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Weekend Workshop: Introduction to  No-waste Cutting - Shifts & Chemises

Weekend Workshop: Introduction to No-waste Cutting - Shifts & Chemises


Introduction to No-waste Cutting - Shifts & Chemises

Saturday & Sunday 9 am - 5 pm with a break for lunch

August 3 - 4, 2024

taught by Rebecca Ranta


In times when all cloth was woven by hand, and as a result one of the most valuable possessions of an individual, tailors used clever cutting patterns and construction techniques to utilize as much of the fabric as possible, creating next to no waste. With the advent of mechanization, including the sewing machine, these techniques were abandoned for the sake of fashion and expediency. As we come to terms with our future and start to appreciate that less is more, it is time to revive these ingenious and timeless approaches to the use of fabric.


We will begin with an overview of the history of the undergarment known as the shift or chemise, and why it is a great example of no-waste cutting techniques. Students will then have the opportunity to experience the process through making a custom fit garment utilizing the techniques introduced. We will take necessary measurements, learn how these translate to the limitations of the rectangle of fabric, and cleverly arrange the pattern pieces to best utilize every thread.


Once the pattern is laid out we will bravely cut out the pattern pieces and learn the different construction techniques, including appropriate handsewing stitches, for each stage of construction. Students will leave class having been introduced to all the necessary techniques to be able to finish their shift or chemise at home. Some handsewing experience recommended.

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