On April 20th of this year an era came to an end, my commercial property where I had my studio sold after 40+ years.
This was our family hub for a very long time and the first home of Le Grand Chic Italia School of Fashion, this is where my children cut their teeth, took their first steps, learned to ride a bike, learned the meaning of good food, hard work, family values and the meaning of being together through good times and bad as a family. I thought there would be a feeling of euphoria and elation but to my surprise there was also sadness and melancholy. Suffice it to say the feelings were very mixed kind of like losing a friend you loved to hate, can't live with them, can't live without them!
So a new chapter in our lives begins without our beloved "Madeliene's", that was the name of the restaurant when we bought it in 1975 and never changed the name. So it became known as my husband's other wife :) (yeah we have a sense of humour!).
For now some much needed/deserved R & R to reflect on our next steps, for the moment I will be working from home with a couple of distance students, one from California and one from Australia with whom I have already spoken and assigned homework even before we officially start classes! Good luck ladies you will ace the assignment!
I will say bye for now, will be offline for a few days to catch my breath see you towards the end of the week.
So today is the final class for the men's wear, it didn't hit me until I sent the homework assignment on Friday that it would be the very last time I would assign homework to this group. It was a bittersweet moment for me these ladies have been with me for 5 - 6 years learning this wonderful art.
They are more like family than students to me and I believe to each other as well. They get along very well, support each other no matter what, there have been many laughs, some tears, some frustration but in the end a lot of learning on this memorable journey that will culminate when they graduate receiving their coveted Italian diploma.
I will never forget this group, my first graduates, I hope to keep in touch with them and also hope some will take on the task of teaching others as well to keep pattern drafting and tailoring not only alive but thriving.
I has been my pleasure and privilege to teach these ladies, I only hope I will have the pleasure of teaching other such groups in the future.
It was an intense day yesterday of drafting by this very talented group of ladies. There were only 6, two had already written during the week, we had a couple of meltdowns but in the end everyone finished the patterns ready to ship to Italy for grading.
Here is a picture of the exams, just take a look at the sheer volume of paper needed to complete all the pattern pieces! This was only for the jacket, 1/3 of the exam there was also a dress and pants to draft suffice it to say it was not easy!
Best of luck to the senior class writing exams tomorrow and to the ones who have already written exams! I have no doubt the students will do very well in the final exams. Note the plural "exams" in total the class has to draft 3 garments with a master pattern as well as the pattern pieces to the three garments. They are allowed 3 hours for each garment and they have to label the pattern pieces in Italian as well as English!
I am so very proud of this group!
!This class is progressing well with all ten thousand components of a man's suit! So many pockets, so many welts! By the end of this session these ladies will not be intimidated by welts any more that's for sure!
So on Monday we are going to finish with the pockets on the jacket FINALLY! Then we go on to the vents with mitered corners on both the sleeves and back, can't wait to see how the lining bends the brain when it gets sewn into the back vents with the offset seams! It is actually very easy to install, drafting on the other hand was a real mind bender for some.
The sleeve vents are going to be a trip because there are vents on the fabric but none on the lining, it gets sewn in just like any other sleeve lining, can't wait to see that reaction!
The exams have begun some have written the biggest majority will be next Saturday in the all day session while I'm packing up my studio...... sadness :(
I will be working from home for a while although I will be taking some much needed time off once all the dust settles from the sale of the property and move. In the meantime forward and onward to graduation!
Maria Calautti, "Jack of all trades"