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Oodles of fun

January 6, 2012

What a great week in the studio. One student is coming every other day for private lessons that were a gift for Christmas. We are working on a dress for her. The dress is designed to be done in a lightweight fabric, but she planned this before she took sewing, and had a lovely wide wale corduroy cut out. Oddly, when we held the fabric firmly to rip a seam, the corduroy just came apart in our hands. We ran into some issues of not being able to match up specific pieces properly, so we looked again at the pattern and realized that I had used the wrong cutting lines when i cut our some pieces to replace the one I tore. Sometimes, it’s very hard to determine which line to cut alone, and the day I was doing that, I had a migrain, compounding the difficulty a little bit. Oh well. We all have a difficult day every now and again. I comped her a day of lessons, and we picked up again the next day. I was armed with 5 yards of muslin, and we cut out and sewed the entire shell of the dress (no lining) in 2 hours. Tomorrow, she comes in for her last lesson, before returning to school. I’m anxious to see what she’s accomplished!

Then tonight was the first night of the new Thurs night class. It was a BYO (build your own) class. We are working on a variety of pouches, bags and other 3-dimensional shapes. One of my private students just told me about a book on making such things, so I ordered that, and we may be using some ideas from there, but tonight, they worked on just making a open-topped “box”. Here are some of the results:

I also have been working on some clothes for one of my daughters. Today, I finished the cutest dress. It’s very drapey and soft. My daughter wanted a rayon/spandex blend and it was very lightweight. Using a combination of the serger and the sewing machine, it went together fairly easily, except the gathered inserts that give it such a romantic look. At the last minute, I realized I had some beautiful Chanel silk that would look great on it, and you can see that we used it for the yoke. She loves the dress, as do I. Those darn inserts were a bit difficult from such insubstantial fabric. Though the instructions were fairly clear, it was a little difficult to figure out how to do the inserts. Sometimes, it’s best to buy your pattern, read the directions, lay out the fabric and re-read the directions, take a break for a day and re-read the directions, then perhaps begin the project by cutting things out, and contemplating how each piece will fit with the rest, based on the instructions. I like to take several days to work on projects that have a concept that I haven’t produced before. This particular gathered insert was a new concept to me, so I had to work through it, over the course of a week. Finally, the dress is done and we do love the result. Please know that I would have loved to hem it, but my daughter and many others love these dresses left with raw edges. The 10-way dress I did last week was designed to be left unhemmed. Here are the pictures of the dress with the inserts and the Chanel yoke:

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