Hello all I have been working on a project that I call the “puzzle” jacket, maybe you have seen snippets of it during the construction process. Today I finished it and will reveal the outcome of this project.
It started out like any other project with an idea inspired by a video I saw posted by Shingo Sato on youtube. The sleeve design intrigued me so I decided I should try it to challenge myself, then the puzzle jacket project took on a life of its own and like most puzzles you don’t see the whole picture until it’s done. It morphed into something with a much deeper meaning representative of the current reality we are living.
The sleeves and bodice are much like puzzle pieces, hence the name, with a squiggly seam rather than a regular armhole seam holding together two separate pieces in a straight line with a bit of ease for the sleeve to hang better. This is representative of the chaos the world is now in*, no longer is it straightforward and “normal” it is unpredictable and complicated. The seam can also represent the ups and downs of the financial markets, borders becoming hard (piping) no longer allowing the flow of people
Pan to the front without revealing the whole thing focus on Pockets
We have pockets normally straight across are on an angle, design feature? Possibly, but it can also represent the upheaval in our lives that is our current reality. Normally to contrast the pocket there would be a welt to cover and highlight the seam representing our daily lives as they were. Now that our lives have been upended all those things that seemed important or imperative have suddenly disappeared into the background and become almost insignificant if you will…
Moving on to the centre front which is where the buttons are located for both esthetic and practical reasons, to fight against the cold and keep us warm for one, usually the buttons are all the same, the opening is straight, not in this one
Neckline and buttons
The neckline is society in general going on about their daily business/life, that is until this pandemic hit and suddenly we are in isolation, this is us together, but separate.
All the buttons are isolated from one another much like we are in today’s reality, they are all different colours, sizes, sewn on with different colour threads but doing the same job; keeping the jacket closed. The different buttons are representative and celebrating our differences as a people, we are all in the same boat folks.
If one of them is not buttoned the jacket will not be closed properly and you will be cold, think of covid-19 as the cold getting in from the unclosed button. If even one of them breaks the link the whole body will be cold, do you want to be the one button that is not closed? I don’t. that’s why I’m adhering to the advice of experts saying to stay home
Once the isolation period is declared over the road back to “normalcy” as we know it, will be long one filled with bumps along the way, everyone will face their own challenges, hence the jagged hemline, uneven, imperfect filled with unexpected twists and turns until finally one day we will turn the corner, put covid-19 behind us so the ebb and flow of our lives will settle back down to a straight line and be uneventful.
My hope is that all of us remember what the pockets on this jacket represent, not the insignificant but what is truly important family, friendship, love, respect, faith and going forward we will all celebrate our differences.
I hope you enjoyed this video it was fun making this jacket and especially finding what it was trying to tell me! It has been one of the more creative projects I have done thus far, I only hope this pandemic will be over sooner rather than later… really miss hugging my grandkids love them to pieces.
Hello all during these difficult, unprecedented times I want to wish everyone well. I hope everyone is heeding the advice of medical professionals and are staying home for the time being. I have postponed my classes, hoping to re-start on April 9th if all goes well. In the meantime stay safe and keep busy indoors.
To that point I have issued a challenge to my pants masters class that was to take place March 19 to complete and wear by the time we are allowed to go forward with the class! What better time to get creative than when one is stuck indoors with a stash of fabrics :)
I felt it was a great idea and am extending it to all my students, present and past, to complete. This is not for grades but for personal satisfaction and to share as a "show and tell" with colleagues/friends/social media etc
Good luck everyone
I wanted to take this opportunity to welcome a new student to Le Grand Chic Italia! This student is already an accomplished tailor making men's wear for a very long time along with her husband and brother-in-law, she felt it was time to move on to ladies wear. She chose Le Grand Chic Italia school because she has seen some of the work created by students as well as myself and likes the outcome.
Yesterday she purchased the kit and I gave her a few pointers on how to use it, she already has pattern making experience with another method so it will be very easy for her to learn the Le Grand Chic method, also some draping and shaping techniques to round out her skill set.
I'm happy that she chose us over other methods out there, it proves how complete the program is to have an expert in the field choose to learn this method to enhance her already extensive "tool box"! We will also be doing virtual classes using Skype when she needs them.
This program is truly for everyone from beginner to expert level.
My first class since coming home and I couldn't of a nicer way to start back to work than with such a nice student like Amanda. She was very diligent about doing her homework and completed it while I was away and a great job she did at it too!!!
Amanda was also very excited to tell me that one of her friends commissioned her to make the wedding dress of her dreams! That is the ultimate compliment when someone one cares about asks to have their dress made by you! I'm very excited to help her out with this project and to see the finished product, I'm sure it will be smashing :)
Last night we started with the shawl collar on a coat dress, this includes how to add the roll line, distinguish the difference between the upper and under collars, learn about the turn of the cloth and how it impacts the pattern etc. Amanda is quite advanced and learns very quickly so I'm not worried about her not understanding the work. I really hope she can find a way to come to the pants masters workshop, it will be the first live class since she has started with me in 2018, she is almost finished the first instruction book! Amazing student! Even for amazing students there is homework LOL!!
Homework is to draft the dress on page 95 using personal measurements, plus a sleeve for the generic measurements as well as the personal measurements. Do the robe on page 96, 97 using personal measurements and create a mock up for robe, finish the collar.
The last semester for this talented group of ladies!
I am so very proud of having the opportunity to share some knowledge with these ladies, they are currently working very hard on an exam piece that is due on the first day of class! They are to create a dress for themselves or someone else to hand in for grading, it has proven a challenge because I could not give any direction they are to figure out for themselves how to draft, sew, fit and finish the dress. I'm not trying to be mean, only to get them to overcome the challenges faced with such a task on their own to build confidence, after all I won't be there forever to guide them.... I find that students are much more capable than they give themselves credit for, they sometimes need a push to think outside the box then the creativity and capabilities have no end!
To register please click here
Have a great day!
Hello all I hope this winter has been good to you. I am very happy to be home and back to work. Actually I don't even consider my job work, it's fun work! I love working with people and fabrics, getting creative but most of all challenging my students to get out of their comfort zone. To see what they come up with creatively never ceases to amaze me! I sometimes get 10PM messages making me laugh, our own special chat time is what we call it!
I'm happy to announce there is a pants workshop on March 19, 2020 from 9 to 4 at the Oro Station Community Hall. This is open to advanced students who have taken the pants module already as it is a masters class on fitting and adjustments.
There are a few spaces left if you are interested check out the link above.
Have a great day :)
Hello all well I guess winter is winter everywhere. The rain was teeming down this morning, now it stopped for a bit, nice and cool good for house cleaning :)
It's so nice walking on the beach, great pedicure, for free! Today is going to be an indoor kind of day or running errands.
Laundry is also getting done plus I thought I would do some computer work today.
The pants masters workshop is up and running for March 19, 2020, so I will be back refreshed from my vacation. We are taking a road trip to visit some friends in central Florida for the weekend, so another coast to see :)
I found the nicest farmer's market for fresh produce that is within walking distance and the prices are reasonable too! Also found a real Italian bakery that has home-made salami, really good cheeses and fresh pastries along with excellent bread! Now we have to find a fresh fish market, there is one up the street, haven't had a chance to visit it yet, only been here since Sunday LOL! Apparently there is a fishing boat that comes in periodically with his catch of the day, hoping to get some from them as well. I may be posting some more youtube videos on how to cook fish, who knows....
Will be working on the lesson plans for the master's workshop and semester 3 of the Bradford class while I'm here.
Remember to register early for the pants workshop
Hello all I'm happy to announce the pants masters workshop coming soon to the Oro Station Community Hall on March 19, 2020 from 9:00 to 4:00! Pattern drafting experience is required.
This workshop will be focused on the pants draft for women, what to look for, a few line changes specifically for women that will make all the difference in fitting the body. I offer a unique perspective on how to draft pants because of the many bodies that have been fit during the course of the various classes that I have taught plus the pants that I have made for clients, family and of course myself. Understanding the negative space in the crotch and how to deal with it is a bit of a mind bender, but once understood it will be invaluable in future projects! We will also be sewing a mock up, fitting the body, making the necessary adjustments to the pattern as well as the pants among other things.
The classes are always a fun way to really learn a lot, they are jam packed with information not to mention the confidence gained that will last a lifetime! Registration is limited to 10, small enough for one on one time, large enough to have a variety of body shapes as well as many diverse questions! Looking forward to it!
Register early to avoid disappointment!
So who do you call when you want to do 6 weeks worth of work in 1 day???
The Bradford class that's who!!!!
Yesterday was a humdinger to say the least! This amazing group of ladies did the impossible, I pushed them to their limits and they do not disappoint. The topic was skirts, pencil, A-line, tapered, gored, bias, circle (both semi and full circle) with the added bonus of the volants!!! Whew!
In the morning we started with the basic pencil skirt using generic measurements then did the same using personal measurements AND created a mock up to fit the body! Continued with the A-line and tapered skirts all before lunch! In the afternoon we did the rest of the work and finished early even!!! I tell you it was an amazing day of learning, fun and work, work, work.
The homework is the following:
Have a great winter.
We had a class with Amanda who is almost finished the first book! This young woman has excelled in pattern drafting taking all her classes on Skype! Who said overcoming distances is hard? She lets me know when she is ready for the next class and we plan accordingly. All that is left to do to complete the first book is the collars and two piece sleeve!
This is quite an achievement especially for the pants fitting, it was a bit tricky but it was done. Amanda had a couple of fit models she used making mock ups, taking pix, sending them to me and I would look at them, critique them and send them back, puts a whole new twist on correspondence classes!
This week we focused on the man's vest pattern, I did a demo and then Amanda drafted one on her end while I watched to make sure she understood the method, which she did very well.
There is homework; draft the vest on page 89 (bottom graphic) using boyfriends’ measurements and mock up, draft top vest using the same measurements. For next class get ready a sheath pattern using personal measurements as shown on page 95, we will be adding the collar in class and creating the facings etc.
Have a good week!
Maria Calautti, "Jack of all trades"