Introducing Mandy Bengeyfield
Hi – my name’s Mandy Bengeyfield and ever since I was a teenager I’ve had to alter commercial patterns to make them fit me. Being almost 6ft tall, in those days it was just to lengthen things. Then I started a family! Pretty soon long legs were the least of my worries – my body shape changed until commercial patterns just didn’t fit me anywhere any more.
So I did a couple of pattern cutting courses to learn how to make my own patterns. This was great and I really enjoyed making patterns for clothes that would fit me properly. But, sad to say, I’m no dress designer and most of what I made was pretty straightforward and, to be honest, a bit boring.
So reluctantly I abandoned dressmaking, relying on specialist shops like Long Tall Sally for trousers and stretch fabrics with lycra for everything else!
I love sewing though and became determined to find a way to make stylish clothes that fit my shape (after 4 children, that was going to be no mean feat). I searched on Amazon and up popped books and DVDs from Palmer Pletsch. Their Tissue-Fit method made absolute sense to me and I was instantly hooked!
To cut a long story short, I went to America and did Palmer/Pletsch workshops and teacher training in fashion fit, followed by trouser fit and working with Knits. Currently I am one of only two Palmer Pletsch certified sewing and fit instructors in the UK.
As well as running the Fit2Sew School, I teach on a variety of courses at Sutton College (formerly SCOLA), including level 2 Fashion Sewing as well as general interest Clothesmaking.