sewing

The Couture Dress

dresseries

I purchased the couture dress craftsy class by Susan Khalje almost a year ago now. But I wasn’t ready to make a dress, I watched most of the lessons, took some notes… slowly gathered my supplies. And now I think I’m finally ready to start!

I thought it might be interesting motivating to do a series of posts based on the construction of the dress, following along with the class. While I’m a big fan of seeing finished garments on blogs, I find I’m really drawn to post series where people are blogging the journey to a finished object. I’m not sure why that is, but I’m much more likely to snuggle up on the couch with a cup of tea and read a blog series following the progression of something (sewing, knitting, home decor, etc), than just browsing finished object posts. There’s just something about the ups and downs, tips, would do differently, would do again mixed in with little anecdotes that is just so compelling to me. I hope that someone out there is interested in this as well, worst case I will have a wonderful log for myself!

The couture dress class by Susan Khalje has 15 lessons (although one of them is an introduction). It comes with Vogue 8648 (the pattern actually gets mailed to you!! If you live in Canada you might understand why I’m excited about that). I elected to use the caroline dress by mouse house creations instead, I just don’t like V8648 that much, but I might try it in the future! I’m using thrifted hunter green cotton/acrylic blend fabric, my aim is to make a wearable muslin (I will be adapting the lessons as I go, since the class makes a separate muslin out of actual… muslin).

My current plan is to make one blog post per class lesson, at least. Unfortunately I haven’t even gotten around to the first lesson yet, since the first lesson involves marking your stitching line (as opposed to the typically marked cutting line). Then every single pattern piece has to be cut, traced onto the fabric, and then the tracings should be stitched over in thread…

So that is what you can expect in the next post!

 

The Pleated Plaid Skirt

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A pleated (plaid?) skirt that hits just above the knee, some high heels and a merino wool sweater, everything a girl needs to be happy, right? I feel like I must be the only person in the world who does this, buy why oh why do I always choose a size too big? With the anya skirt, I at least reasoned with myself that the small waistband could have stretched, leaving me with a larger waist than the actual pattern. This waistband however is large and thick and sturdy, mostly due to the thick fabric (which is an unknown blend I thrifted). I have no excuse! I measured myself twice, and the skirt is too large!

This is McCalls 6706, a pattern so easy you almost don’t need a pattern! Except the pleats are on an angle to give the skirt more flare, so if you’re doing it without a pattern don’t forget to angle your pleats to give a nice fullness. I opted to just buy the pattern, I don’t know why, probably for the same reason that I purchased the anya skirt pattern, I just wanted to get right to work on the skirt without having to figure anything out! The pattern is very straightforward, the only tricky bit is making sure your pleats are neatly lined up. Which I just did an ‘okay’ job at.
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From the pictures my talented boyfriend took you really cannot tell the skirt is too big. The only thing you can see is that the sweater is bunched up but I don’t think you get a sense for how thick the sweater is bunched up under the waistband! It’s a loose fit, so all the extra wrinkles in the back helped keep the skirt up! I still love the skirt, and with a thicker sweater like this one it works okay, but it is not the fitted, tailored look that I was going for.

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All is not in vain however because I did learn a lot from doing this skirt, mostly about the importance of having proper markings. I had to go back once the side seams were sewn to try and mark up the pleats because my previous chalk markings had rubbed off (oops!). So next time I will mark the pleats with basting stitches. I will also add an invisible zipper next time because the bulky regular zipper prohibits the pleats in that area from meeting well (or perhaps I just executed it poorly?).

A Short Skirt

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I picked up some cute gray and black marled woven fabric at the thrift store, the fiber content is unknown, and decided to try my hand at making this skirt. The pattern is McCall’s 3923 from 1988, I sewed up view C in a size 12 with the box pleat outside instead of inside and I shortened it…. a lot. I am certain my high school’s dress code would be violated by this skirt, good thing I’m not in high school anymore!

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