Sunday, August 15, 2010

The American Sewing Guild Conference Day 3

My Saturday class turned out to be so relaxing!  Who knew learning couture techniques to complete a little black dress would be like that?  I had Susan Khalje and our class title was (obviously!) 'The Little Black Dress'.  My readers already know from this post that I put all the stress and worry into the class beforehand because I wanted a perfect pattern!  Really rather silly in some ways, but not so much in others.

Anyway, before class most of us had to see Susan to be fitted in our muslins that we'd made before the conference.  She marks the adjustments on the muslin and then you take it off to save for class.  She had two students who had not been fitted before so we got to watch that process in class.  Interestingly, they were two of the more difficult ones with a lot of adjustments so that Susan had them incorporate those adjustments and try the muslins on again later for more fitting.  It was a neat process to watch plus fun to see the patterns that others chose. 

After watching the fittings, we worked on marking our changes to our own muslins on both sides and then making friends with our seam rippers to take them apart.  The muslins are now our patterns and ready to go!  Pretty neat.

Next, we worked on various hand stitches and talked about their usages.  We also got to see samples of Susan's work--fun all by itself.  It was cool to recognize various garments that I'd seen in Threads magazine.  I am looking forward to trying a handpicked zipper--really easy, great control, and a potential decorative factor as well.  I did mine on some very dark navy linen fabric with white thread, so I don't think a photo of it would show up very well except for the white stitches!  But wouldn't that make a neat sailor type garment--dark navy with white thread topstitching? 

Here are a couple of photos of a sample we made of fabric "sandwiches", fashion fabric, underlining, and lining:

This shows the prick stitck, used to keep the lining secure, and the fell stitch, done to join the lining to the fashion fabric and underlining at the neckline.

This shows the underlining basted to the fashion fabric and a catch stitch used as a hem.

We spent quite a bit of time talking about fabric layers and how you can achieve different effects based on what you use as an underlining.  In the sample photos above, I used silk dupioni for the fashion fabric, silk organza for the underlining, and silk crepe de chine as the lining. 

Playing with fabric and doing those handstitches is fun and relaxing!

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