Where shall I start? How about with the conclusion: the couture sewing course has changed the way I see and want my sewing to be. What I really want now is to dedicate my time to sewing a high-quality wardrobe, regardless of how long it takes. To me, it's like cooking; I can take a $1.50 packet of pasta and add some canned sauce for another $1.50, or I can make the dough and sauce from scratch and elevate my pasta to the level of art. Here's what I am saying: I don't want $1.50 pasta anymore! (Well, maybe only when I am starving hungry!)
If you want to know, my dress is probably only 30% done but the learning experience and the amount of information acquired during one week with Susan Khalje is worth more than a finished dress. What is more, I met the most incredible crowd of couturières: from beginners like me to sewing stalwarts like Marina. We were such a multicultural and multilingual group coming from four corners of the world: the US, Canada, the Netherlands and me from Japan. Within our group, we spoke four foreign languages and shared our experiences both of sewing and life. We drank wine and ate not-very-healthy food from the hotel's restaurant, we sang, we danced, we went to bed after midnight and were back in the sewing room for 7am (some people even earlier)... All in all, I had an unforgettable week and plan to return to see Susan in March for the French Jacket class.
I overestimated my capabilities for this project; it was not that easy as I thought. By Wednesday, I was still working on the muslin: after two fittings, I had to make muslin #3. The trickiest part with my dress was its construction. The designer replaced darts with side panels which shape the waistline. Once I’d tweaked one of the sides during the fitting, I needed to change at least two other sides in order to match all of the seams exactly. After the first fitting when Susan said there were not that many fitting issues, I was extremely happy because I wanted to start working with the fabric! But only on Wednesday night did I cut into the fashion fabric.
The biggest area of progress for me was in working with silks and sewing corners. You can see from the design how many bl**dy corners shape the dress! I have to tell you that some of them I ripped and sewed in more than three times. Susan helped me to sew the main bust corners, but she also had a hard time with them. She was kind enough to reassure me that the corners on slippery fabric are tough even for the pros.
I plan to write more detailed posts on the silks and corners and Couture Sewing School soon, but at the moment I have one more week ahead of me in New York city! Hope you understand!
See you next week!