You know how sometimes you can be surprised by something totally unexpected? Well this has been the case with these two fine women who needed to upgrade and catch up to the rest of the class. Tonia and Kelli work at lightning speed, my head is spinning at the end of the day because all I hear is "so what's next?" no sooner I give them an assignment, blink and it's complete! I honestly didn't think they would be able to do a bustier in such a short time but guess what; they completed it with time to spare!
Not only was it complete on schedule but it fit each of them perfectly! There were some minor issues as there are with mock ups but all in all the most important parts fit them impeccably! They really had to get creative with the boning so we took the various types of bonings and installed them so the ladies could use the bustier as a future reference on different types and uses of bonings with and without casings. The best one was the rigilene (sew in boning found on most ready to wear) the comments had us in stitches laughing! Suffice it to say Kelli and rigilene do not get along well! The underwire was actually easy to install compared to the boning. The end result was worth all the effort, they can now build in a bustier into an evening or wedding gown if the need arises.
Not sure what to do with my Saturdays now....... I really, really enjoy spending all day Saturday in the company of like minded individuals teaching and also learning things for myself as the questions asked always, without fail make me think.
I look forward to the men's wear class starting the last day of February with this group of very talented, very fine ladies who will be graduating soon. Look out world they are coming!!! :)
Well ladies you have been moving ahead by leaps and bounds! Something that was not even on the radar; the bustier is what you will be working on on Saturday!
As for the wedding gown I have the lace basted on to the bodice, took a lot of mapping out beforehand to see which is the best configuration, once I got the placement correct on the one side I said to myself "self now try to replicate it on the other side!" Let me backtrack a bit, the lace pieces were cut out only roughly and not completely trimmed so to trim the appliques I would have to remove them and then replace them; you see my dilemma..... So I proceeded to trim the lace for the other side, positioning it exactly the same with the swirls and flowers going in the opposite direction this time (it would really look odd if I didn't do this), pinned and basted it in place BEFORE removing the lace from the first side! When all this was done and I was satisfied with the placement I went ahead and removed the first lace, trimmed it and replaced it.
A roundabout way of doing things but let me tell you it worked like a charm! To the point I sent a pic to the bride and she commented no how precise the placement was, exact mirror images of each other! This method did 2 things
1) gave my brain time to really see the design in the lace and place it accordingly
2) allowed me to work relatively stress free as I had a map to follow at all times!
Anyone who took my lace classes can tell you it's important to give yourself the time to work with the lace by looking at it, making trial pieces, looking at it some more, trying something different and finally the best possible outcome will become apparent.
Have a great day!
Hello folks I know it's been a while since the last update on the gowns so here it is;
On Monday the bride was here and stayed the whole afternoon with me so I can fit the dress perfectly, and fit it did! Plus I wanted her to decide how she wants the lace placed, it has to be her vision that must be realized not mine, it is the bride's day not the tailors'. Some might argue but I am steadfast in this belief that the bride has the final say in the matter, it's up to the tailor to do the best possible job to make the bride's dream a reality. So she is a very happy camper with the choice of fabrics and how it's all coming together, my task is to shape the lace and sew it on to the bodice.
As anyone who took my lace class in the fall of 2015 and 2014 can attest lace is very forgiving and can be manipulated fairly easily with extraordinary results. This lace is a very beautiful Chantilly lace that will make the gown have a couture finish especially when I'm done with it!
Today I am working on the hem of the mother's dress, remember how I just said that lace is very forgiving, well there exceptions to every rule! This lace is forgiving to work with but with the placement not so much!!! At first glance the pattern on the lace looks fairly random but when working with it I found it is anything but random..... The fact is this lace is so symmetrical that the smallest misstep will create upheaval! When designing one must look for harmony in the garment, there can be no conflict between the fabrics, the lines of the garment, the fit has to maintain and accentuate this harmony. Sounds kind of out there but it's a fact if there is no harmony within the garment the wearer will not feel comfortable without even knowing why.
There is still quite a bit of hand work to finish the garments but no problem most of the work is done.
I am very happy with the outcome of both garments, can't wait for the wedding.
Ok so these two ladies are amazing! They just don't stop! Today they did 6 drafts plus cut a very finicky plaid skirt! On the list was to cut a plaid skirt in a special manner so the plaid would join all six gores in a particular method changing the plaid into diamonds on all six gores matching the squares perfectly at the seams. It's a simple skirt to draft using only one main pattern piece and tracing the rest but it's the placement on the fabric that counts as they learned today.
Next was the empire cut with asymmetrical neckline which they had drafted at home and I checked the pieces. Following that were the dreaded raglan sleeves! I am not a fan probably because I have had to draft so many that I'm sick of them but I still make and teach them. So the first was a simple raglan for wovens, next came the raglan top with a pleat down the front princess lines ending in a point with a self-facing; that was only the morning!
In the afternoon we continued with the raglans by doing the shaping, so that was completed in very short order; forward and onward to watching a power point on the raglan sleeves, well that was inspiration to draft a coat with a hammer sleeve!
Whew that was a lot of work!! Kudos ladies for being such troopers, keep up the good work!
Hello all so Kelli and Tonia started back to class in a condensed course to catch up with the rest of the book 2 class and today was the first day back.
I came to class with what I thought was going to be a challenging and speedy plan for them, we went over it first thing and they were impressed "yeah that sounds great! where do we start?"
So we started with going over the skirts section and I explained what I needed from them, they agreed to do most of the skirts drafting at home so they can go forward in the book, and forward they went with LIGHTNING SPEED!!!!!
During the course of the day these two amazing ladies drafted so much I can't even list it! Plus they fit some patterns on paper on their bodies to see how the construction works. In other words they did 3 days worth of work in one!
Not to lose momentum I assigned homework :) I am not mean only a teacher who likes to challenge her students and push them beyond their perceived limits because I can see potential in the students to do more in less time.
Suffice it to say there is a great deal of satisfaction in teaching such wonderful people to become accomplished bespoke tailors.
Keep up the good work ladies!
Even though work is supposed to be a four letter word, for me it's the other four letter word R E S T!!! I can lose myself in my work creating what some have called "works of art", to me they are simply a body covering brought to life by the wearer. Yesterday I worked on the mother of the bride's dress putting some finishing touches on the gown, the only thing left is the hem and I can't do that until the final fitting with the proper shoes.
I also cut the wedding gown in the the beautiful silk peau de soie in an ivory. I will be underlining it with a cotton/poly broadcloth which will keep it from wrinkling quite as much as without any underlining. This morning my task is to hand baste the two layers together inside the seam allowances rather than tailor basting in the usual manner, I'm afraid removing the thread will leave a hole in the fabric where the thread was.
This fabric presented quite a conundrum; tailors usually trace the pattern pieces on to the fabric, pinning inside the seam allowance to avoid the issue of leaving behind pin holes (custom patterns don't usually have seam allowances included). Seems like a great solution except that with fabrics that have a sheen the waxy dissolving chalk leaves behind a grease mark when pressed, which is worse then the pin holes..... What does one do in this instance?
I chose to use few pins on the paper pattern very close to the seam allowance then chalking in the cutting lines, even if there is a mark it will most likely be trimmed off so no harm done. The fabric itself is a gorgeous Italian silk with nice hand and just the right amount of sheen making a very elegant wedding gown.
Now it's off to work! Have a great day.
I hope you all survived the new year's celebrations! We were out with some good friends had a great time went to bed waaayyyyy too late or early in the morning whichever works :)
We went to our daughter's place for a new year's day brunch which was very nice, she is an excellent chef, I know my opinion is biased....
Today back to work! I was working on the mother of the bride dress had to figure out how to finish the neckline, I had a plan in mind but since both the lace and the silk are very opinionated I thought I would do a trial run first using some silk scraps I had on hand, you see I only have a limited amount of silk to play with so there was only one chance to get it right! I had in mind a small bias strip at the front going into a larger collar towards the back; great idea if it were any other lace! So I made what I thought would work well and guess what, it didn't! In fact what looked best was the complete opposite a larger front bias collar feathering it down to almost nothing at the top of the zipper on the back. Go figure.
I had to have patience and make another collar of the silk scraps that I had to see A) how it would look and B) get a pattern piece. The reason I didn't have a lot of fabric left over is that I had to cut sleeves as well as godets for the back of the skirt from what was left over, you will see what I mean after the wedding when I post pictures. It was quite a coup to get as much as I did from the fabric considering the sleeves were supposed to be cut in a mesh or tulle and not the fabric plus the godets at the back were not even on the radar when the fabric was purchased.
So the lesson learned here is KEEP THE SCRAPS!! Plus at times like this draping combined with pattern drafting really works well to get a good visual on how the finished product will look. Now I can finish the dress without any hesitation.
Have a good one!
Maria Calautti, "Jack of all trades"