What a pleasure it has been to see this young woman grow in her sewing abilities! Over the past two years I have seen Krissy go from an anxious student to a confident woman who knows what she is doing and trusts her instincts in solving problems and creating some pretty awesome garments! The blazer being the final one in the series of garments from book one, the one that will be graded because when a person can successfully create a blazer, they can successfully create anything.
Krissy is part of the Bradford class and could not make the last class to finish the blazer so she opted to book private classes to make up the lessons which are pretty intense so we decided to take it slow and do it in two sessions instead of one.
Today she did quite a lot of hand sewing, something I could not possibly explain over the phone she had to see it and I had to see how she completed it to be successful which she was!
There is homework: install sleeves on to jacket as discussed in class, tack the canvas to the shoulder incline seam allowance as well as the arm cye with a long running stitch, cut out the rollino using the template given out of bamboo batting to be ready to add the rollino as well as the shoulder pads next class.
Next class we will be finishing the blazer by "bagging" the lining, finishing the hem and sleeves and hopefully adding the buttons and buttonholes for the finishing touch! looking forward to it!!
Yesterday was the final class to complete the blazer all the students had to do was add the twill tape to the front, add the sleeves, tailor the sleeves with the rollino and shoulder pads, complete the lining and sew it on the jacket to finish it. Easy enough right? Well it was INTENSE!!! Most of the work has to be done by hand because this is bespoke tailoring after all AND a final exam, this all takes time, a lot of time...
We had a few hiccups, two people were absent for very good reasons.
One student who came to class realized she came to the blazers class without her blazer! The poor thing felt so bad especially because her house is in Bradford, the class is now held in Oro Station, almost one hour north!!! Well she met her mom halfway and made it to class blazer in hand. I was not concerned because I knew she would catch up to the class in no time, which she did.
Another student had to leave for a short period of time to someplace with wi-fi to register for university classes for next fall, she was sailing right along BEFORE attempting to register, then something went wrong which threw her for a loop and she ended up doing the back neckline a few times before it finally came together, and come together it did beautifully!!!
There were other issues with finishing, fit etc that will happen usually at the worst possible time, so once students have to taking seams apart it takes time. A 4 pm finish ended up a 6:30 pm finish and then the clean up! Suffice it to say it was a very long day for all the participants!
I thought it would be a great idea to match my shoes to my outfit, after all one must represent right? Well 10,000 steps in stiletto heels is not the smartest thing I have ever done... I was never so happy to see my flip flops EVER!!
The class almost finished the blazer which is no easy feat to begin with but to do it on such a short timeline is extraordinary! Their work is impeccable, the fit seems to be perfect, it is such a pleasure to teach these ladies who I'm proud to say are going to receive their Italian certificate of completion for finishing book 1. They dedicated 2 years of their lives to complete it, which they have done with a smile.
But alas even on the last class there is homework:
Homework is to add the buttons and buttonholes to the blazer, press it, remove the basting and any leftover tailor tacks then give it a final pressing before handing it in for grading. We will get together later in the summer once the two missing students have taken the last class and completed the work that way we will see each other once again and I will distribute the well earned certificates to the class.
Have a great rest of the summer, stay safe.
So summer classes are HOT! I mean hot in the true sense of the word! Yesterday was the blazers class complete with hot irons, poorly working A/C and a bunch of HOT ladies in the class!! I mean this hot as in way cool!!!
Anyway we learned how to add welt pockets with a storyboard to start with and then right into the jacket front! It was kind of like baptism by fire to go right into the jacket front without much practice but these ladies are troopers, they did an AMAZING job! All of them did great, their personality seemed to shine through even in their welts. Some did the pockets without breaking a sweat, others on the other hand had puddles of sweat where they were working LOL!!!
Blazer teaching points: order of class
Next class we will be sewing the collar in place, adding the sleeves and tailoring them adding the rollino and shoulder pads to the inside. We will bag the lining to finish the jacket
So yesterday was a little less eventful than the previous class, I had the key, the AC was turned on, everyone was there..... a phone rings.... I picked up my daughter's phone and left mine at home! Good job it's only a 5 minute commute LOL so my daughter patiently came and we swapped phones!
The class had the task of putting together the canvas with the front stay and then hand basting it to the jacket fronts. Seems simple enough, there is a lot of technique involved like hand basting the stay to the canvas then doing very large padstitching to affix the stay to the canvas. When the students were almost finished the hand work I proceeded to tell them that it is quite acceptable to machine stitch the stay rather than sewing it by hand. If looks could kill.... In my defence I did ask if they wanted to learn the real way of doing things or take short cuts at the very beginning, it was unanimous they all said "the real way", just goes to show; be careful what you wish for you may just get it!!!
In the end they will be thankful they learned this, not right now but down the road when they wear their blazer and feel very good about it.
In the meantime there is homework, lots of homework!
Homework is to finish the hand basting at the front plus the padstitching on the lapels and collar stand as shown in class. The basting instructions are on the "Anatomy of a blazer" hand out on pages 3 and 4. Please note the block capitals in this instruction:
11. "Tailor tack EVERYTHING, roll line in red"
Please do not press the jacket fronts once finished we will be pressing them in class.
Next class first thing we will be doing is the welt storyboard.
Have a great week!
Well that was a good class yesterday, after a couple of false starts we finally connected! Kerise is a very, very enthusiastic student eager to learn pattern drafting but more importantly fitting the body. She will learn so much about fitting the bodice during this section of the program, she will never look at garments in the same light again!
Yesterday's class consisted of the base dart for a loose fitting top. Next week we are going to add the fish eye dart to the front and back for a sheath look. For those of you who are not familiar with the term "sheath" it is a timeless, basic look that is flattering on anyone with dressmaker darts at the bust the long darts at the front and back. To be done properly the dressmaker darts have to be off-set minimum 3 cm away from the apex. For anyone shopping and sees this design, try it on, if the darts finish right at the apex put it back, that is done wrong! Point it out to the salesperson and tell them to complain to the manufacturer because the dart should under no circumstances finish at the apex for 2 reasons: 1) it's unsightly 2) the fullness for the bust is not in the right place. To take best advantage of the fullness there has to be room which is not at the point but further forward. Does this make sense?
Anyway I joked with Kerise that I have to slow her down a bit, she gets so excited that she wants to jump ahead, this will lead to some bad habits and will get confusing when steps are missed. She agreed to be more patient LOL! There was not much choice there!
There is homework: draft 2 to 3 more fronts with the base dart for a sheath and create more backs until the neckline is clear. Next class will be on Tuesday at 3 (?) on the side shaping and adding the fish eye dart on page 42 for the sheath top.
See you soon!
Well is nothing ever easy? Today was our second class here in Oro-Medonte, all was well, spoke to person in charge of opening the door to the community hall got the dates all down, I got my truck loaded up all was going well, had some lunch (what a luxury to have a 5 minute commute LOL!) and I left all the while thinking "this is going too smoothly..," You ever get that feeling?
I got to the hall expecting the door to be open... can you guess what happened next? Yes the door was closed and the person was nowhere to be seen so I reached for my phone and it too was MIA! I forgot it at home so I went to the person's house as they live just down the street, no cars in the driveway not a good sign, went to the door and no answer, now what?
I turned around and went back home to get my phone... not happy at this point. Got my phone and called the person, they forgot all about opening the door and felt very badly about it. These things they happen is all I can say with a shrug.... Finally got in the hall only to find out the next door neighbour also had a key to let us in!!!!
After the misadventures we started the class a bit late, what a surprise! It seemed like 5 minutes went by and it was time to go home! I honestly can't believe how quickly the time goes by in this class. Today the students fit their mock ups some had more adjustments than others but in the end they were all happy with the fit. We were supposed to do a welt storyboard but that was not in the cards today so it will be done next week. The homework for this week will actually take longer to read than to do so don't get scared at the wordiness of it LOL!!!
Homework is to finish tracing the pattern pieces as shown in class, cut the fabric and lining pieces, tailor tack them as well. The only pieces you are NOT to cut are the canvas and front stay, they will be cut and marked in class next week.
The other part of the homework is to practice basting the piece of canvas on to some fabric as shown with the stitch kept vertical while the thread can be on the diagonal while smoothing out the fabric which is on the top facing you as you baste.
In addition, I showed the class a bit of padstitching technique which you are all to practice before actually trying it on the lapel. You are to draw lines about 7 mm apart on the whole little piece of canvas diagonally then start stitching from the middle outwards. You are to start on one end stitch to the opposite side then, without turning the fabric jump over to the line closest to you and go in the other direction as I demonstrated in class. The stitches should look like chevrons when you are done. In the middle the stitches can be up to 1 cm long but no longer, as you get to the corners then make the stitches smaller. When you reach the end of one side turn the fabric and complete the other side as well.
Practice as much as you can, I know this is going to be a Holiday week and all, this is something you can do while sitting and relaxing???? Does anybody know what that means????
I want to welcome Kerise to the Le Grand Chic Italia School of Fashion family! She started last Friday and I'm afraid I have been remiss in not posting this until tonight. I thought I had posted the homework already but I guess not... Sorry.
Kerise has been sewing for some time now, self-taught mostly, but sometimes got stuck on the fit, she couldn't figure out how to fit the body properly then she found me! I'm happy to share my knowledge of pattern making and fitting with her, the first class Kerise was off to a great start we did both the front and back basic bodice block, this surprised her that she was able to understand it all. I was not surprised she is a very enthusiastic learner!
Homework is to draft a second pattern using the generic measurements as well as two other basic blocks using other measurements. In tomorrow's class we will be diving into the shaping, I said it's going to be a deep dive into understanding and fitting the body taking cues from measurements. Can't wait!
What a welcome change to teach a live class! We decided this was the best route to take for the class to start the blazer, gutted the other syllabus because we missed so much time with this pandemic that has turned the world upside down! Of course the proper precautions were taken by all to keep the distance and wear masks when working.
This is the final section of Book 1 and the whole thing is an exam, like an "open book" exam, that means the marking and work are even harder than one that is "closed book"... The class was very successful in drafting the blazer along with the two piece sleeve which they learned only last class with many, many interruptions by Zoom, so I'm very proud they did such a good job in understanding the sleeve and how it's drafted.... There are 6 basic steps to it, but there are about 5 steps within each step LOL!!! That's a lot of steps!
For anyone who has ever sewn a blazer you know how much work it is to bring it to fruition, these ladies are going to have a finished blazer by mid-July! They are going to be working A LOT with a lot of homework, I have no doubt it will get done :) Good Job!!
Homework is to sew the mock up by tracing the pattern pieces for the outside layer only, mark all the notches accordingly, add grainlines, pocket placement and transfer all the markings on to the mock up by tailor tacking. Do not add any hem allowances or seam allowances to the centre front or collar.
Included in the tailor tacking are the vertical and horizontal grainline on the sleeve, horizontal grainline at the waistline on both front and back, roll line in red thread, pocket placement, all the seams need to be marked as well. Yes folks I'm talking about the mock up, there can’t be any room for error when cutting the blazer so any fit issues have to dealt with at this stage...
List of materials needed: These may be purchased within the next couple of weeks, they are not required for the next class...
See you then!
Well yesterday's class was one for the record books! I felt like Gilligan going a three hour tour and got stuck on a deserted island forever! The 3 hour class started at 1ish and finished at almost 5!!! I officially don't like Zoom for teaching! Just when the class gets right into the lecture/demo we are told we ran out of time so we have to start again. I didn't subscribe to Zoom because I use Skype all the time where we don't run out of time no matter how long we are on there but one student could not download it on her device so Zoom it was. Well I give up!! The next class is going to be live I can't do the virtual class with sound cutting out, cameras not working, getting kicked off at the most inopportune time! This will be fodder for good stories to tell our families in the future :D
Anyway the technology was challenging making the already quite complicated two-piece sleeve draft that much more challenging. I have to congratulate the class on a job well done on the storyboard, if the tech would have been working properly they would have been required to do a new draft in class after the storyboard with different measurements and another one for homework, but I guess they got lucky??? All they had to do was the storyboard...
There is homework
It will be to find 2 old patterns in different sizes, adjust the armhole for the two piece sleeve and draft the sleeve to fit the garment using the storyboard as a guide.
Next class will be the blazer draft, bring your thinking caps, paper and erasers!
Today is May 30, 2020 a rainy, cold day that promises to be a very productive day indoors, not unlike the past 2 and 1/2 months!
I have been working on videos to upload as virtual classes for anyone interested in learning in-depth pattern making. I will include the beloved storyboards :) in the instructions. They are by and large the best way of learning by repetition as all my students will attest. They may not like them but respect the effectiveness on facilitating learning. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
The editing has been a straight up learning curve for me, I have had no training whatsoever in this department just learned by trial and error of which there were many! In the end I'm hoping the videos will be somewhat professional in appearance, the content certainly will be using years of experience in teaching, drafting and sewing as my guides.
If anyone has any suggestions as to service providers for a subscription platform I would greatly appreciate any input.
Maria Calautti, "Jack of all trades"