Today I want to share with you my experience taking the Pattern Workshop by Lauren Dahl.
When I was first given the opportunity to review this course, I thought - 'Cool, I'll give it a quick overview, tell people generally what is included, and then go back at some point when I have more time and really dive in and LEARN!' That would have been so quick and easy, and I could have published this review months ago.
Instead, I started looking at the lessons and got sucked in. I really wanted to be able to do everything the course talked about. So I started re-watching lessons and doing the homework and really discovering Adobe Illustrator for the very first time.
The course starts you off with how to keep track of your design inspiration, then moves into slopers, ease, and standard measurements. Soon you are given a crash course on Adobe Illustrator - which I had never used before, but am quickly getting the hang of in terms of using the program for pattern digitizing, drafting and design. *You can NOT do this course without AI, it is an investment but worthwhile if you are serious about design. You can get the monthly membership which will allow you to use the program as needed without paying huge sums up front.*
The course then steps you through digitizing a pattern you drafted on paper and drafting a pattern directly in Adobe Illustrator. You will also learn how to create your own Pattern Blocks and alter them so that you can create a wide range of pattern designs.
People seem to get touchy around the subject of grading patterns - this course actually teaches THREE methods, Even Grading, Natural Grading, and Combo Grading. You can pick the method that works best for you and the patterns you are making. In general, I would say that Even Grading works best for Children's Garments and boxier styles that aren't super fitted (most Asian Patterns use the Even Grade Method). Natural Grading is going to work great for women's wear, or fitted patterns. And Combo Grading can potentially work for anything (I have not tried out Combo grading).
There are classes on adding seam allowance, proper markings, tiling your patterns to print, and digital illustrations. The Course finishes up the technical side with general guidelines for writing your instructions and how to determine all of the details that should be included. The course also includes an introduction to working with Indesign, but I haven't delved into the Indesign side yet.
So this brings you to the point where you would have a Pattern!!!! WOOOHOOOO! But, Lauren's course doesn't stop there. She navigates the murky waters of pricing, selling, marketing, and affiliates. There is also a phenomenal Facebook group for her students where you can share your questions, ask for clarification, or look for get some great points of view from others learning along with you.
I started out interested in reviewing this class simply so that I could learn to digitize and grade patterns that I have drafted for my kids that I wanted them to be able to wear for years and years to come. I stand today with so much more than that. One of the things I love about the course, is the ability to go back in at any point and refresh a lesson or work on a deeper level. I feel in so many ways that I am still skimming the surface in my full knowledge, but I learn more and more as I work with the programs and course more deeply.
Early in the process, I recognized that a VERBAL review of such a tangible course just wasn't going to cut it. I can say anything about the course and how awesome and user friendly it is, but what does that really mean without showing evidence of what I have learned? I started this course with a basic understanding of paper drafting, very little to no knowledge of grading, and absolutely no knowledge of Adobe Illustrator or digitizing.
Today I present to you my very first PDF Pattern - The Petit Pan Top, a Free Girl's Top in sizes 2-4. Have fun, and make sure you share your pictures of your creations with us #WWPetitPan.