Hello all looks like I survived Christmas! Whew another one under my belt! It seems to take more energy and time to do what I used to do with great ease, but it's really nice to see the whole family together especially the children and their smiles on Christmas morning, makes the whole thing worthwhile!
Now it's on to the New Years celebrations and then back to normal. Thought I could do a bit of work today but it was not in the cards, the car decided to take a break and not start! GRRRRRR!!!!
So I stayed calm, went back inside and altered a jacket. No point in wasting the time I have at home. Yesterday I was going to fuse the silk for the wedding gown with some underlining, thought I would try it first to see how the silk takes to the fusion, good job I did the silk did not like the underlining at all, not even a little bit!!!!!!! The problem being the honey-comb design of the ironing board (even with extra padding) would emboss into the silk! So no dice I have to get some pelon and sew it into the gown to keep the silk from wrinkling as much as it normally would.
The jacket turned out wonderfully well! Guess we should count our blessings :)
Happy New Year to all my students, all who read my blog periodically and first time readers! See you in 2016!
Hello ladies I was just going over some of the stuff we will be covering in the men's wear section and have come up with a plan;
We will be divided into 2 groups using 2 models and each group will make a suit for the model. Students will be able to learn all aspects of suit making and tailoring by working in a group in a rotation on the suit. By a suit I mean a blazer and pants that way we will be working on two sections at once, jackets and pants! How is that for multi-tasking?!
Amy has already suggested her significant other would be interested in being one of the models so if there is anyone else who has someone willing to make the sacrifice and be a model please let me know. In the meantime have a great Holiday Season!
Well folks the moment of truth was today with the addition of the sleeves on the dress! I am happy to report that the dress fit impeccably! The sleeves fit very well she has room to move but they are not big in any way, the belt makes the dress, gives it a whole other element so the sleeves must compliment the belt and they do to a T!!!
The lace finally decided it was OK to use the scalloped edge for the hem plus some of the scallop to finish the back kick pleats at the hem.
All in all we were both very happy!
Hello folks well with the upcoming Holidays that always seem to sneak up on me no matter how much planning and getting ready I try to do ahead of time, I am still trying to get some work done!
So I finally figured out the best way to put the lace on the sleeves, going to rouche a little of the hemline to compliment the lace showing the beautiful purple fabric, it seems the lace doesn't mind sharing the spotlight with the silk so I'm going with it. The length is perfect the way it is so that part can be finished once the godets go into the back and then it's on to complete all the hand work and beading before adding the lining and finishing the neckline.
Then it's on to the wedding gown with fusing the fabric with some interfacing to keep the silk from wrinkling as much as it would otherwise. The fabric is a gorgeous silk peau de soie so it merits the extra effort of underlining it.
Keep you posted.....
As a final assignment worth 40% of the final mark the Modellista students were assigned a jacket to make using one of the jacket styles studied during the semester, the choice was a jacket with a notched, Peter Pan, or tuxedo collar. Everyone did the fantastic job, some finished on time some did not, life happens so some were given only partial marks. It was a tough semester with a new jacket to draft almost every class and come up with the pattern pieces as well.
This is what real life is like when you have deadlines and work constantly coming at you so it's good practice to learn to budget time so all the work will get done. That's why this program is so good because the students are expected to work as though they were on the job giving them the necessary hours of apprenticeship required to become a master tailor. I am tough in my classes I expect a lot and it's for marks, imagine an employer who pays a wage what their expectations would be, or if you are self employed the discipline you need to be successful in your business. This is all part and parcel of the program and not in an abstract, case study sort of way, it's actual work with deadlines and expectations.
I would like to share some pictures that Judith sent me of her now finished tuxedo jacket and you can see for yourself what the expectations are and what is taught throughout the program. Judith is in book 2 and has many personal adjustments to make on her patterns for them to fit properly, not because she has any specific problem only because her body, like everyone else, is unique. She got this jacket to fit impeccably well even though when I saw it the jacket was not completely finished so she sent me pix of the finished product and here they are!
So this very opinionated lace and I have finally reached an understanding and are getting along! Like I always said to my students; listen to the fabric it will never steer you wrong, more true words were never spoken!
This lace is very symmetrical and does not take well to anything that is not symmetrical or harmonious, it does however like the silk and shows very well alongside the silk charmeuese. Once the mother of the bride dress is done I will post pix as it truly is different from any other mother of..... dress anywhere.
The lace is very bold, the colour combination of aubergine and ecru work together very well, not the standard colour combination but then again opposites attract this is especially true in design, one should try to pair together lines/colours that are opposite and there will be harmony.
Recently I was asked a question; When designing a garment how do you know when to stop adding/changing?
A great question I had to think about it for a minute, my answer to that question is you look for harmony in the garment. Also an old art teacher of mine once said if it doesn't add, it takes away so do a practice piece first to see what the reaction is. What you are looking for is the feeling you get when looking at the garment when you stand back and look at the garment in the mirror, that's the trick is to look in the mirror not at the garment. Do your eyes go all over the place? Is it disquieting to look at the garment? Do you relax? Do your eyes follow the lines and you feel at peace?
With this lace I have had to do many practice pieces because it fights so hard with what it doesn't like and is so very harmonious with anything that works well, it seems to settle down and I smile. I know it sounds corny but believe me it works!
My new pleather coat is finished and ready to wear this weekend! It was an interesting undertaking to re-do a coat and keep the lining, not sure if I would do it again but worth the effort for the learning experience. The best part is the beautiful silk inside the collar, don't like leather next to my skin, plus I made the infinity scarf out of the remaining silk that looks great! I guess once I wear the coat and it takes my shape I will be happier with it, I'm probably just too picky for my own good and feel this is not my best work. It also took a lot longer than I would have liked, working with pleather is a lot like working with leather you can't pin anything so have to be more careful cutting and there is no pinning when sewing, not that I pin anyway when I sew but the cutting is a challenge. Pressing is also interesting one must use a pressing cloth at all times, I would hate to put a hot iron on a synthetic only to melt it onto my iron, I would not be a happy camper!
It's done now and I hope to make other garments using pleather even for the grandkids like the biker jackets I made for them a few years ago. Here they are, S, M, L!
Ok so today I needed a break from evening wear so I decided to re-make a coat. You know how most people re-line a coat because the fabric is of good quality but the lining is worn out? Well I tend to do things differently, I KEPT THE LINING AND THREW OUT THE COAT!!!! Talk about zigging when everyone else is zagging!!!!
This is one of my favourite coats, raglan sleeves notwithstanding, but it was just a trial piece that turned out so nice I have been wearing it for several winters. In the spirit of mock ups the fabric was something on special that was really not very good and looked cheap as well so yesterday I went and purchased some pleather in a reddish colour.
As I said the lining was really good and it had a layer of thinsulate as well so the coat was very warm, I really had no choice but to buy red or black fabric, didn't want black so red it is! I took the coat apart the other day and brought the lining home to wash it, mission accomplished, the lining came out clean and looks like new. Fabric not so much.....
Even if I decided to dry clean the coat it would have cost more than the cleaning and not worth it so a new coat for Maria it is!!
I happened to have some gorgeous silk that blends beautifully so I did the pocket flaps in the silk, will line the inside of the stand up collar with the same silk, don't like the feel of leather against my skin, I may just add cuffs in the silk as well and I even have enough silk to make a beautiful eternity scarf to go with the coat :)
I love it when a plan comes together!!! Once the coat is done I will post a picture so you can all see what I'm talking about. BTW it's just a car coat not a full length one.
So today mother and bride came for their fittings and I am happy to report that the garments fit like a glove! The mother's dress looked outstanding! I was very happy with the fit as was she, the sleeves are next on my agenda to make them perfect, I think the lace and I reached a meeting of the minds so to speak...... It is nowhere near as rebellious as it was, perhaps I caved not sure but the client is happy so it's all good!
The bride only had her linings to look at today as 70% of the work is underneath. I had to see the shape of the dress and the fit of the bustier, both were very good although the bustier still needs the hook and eye tape at the back but we got the general idea. The bride was happy with how the lace and fabric looked together as well, I already knew they would work well together but she was not so sure, now she is!
So I went from sophisticated evening wear to fixing little boys shirts for snow cross or something to that effect :) I have to take a men's small shirt and fix it to fit a 5 year old boy and an 8 year old boy! This in itself is a challenge but then there is the equipment that is worn underneath for protection that add a new twist to job. For the 8 year old boy I actually have to re-jig the neckline at the back by scooping it out so it will fit around the brace without pulling the front to the back, the sleeves on both counts are waaaaayyyyyy to long so they have to be cut but not too much so because they are going to grow and these shirts will have to fit them as they grow. Suffice it to say it has been an interesting day!
So I have been working on the wedding gown for the past few days, most people don't realize a wedding gown has to be built from the inside out. So far there are 4 layers done and I haven't even touched the actual fabric and lace!
There is the crinoline next to the body that has two to three layers but we will count that as one, the lining next to the body is number two, the bustier is next so there are three, then there is the lining for the outside layer bringing the total to FOUR! This is tomorrow's fitting to see if everything lands where it's supposed to land. Then I cut the fabric and the rest of the materials.
On top of this is the underlining, fabric, tulle and lace for the bodice and the fabric for the skirt plus underlining for the top part of the skirt. It really is more of a construction project than anything!!!!
So it's the first 5 sections of a wedding gown that are the hardest, after that it's smooth sailing :)
Putting together the built-in bustier really bends the brain as my senior students can agree, it is a method all it's own but the end result is so worth the effort. So if you are ever in the mood to think outside the box and want a real challenge make a bustier, it will keep any sort of dementia at bay believe me!
I'm glad the other lace and I have come to an understanding so we can work together to make the most stunning mother of the bride dress ever!!!
Keep you posted on the progress of both these outfits. Once the wedding happens I will post a lot of pix for you all to see!
Maria Calautti, "Jack of all trades"