There is just nothing like an intense week of sewing at Couture camp, especially after months of slacking off!
and it was one of those rare weeks when everything worked perfectly.
I had just enough fabric to make both of my garments as I wanted, the patterns I'd chosen worked perfectly, everything went together first time, and I learnt lots of new skills.
from my Instagram last week..
My embroidered skirt needs a lot of catch stitching and finishing but its almost done..and I have to say I think its going to be one of my favorite makes ever...
and I bought the black guipure lace assuming that it was going to be trouble, as it weighs a ton, its thicker than anything I'd ever seen or sewn with before and it most definitely walks a fine line between clothing and costume..
But, wow, it sewed beautifully first time, only snapped one needle and hangs like a lightweight draped fabric, which was so unexpected.
I'm hoping to get them both finished over the next week or so, baring house construction issues and sewing room access (there are about fifteen cars in the driveway this morning!)
and then I will do a full write up of each from start to finish...
But, instead today, I thought I'd share some pictures of the week and what others were making.
There were lawyers, doctors, teachers, stay at home parents, and even an Ambassador who flew half way across the world to enjoy a week of sewing....
Which makes me reflect, yet again, how lucky I am to have found this incredible interest. I do continue to find it extraordinary that one simple passion can unite such a diverse group, who were without exception, kind, generous and extremely talented.
and I am even happier to report there were more than a few Marfy patterns being used this time!!
I forgot to get pictures until late on the last day, so unfortunately some people are missing..
Diana was making one of my favorite jackets from Marfy, in a red silk bought from Paris, as well as a co-ordinating shell and pants. It was so exquisite, I just wanted to pack it by mistake!
I mean seriously! have you ever?
Nel was making Marfy 2940 in the most incredibly deep purple wool crepe.
She also included Susan's three dart sleeve pattern cut on bias, just look at that elbow...I was swooning.
and if that's not enough, she was also sewing a ruched top with some Valentino silk.
The whole top is draped on bias, and attached to a corset base that Nel also whipped up the first day!
and while I have never made anything like this, from what I understand the fabric is laid out flat, the bias is found and then a running stitch is used to mark this grain from the top to the bottom of the fabric.
The fabric is then pinned to the form with the bias line shadowing the center front, the running stitches are used to gather the fabric until it fits the required size of the top (or corset) and the tails of the running stitches are then held in place on the form with a pin while you then spend hours and hours and hours manipulating the ruching until its all uniform and on grain, pinning as you go..
From there, everything is hand stitched in place, with each stitch hidden below a fold.
Then the side ends are tucked inside, I'm imagining between the silk and the outer corset and then a zipper is inserted on the side...easy right?!
It really was worth the time though, as it looked light and effortless. Nel says she plans to wear this with palazzo pants and a lightweight cashmere cardigan in the same blush colour....divine.
We also had two amazing Mums making wedding dresses for their daughters, which is something I love to watch!
Gina, who I have had the pleasure of meeting before, was making a dress for her daughter Carla and for the first couple of days Carla was actually in class with her for fitting purposes..
Carla is an opera singer with the most amazing voice, who gave us a quck performance and I swear I'm still getting goose bumps thinking about it.
She had designed this stunning dress herself and Gina was bringing it to life step by step with muslin, as well as making her own MOB dress along side it for a few days..
and definitely by the last day, the pattern was ready, Gina had draped herself silly and she was ready to go home and start cutting into the real fabric with full confidence!
I've been promised pictures of the dress in action on the wedding day, and I'm holding you to it Gina!!
Eugenie was making the most gorgeous lace wedding dress for her daughter, who is having a double wedding with her sister. Can you imagine the pressure of having two girls marrying the same day?!
One daughter has choosen to wear Euginie's vintage wedding gown while the other asked if a dress could be made...
Everytime I looked at this dress it reminds me of a Chanel.. timeless elegance.
Kristina was on her second class (with me again!) and had come down from Canada to make a dress for a fireman's ball (and was loose in NYC today for the first time ever spending up a storm!)
I loved that she choose contrasting fabrics, the red is the main dress and the blue is for the lining. As the red charmeuse is so thick the blue won't be seen unless she adds a little train at the back which I love the idea of...
and as somebody mentioned, red for fire..blue for water!
(and just a quick word of warning for anyone making this, the pattern description states that this is a bias dress but Kristina's front pattern piece had a cut on fold notation....it really does need to be cut on bias for it to hang like the illustration)
Its such a classic dress, with a lovely retro vibe...another added to my list!
But the most interesting garment of the week must go to Meredith..
Her husband is to be ordained in the Greek Orthodox church, and she wants to make his liturgical vestments using traditional methods.
So she came to class to make a pattern and some test garments, which I think is quite simply the loveliest gesture ever.
and as I was lucky enough to sit next to her all week, I got to watch every step of this incredibly fascinating process..
I'm hoping she will be sharing photos as her garments progress as they can be very ornate..and I know she has big plans!
and I can't forget the guest of honor....while its always nice to have a break from daily life, I do miss my dogs horribly...they hang out each day with me in my sewing room, and are always around, fast asleep at my feet.
So, of course, I was thrilled when I got a furry visitor for a few hours (there might have been some pleading, I admit) we ended up hanging out on a rug in the main gallery, while she chewed and I cut underlinings, linings and fabric, it made for the most pleasant of afternoons!
Jangi Khalje the sweetest puppy ever..
and that's about it!
I'm back to work tomorrow, and am very excited as there are apparently a lot of new fabrics arriving after Alice's trip to Paris and Milan two weeks ago. She says it was one of the best trips ever.....I'll Instagram the Oh wow and OMG ones!!...
Have a great week, back Monday :-)
And needless to say it was a great week.