts who took the program who I can talk to and see if they have some helpful insights on how to cope. Cathy

      5. Teaf5 | | #26

        I hope you passed your test earlier this week! And I hope you don't give up if you didn't; there is always another way to learn!

        Here's a thought for you:  nearly every fashion element imaginable has already been professionally drafted and is available in one of the major pattern company books.  At any given time, two or more of these commercial patterns are on sale for $1.99 or 99c.  And a poster has shown us the free patterns on burda.com that you could use for experimentation and learning.

        When you need to understand a 6-gore skirt, buy a 99c pattern (in any size or your own size) and open it up for study.  Cut out all the pieces, measure all the seams and angles, mark it up with notes, and baste-stitch the tissues together, and see how different shapes and elements come together.  Then take out the stitching, press the pattern pieces and look at it again, flat.  On big sheets of newsprint, use a crayon and try to replicate the pattern without looking at it, cut it out, and stitch it together.

        Or, on pieces of printer paper, create the pattern in miniature and stitch it together.

        While commercial pattern drafting requires a good deal of math, that math means nothing if you don't have a good feel for or view of the necessary elements.  You just have to try different approaches (visual, tactile, motor) to find the one that makes the process make sense to you.  Good luck!

        1. rekha | | #27

          This is an excellent idea by far.

          I think sewing tissue paper doesn't sculpt as well as perhaps the synthetic fabrics like EZ Trace, swedish tracing paper or Kwik Sew tracing paper.

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