Well yesterday's class was one for the record books! I felt like Gilligan going a three hour tour and got stuck on a deserted island forever! The 3 hour class started at 1ish and finished at almost 5!!! I officially don't like Zoom for teaching! Just when the class gets right into the lecture/demo we are told we ran out of time so we have to start again. I didn't subscribe to Zoom because I use Skype all the time where we don't run out of time no matter how long we are on there but one student could not download it on her device so Zoom it was. Well I give up!! The next class is going to be live I can't do the virtual class with sound cutting out, cameras not working, getting kicked off at the most inopportune time! This will be fodder for good stories to tell our families in the future :D
Anyway the technology was challenging making the already quite complicated two-piece sleeve draft that much more challenging. I have to congratulate the class on a job well done on the storyboard, if the tech would have been working properly they would have been required to do a new draft in class after the storyboard with different measurements and another one for homework, but I guess they got lucky??? All they had to do was the storyboard...
There is homework
It will be to find 2 old patterns in different sizes, adjust the armhole for the two piece sleeve and draft the sleeve to fit the garment using the storyboard as a guide.
Next class will be the blazer draft, bring your thinking caps, paper and erasers!
Today is May 30, 2020 a rainy, cold day that promises to be a very productive day indoors, not unlike the past 2 and 1/2 months!
I have been working on videos to upload as virtual classes for anyone interested in learning in-depth pattern making. I will include the beloved storyboards :) in the instructions. They are by and large the best way of learning by repetition as all my students will attest. They may not like them but respect the effectiveness on facilitating learning. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
The editing has been a straight up learning curve for me, I have had no training whatsoever in this department just learned by trial and error of which there were many! In the end I'm hoping the videos will be somewhat professional in appearance, the content certainly will be using years of experience in teaching, drafting and sewing as my guides.
If anyone has any suggestions as to service providers for a subscription platform I would greatly appreciate any input.
Only a couple more pattern left to learn and these ladies will have finished the book! What a ride it has been, incredible ladies, even better work, they so deserve the kudos they get!
We covered the shawl collar last class that goes on a coat dress, the introduction to the blazer which is coming up next as the final exam.
In class we added the shawl collar to a sheath front, the rest of the pattern will be completed for homework adding the armhole adjustment for the sleeves as well as the drafting a set-in sleeve to the elbow.
Homework is to draft one of the collar variations on a garment with princess seams on the front only using different measurements in addition to work assigned above.
In addition, draft a front and back on page 106, minus the neckline, with princess seams on both front and back.
Hello all we are continuing with our online learning with the Bradford class. All was going well until Rogers came and cut the cable!!!! Imagine my surprise when there was no internet at all!!! I called in to Rogers to find out what is going on and the person said there was no outage (these happen in the country quite often) in the area and asked if there was anyone working on the street. I said no but I would check anyway, I go upstairs to look outside and much to my surprise there were indeed 2 workers on our property line burying the cable! Can you believe it? I asked what they were doing, they said they knocked on the door, of course I couldn't here them in the middle of a lesson and didn't answer so they proceeded to think there was no one home! I felt like saying "Really dude where on earth would I go in the middle of a lockdown????". There was no other time they could have cut the cable, it had to be on a Thursday afternoon the only day every other week that I have a standing appointment!!! Of course then it would not be inconvenient now would it?
The class was very patient waiting for me to be back online, we ran out of time a couple of times on Zoom but managed to eventually finish the class. It really sucks that we were very unceremoniously interrupted, we were on such a roll at the time, it's a bit hard to get back into it after an interruption like that. Anyway all is well that ends well, on the upside this post would have been much shorter and more boring without this story to tell LOL!
We got to work on the robe draft with a shawl collar and a double breasted centre front which is the introduction to adding collars to garments. So far we are working on drafts only with the sewing left to when we can re-convene live classes, soon I hope...
Homework for is to trace pattern pieces for the robe drafted with personal measurements and one additional draft using different measurements, both master pattern and pattern pieces are to be drafted and traced.
Hopefully next class we won't be interrupted! We will be drafting the coat dress with the shawl collar, please prepare a basic sheath pattern using personal measurements to add the collar in class.
How is everyone doing? I'm sure cabin fever is setting in especially with the nice weather starting to make an appearance.
I have been keeping busy with sewing masks and surgical caps for frontline workers, plus holding virtual classes with students as well as my grandkids! Of course there is the cooking and sharing videos on YouTube for sewing and instructions on simple meals.
As awful as this virus is and as hard as the isolation is, it might be a blessing in disguise giving families time to re-introduce themselves to each other. It has given parents a chance to introduce children to the kitchen, household chores, teach them responsibility and patience. I only hope these lessons will not be lost once we go back to "normal" whatever that is....
The hardest hit are the elderly in Long Term Care homes, my heart breaks for them and the families who worry, I know first hand how hard it is with my mom in a home. The staff are amazing and working under impossible conditions, the management is pleading for warm bodies to work, no experience necessary, just a willingness to help.
This is truly a sad, sad situation my wish is that the powers that be will learn that they can't ignore the cries for help from these establishments. There should be no more part time workers only full time, well paid staff with manageable hours. ALL homes should be scrutinized and inspected by mystery inspectors, much like mystery shoppers do in retail, to get a real look at them not be ushered in by appointment only.
These homes should not be money makers for the owners, rather an oasis of wellness for the most vulnerable who have worked their whole lives and only ask to be treated with respect in their twilight years. Each meal should be treated with the reverence of a last meal, as it may very well be for someone's mother/father/uncle/aunt/grandparent. They deserve, rather earned, that right don't you think?!
Well on Thursday was the first time I had a virtual class of 6 people! It worked out very well, the quietest class I have ever taught, it was pointed out that there is a "mute" button available, where in a live class there is not!!! LOL!!! It's the truth!
We are at the beginning of semester 4 with this group of ladies, almost the end of book 1 so we opted to continue online with the drafting part. Hopefully we will be able to do the sewing live, sooner rather than later...
On Thursday the class learned how to draft the Raglan sleeve for woven fabrics. Even online they get to do the dreaded storyboards! Deep down, way down students actually love them especially when they have to draft a pattern a few months down the road...
The class went very smoothly and we even finished early :) but there is homework:
Homework is to draft one raglan sleeve pattern using personal measurements and two more using different measurements. Trace the pattern pieces on the personal size pattern only. (So there will be 3 patterns total, two will be colour coded only, the pattern pieces traced for only 1.)
Next week we will be drafting the robe on page 96, 97 with the shawl collar and double breasted front. Please have ready a basic block using personal measurements for the robe we will be adding the sleeve and collar in class.
Have a great 2 weeks and stay safe
In this unprecedented time of a global pandemic my wish is that we will all come out of this unscathed or as little as possible...
It is extremely difficult to be away from our loved ones for such a long time, thank goodness for technology that helps to keep us together virtually if not physically, I have my mom in a long term care facility that is very concerning. She is doing well and is adamant she is not going anywhere! I seem to be caught between a rock and hard place, can't bring her home because of our ages, we fall into the high risk category, not allowed to go and visit for obvious reasons catching/spreading this dreaded disease so here we stay worried sick, praying, pacing, sewing to keep busy. Not much more we can do...
I have been making masks for the nursing home along with a couple of students we made 200 masks total for them to have in stock in case they don't get a shipment from their suppliers. Currently I joined a group in Barrie who make masks, caps, gowns for medical professionals, I tried my hand at the surgical scrub caps and they are great! The pattern was available online, it was easy enough to figure out so I decided to use that one rather than drafting my own (why re-invent the wheel?), tweaked it a bit to streamline the cutting and sewing I can make one in less than 10 minutes! Made a video too so others can streamline the work and get more in the hands of the ones who need them most.
Have a good day, stay home and be safe.
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.
Maria Calautti, "Jack of all trades"