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.
Only a couple more pattern left to learn and these ladies will have finished the book! What a ride it has been, incredible ladies, even better work, they so deserve the kudos they get!
We covered the shawl collar last class that goes on a coat dress, the introduction to the blazer which is coming up next as the final exam.
In class we added the shawl collar to a sheath front, the rest of the pattern will be completed for homework adding the armhole adjustment for the sleeves as well as the drafting a set-in sleeve to the elbow.
Homework is to draft one of the collar variations on a garment with princess seams on the front only using different measurements in addition to work assigned above.
In addition, draft a front and back on page 106, minus the neckline, with princess seams on both front and back.
Hello all we are continuing with our online learning with the Bradford class. All was going well until Rogers came and cut the cable!!!! Imagine my surprise when there was no internet at all!!! I called in to Rogers to find out what is going on and the person said there was no outage (these happen in the country quite often) in the area and asked if there was anyone working on the street. I said no but I would check anyway, I go upstairs to look outside and much to my surprise there were indeed 2 workers on our property line burying the cable! Can you believe it? I asked what they were doing, they said they knocked on the door, of course I couldn't here them in the middle of a lesson and didn't answer so they proceeded to think there was no one home! I felt like saying "Really dude where on earth would I go in the middle of a lockdown????". There was no other time they could have cut the cable, it had to be on a Thursday afternoon the only day every other week that I have a standing appointment!!! Of course then it would not be inconvenient now would it?
The class was very patient waiting for me to be back online, we ran out of time a couple of times on Zoom but managed to eventually finish the class. It really sucks that we were very unceremoniously interrupted, we were on such a roll at the time, it's a bit hard to get back into it after an interruption like that. Anyway all is well that ends well, on the upside this post would have been much shorter and more boring without this story to tell LOL!
We got to work on the robe draft with a shawl collar and a double breasted centre front which is the introduction to adding collars to garments. So far we are working on drafts only with the sewing left to when we can re-convene live classes, soon I hope...
Homework for is to trace pattern pieces for the robe drafted with personal measurements and one additional draft using different measurements, both master pattern and pattern pieces are to be drafted and traced.
Hopefully next class we won't be interrupted! We will be drafting the coat dress with the shawl collar, please prepare a basic sheath pattern using personal measurements to add the collar in class.
How is everyone doing? I'm sure cabin fever is setting in especially with the nice weather starting to make an appearance.
I have been keeping busy with sewing masks and surgical caps for frontline workers, plus holding virtual classes with students as well as my grandkids! Of course there is the cooking and sharing videos on YouTube for sewing and instructions on simple meals.
As awful as this virus is and as hard as the isolation is, it might be a blessing in disguise giving families time to re-introduce themselves to each other. It has given parents a chance to introduce children to the kitchen, household chores, teach them responsibility and patience. I only hope these lessons will not be lost once we go back to "normal" whatever that is....
The hardest hit are the elderly in Long Term Care homes, my heart breaks for them and the families who worry, I know first hand how hard it is with my mom in a home. The staff are amazing and working under impossible conditions, the management is pleading for warm bodies to work, no experience necessary, just a willingness to help.
This is truly a sad, sad situation my wish is that the powers that be will learn that they can't ignore the cries for help from these establishments. There should be no more part time workers only full time, well paid staff with manageable hours. ALL homes should be scrutinized and inspected by mystery inspectors, much like mystery shoppers do in retail, to get a real look at them not be ushered in by appointment only.
These homes should not be money makers for the owners, rather an oasis of wellness for the most vulnerable who have worked their whole lives and only ask to be treated with respect in their twilight years. Each meal should be treated with the reverence of a last meal, as it may very well be for someone's mother/father/uncle/aunt/grandparent. They deserve, rather earned, that right don't you think?!
Maria Calautti, "Jack of all trades"