Well guess what I got! A homework assignment!
Yesterday I Skyped with Antonia to see if they were affected by the recent earthquake, they are fine the earthquake did shake them up a bit but according to her nothing serious. It must be an awful feeling to have the ground shake from under you, she said it feels like you are dizzy only you're not and the light fixtures are swinging, the shelves are moving etc. only you are standing still...... not a feeling I want to experience. I asked what they did when they felt the shaking she said by the time one realizes what is going on it's over so they could really do nothing but wait it out. The tremor lasted under a minute but what a long minute it was.
Even an earthquake didn't stop Antonia from challenging me with a new design to draft within the next 10 days! The style is very cute and different the lines are curved from the shoulders to the hem at 70 degree angle with the added bonus of a slight flare at the scalloped hemline and no side seams either, only one back seam and seams at the shoulder incline. At least the fabric is a knit so the shaping will be more straight forward!
I have to get cracking because this is only one of the projects I have lined up for this month, bought some gorgeous fabric at the Festival from Sultan's; one piece for a shirt for me and one piece for a wool jacket in a hound's tooth weave plus I have a pair of leggings to make and then there is the teaching as well as to start prepping for the upcoming classes in Toronto.....
wI have been out of for a while now with the Festival classes this week. It has been a great year yet again!
I have to admit I was a bit concerned about the classes as I didn't have much time to prep this year but in the end they went very well. I don't think I can choose which went the best as they were different in nature, as long as the students came away with some new knowledge I consider the class a success.
The first class was the altering a fully lined, finished blazer, when I asked students to bring in 2 safety pins they thought I had lost it completely LOL! But in the end they realized what an asset two safety pins really are :) They were all very successful in hemming sleeves and we even had a session on how to take in a blazer at the back if there are some flaws detected in the fit. They even learned about tailor tacking yes folks tailor tacking something that seems to have gone by the wayside lately, well I'm bringing it back! They are your best friends when sewing or altering clothes.
Second class was the blouse techniques on how to add a placket, apparently I'm mellowing out in my old age and letting student merge steps on their storyboards! (Don't tell anyone) they really could do it in a couple of steps but I like to make them complete the whole journey without taking any shortcuts.
Third class was hemming pants/jeans and a Euro hem. Students were very keen on the Euro hem and were very surprised how easy it can be to hem a circle skirt or any circular hemline. A lot of great feedback and they were done even before the end of class!
The seminars went very well, I enjoy seminars even if they give only an overview of things, we did manage to cover some fit issues for some people, wish we had more time to help all who came to class.... In the end if they came away knowing a little more than when they came in it was a success!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the all the students for taking the classes and seminars it's always great to see new people and familiar faces as well. I would like to thank some students for bringing in pictures of lace garments they created after taking my working with lace class, it's great to know that I touched people in such a positive way.
Now on to the next challenge, classes in Toronto in 2017!
Getting ready for the festival 2016, looking forward to teaching classes and seminars this year! Check out the classes below there is still room to register for these very useful classes that will save you a lot of $$$$ in the future!
How to alter a completely finished, fully lined blazer I
In this class students will learn how to hem sleeves and take in a fully finished, fully lined blazer, it’s easier than you think once you see how it’s done and the best part is you get to fix one of your own blazers as a practice piece! If you don’t want to take the plunge and use a new one please bring an old one that you can practice on in class, it doesn’t matter if there is a vent or not on the sleeves. This promises to be one of the most useful courses you will ever take saving a lot of $$$$ in future alterations! Click here
Supply list will be provided
Blouses – techniques on cuffs, sleeve placket, overlap with self-facing, buttonholes and neckline facing
Ever wonder how the sleeves are so nicely finished on some blouses with a beautiful placket? How the cuffs are sewn in perfectly? How to make a self-facing on a front that doesn’t have one? How to finish a neckline professionally? All these and many other questions will be answered in this 3 hour workshop where you will create story boards to take home as visual references for future use. Click here
Kit will need to be purchased for this class
Hem alterations class including a rolled edge, blind stitched hem, circle skirt and a Euro hem for jeans
Hemming pants is the most common alteration necessary to fit pants. In fact on most high end pants the hem is not finished, they are only serged then measured in store and hemmed by the staff in the work room. Circle skirts are the most tricky to hem because of the bias drape that will drop more than the straight grain, there is a trick to hemming it evenly all the way around with no puckers/pleats that will be taught in this class. A Euro hem is when the original hem is kept on the jeans when shortening, it’s a neat trick that keeps the jeans’ original look making one feel like the jeans were made for them! Sign up for this class learn a lot and have fun in the process! Click here
Kit will need to be purchased for the class.
s1.5 - Le Grand Fit!
Maria’s mantra is “The clothes must fit the body, not the body fit the clothes” Join her as she explores what to look for when fitting a garment? See lines/gaping and don’t know what they mean or how to fix them? Maria will clarify all that in this seminar with her extensive alterations/teaching/designing experience she has encountered all kinds of issues and had to rectify them not only for her clients but her students as well! In this class you will learn how interpret what the garment is telling you, if there is a way of fixing the issue, when put it back on the shelf and walk away. An example of a well fitting garment Maria has created is shown, notice there are no visible lines indicating body issues even though the model is a plus size. Join this class for some great information and a few laughs!
1.5 Hour Seminar
Bespoke tailoring seminar for ladies and men’s wear
What is a bespoke tailor? Tailoring? How does it differ from regular tailoring? What is so special about it that makes it so prestigious and expensive? If you are curious about the art of bespoke tailoring join this seminar and learn all about it. Maria is an experienced bespoke tailor specializing in ladies evening wear, yes it applies to ladies wear too! Traditionally it’s been men’s wear that has been associated with bespoke tailoring but the truth of the matter is it can be any garment for any gender that can fit into this category. Click here
For those of you who are not familiar with an intensive program at Le Grand Chic this is a nice way of saying BOOT CAMP! Students really get to work out their drafting and sewing abilities in a short period of time they learn so much about drafting, sewing, cutting marking etc. My favourite phrases are "just go!" and "start again" when doing the storyboards to take home.
The class learns how to sew without any pins or in some extreme cases a few pins making them gain confidence and speeding up the sewing exponentially! By the end they are saying "look Ma, no pins!" Making me a very happy "Ma" LOL!
This latest group of students did a phenomenal job with all their assignments including homework, yes there is homework.....
Let me re-cap the progress made in only 60 short hours of instruction time the class did the following:
In between this there was a day off and a couple of shopping trips not to mention the time spent analyzing patterns and discussing fit issues as well as having our mandatory cappuccino a couple of times a day, gotta have some perks!
Anyway it was truly my privilege to have such talented ladies here to share knowledge with, I learned just as much as they did just by working with the different body types to figure out more fit issues, I look forward to the next intensive program.
This is an example of the fitting discussions for the pants draft; the blue lines represent the basic pattern block the red lines represent the individual adjustments. As you can see each one is different, the common denominator is the negative space around the crotch area that is the most problematic because no matter the adjustment it has to be done in the opposite manner of the bodice. That was an eye opener for the students.
Well it has lived up to its name, intensive! Yesterday was the final day for the bodice intensive class completing the two piece sleeve was on deck and complete it they did! So the dreaded storyboard also lived up to its name, dreaded! The phrase that send shivers up my students' spine is "start again" that happens a lot with the story boards because each step is done over again to add to it, like a flip chart to see the steps one at a time. Works great once students get home and need to refer to it when drafting.
Anyway the class did the two piece sleeve and sewed them on to the princess seamed top, there were some challenges but in the end the garment fit very well. When I have a picture I will post it.
The party went very well it was great to see the graduates and spend some time with everyone! Should do it more often!
It's been a while since I have posted simply because it has been very busy here! The ladies have been working very, very hard. They have been introduced to the dreaded storyboards!!!! The first storyboard they did was the raglan sleeve, how lucky are they!
So on day 3 we did the Dolman sleeve I drafted one while the students watched then they drafted one, the first reaction once finished was "that's it?"; "we're done?"; "that was easy!" I'm telling you these ladies are troopers for sure!
I also showed them how to separate the sleeve from the bodice as in a man's shirt, again they were shocked as to how EASY it is to complete the task. In the afternoon we learned the cap sleeve as a pre-cursor to the raglan in as the sloper lines are very similar. Yes they do get homework too, so don't think they are getting off easy....
On day 4 we focused on the raglan sleeve after going over homework and answering questions which put us in overtime and finished the class at 1 instead of 12 but was so worth the effort to complete the storyboard. So as soon as class started we drafted the raglan for knits which they did in record time! Different story for the raglan for wovens...... but in the end it was time well spent especially when they go back home and have this visual 3D reference to aid them in drafting a garment.
Today is Sunday and we had a day off to rest the old brains and get ready for the two piece sleeve in the morning. The afternoon will be dedicated to sewing and then a pot luck dinner party with the rest of the Le Grand Chic family here in Ontario, can't wait! It was very nice the Denise came to visit and meet the ladies!
So I was planning to post activities yesterday but the internet was down in the whole area. We called Rogers and they said they would try to fix it and send an email when the internet is fixed. Now if I can open the email account and receive new messages I think I could figure it out for myself that the internet is working! But I digress......
Anyway the ladies are here on day 3 of the intensive and working away as you see in the pix below. So far they have read mock ups that were brought in from home and transferred the adjustments to the paper pattern, taken new measurements and drafted a princess seam jacket on both front and back using the new measurements, drafted a cowl neck top, learned how to make 2 base darts instead of one and are now going to learn the Dolman and raglan sleeves today and this is only day 3!
These ladies are wonderful students, hard working and tenacious, they keep working until the task is finished.
I could not be happier than to welcome 3 lovely ladies who are traveling quite a distance to come here to learn some more in depth pattern making! I have quite a couple of weeks planned out for them to maximize their time here. We may even squeeze in a field trip to fabric stores in Toronto :) how cool is that!
Tomorrow we are going to start the day with questions of course, I have been in question withdrawal lately Judith has not been around to keep me on my toes LOL! Then we start the fitting process I have asked the students to bring the patterns and mock ups they made and have shown me on Skype so I can see them up close and give some advice on how to achieve an even better fit, how to read the mock up and transfer the findings to the pattern pieces as well as the master pattern. This is crucial to know what one is looking at to properly translate it to the pattern pieces leading to a perfectly fitting garment. There are many tricks that I will teach them to achieve said perfect fit that can only be understood when seen on the body.
From there we will be starting a princess cut jacket using the findings from the previous mock ups to make a pattern that is as close to perfect as one can make it. There will always be adjustments, albeit minor, especially because the body is never perfectly symmetrical so these adjustments have to be accounted for during the construction process.
If you have questioned your abilities to sew because the finished garment doesn't fit properly I can tell you that it's most likely not your sewing abilities that are questionable, it's the pattern that does not take into account the individual nuances of the body. My students can attest to this statement as being true, once they learned how to address the issues there was no stopping them so this where we are going to start on the first day of class. Keep you posted on the progress!
Only 2 more sleeps until the students arrive for the intensive program! I am so excited it's hard to contain the enthusiasm so you will forgive me for jumping up and down! Not too much or I might hurt something......
I have a jam packed 10 day program for the ladies, they will be here 13 days total; 5 days for bodice/sleeves/jacket, one day off and 5 days for pants instruction. There are two days for arriving and departing as well.....
Mother Nature is putting on her best colours for them, it's beautiful here in the country with so many trees and especially being waterfront for the duration of the program! There could be worse places to have classes, I'm sure the ladies will love their accommodations as well a nice 3 bedroom "cottage" that is located right next door, completely renovated just this summer. Below are some pix of the view from the classroom :) like I said could be worse.....
Hello all so the fitting went very well, I even made some adjustments while the gentleman was here so I can better see the adjustments and it was successful! He didn't even mind the dusty rose colour of the mock up :)
Whenever I make men's wear I have to re-train myself as my specialty is ladies evening and bridal wear, much more complicated to fit, that's not to say that men don't have fitting issues as well...... just not as many bumps to take into account LOL
Below are some pix of the mock up perhaps you can see where the adjustments need to made, I welcome any comments or suggestions on the subject!
Maria Calautti, "Jack of all trades"