2013 Couture Project : Fitting#2 With Eileen J

1 fitting2

Getting fitted in Eileen’s creative space

Happy Saturday!

If you are here for the tutorials, please click {here} to visit my Youtube Channel.  New tutorials will be coming October 2013.  I am currently working on and sharing my 2013 Couture Project, a personal sewing journal.  Feel free to join me:)

Well, I finally got fitted for my couture dress with Eileen J (a fellow couture sewing enthusiast:).  Several changes will need to be made on the muslin so I will be taking it apart and creating a whole new muslin dress with all the new darts and sewing lines.  I will continue to share the process in future blogs.  As for the rest of the month (and year), I need to refocus back onto the video tutorials.  As you probably noticed, my couture project will take several more months and my goal is to have it complete for a March 2014 wedding.  Crossing my fingers:)

1 eileen cutting

Eileen taking apart a dart and realigning the waist sewing line

As for my fitting, it was an opportunity to visit Eileen’s sewing room.  I love visiting sewing rooms.   I love seeing the projects other Designers are working on.  I have great respect for their planning process and always curious about what inspired them.  So, it was really fun to see the projects in Eileen’s creative space — several projects taking years, some almost complete, and her finished projects are amazing.   I love how she puts so much thought and heart into her projects.  To many people, it’s just a dress or a jacket, but to her…it is a work of art, a story —- and I see it:)  Here are a few pics of her Couture Project (in-progress) from the Couture Sewing Class with Susan Khalje this year:

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Below is her inspiration picture
1eileen inspiration

Below are samples of the Italian Silk Fabric for my couture dress.  I had ordered #3 from Sew Much Fabric and haven’t had a chance to pick it up.   Can’t wait to see it in person:)

1sample blue

My couture dress will slowly come together.  It is like Life — I just have to be patient, work hard, have fun, and put heart into it —- something I knew but Couture Sewing confirms it:)

Thank you for visiting!

If you missed any part of the 2013 Couture journey, please click on one of the links below for a quick update:

1) Sketch & Color Voting

2) Color Announcement

3) Lace Reveal & Cutting the Muslin

4) Sewing the Muslin

5) Creating the Skirt Ruffle

susan-khalje-craftsy-class

Personal Sewing : Laser Cut & Fringe

laser cut and fringe

Laser Cut & Fringe – Fabric inspiration

Greetings!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week.  Since I mentioned on my last blog that I would share my “quick” dress project….well, here it is:)  First I must clarify that when I say “quick,” it is equivalent to a few days, weeks or a month.  I use the word “quick” because it is not a sewing project where I use authentic couture techniques.  As many of you know, the couture projects can take several months to a year to complete….sometimes even longer.  So please do not think I can magically create a gown in a few quick hours.  Although that is possible but the quality of the project would definitely be sacrificed:)

Well, for my laser cut & fringe dress I did something a little different.  Instead of using a visual inspiration board to create the dress, I was actually inspired by the fabric itself.  The fringe had caught my eye because of the texture and the 1920’s fashion era is still a fresh influence on my imagination.  Then came the laser cut fabric.  It was an interesting fabric that can lend a little modern touch to a project.   With this fabric, I wanted very little obstruction to the flower design —so into my closet I went for a potential pattern inspiration…

inspiration dress

Above is a dress my husband gave me for my birthday several years ago.  It is a simple silhouette with rhinestones on the cap sleeves.  I still love this dress (thank you Mr.T:)  As you can see in the bodice, there are no cutting lines—just a few darts.  This would mean the flower design would have very little obstruction if I used this dress to create the pattern — perfect!.  Now for this project, I did not create a muslin.  Instead, I used organza to make my pattern pieces.  I was inspired to do this from my Craftsy class with Kenneth D. King “Jean-ius.” – Reverse Engineer Your Favorite Fit.   Although Kenneth did create a muslin after making the organza pattern pieces, I chose not to for this dress.  So below you can briefly view how I created the dress…

organza

pinned the organza to my dress and traced the sewing lines then thread traced the sewing lines

bodice

transferred the pattern to the skin-toned underlying fabric, pinned the laser cut fabric onto the skin-toned fabric, and thread trace. The flower pattern on the back lined up nicely for the zipper:)

skirt

pinned fringe fabric to underlying skirt fabric, thread trace

After sewing the pieces together, the dress looked like this (below).

fringe dress

To me, this dress “feels” incomplete.  This is going to be a dress in-progress.  I have not sewn on the sleeves and have not found the right rhinestones or fabric for the sleeves.  Does anyone know of shops that sell nice black sew-on rhinestones?  Well, when I find them or when the dress “feels” complete, I will share it with you in the future.

Hope you got inspired to design, create or sew:)  Thank you for visiting!

susan-khalje-craftsy-class

 

2013 Couture Project : Creating the Skirt Ruffle

ruffle hem skirt

Greetings!  Hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day Weekend:)

So much happened in just a few weeks…my precious niece was born…Big J and Little J started school…sewed a quick dress for myself…started filming the October project…and Labor Day weekend with family.  Also, I did get to speak with Eileen J (a fellow sewing couture enthusiast) while she was working in New Orleans.  She updated me about the Couture Class and we tried to set up a date for my Couture Dress fitting…and guess what?  Eileen and I are still trying to schedule a date for my fitting.  Gosh life can get so busy!  I am thinking about sneaking out after the hubby is home and the kids are asleep for a fitting.  We’ll see… 🙂

Somewhere in between all these exciting events, I did get to make the ruffle for my Couture Project.  Here is how it was created.

mark and draw new hem to attach ruffle

skirt width

new hem width=18″, using my children’s drawing paper, I made a pattern half the width of the skirt (9″) and the ruffle height I want is 4″

measured rectangle

draw a line every half inch

1half inch

cut carefully up to the edge without cutting through, spread out and tape onto paper, draw in the new pattern, and remove the original pattern

new pattern

cut, new ruffle pattern

ruffle muslin

lay on the fold, transfer to muslin fabric, repeat for back ruffle

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sew ruffle hem onto the muslin dress

Thank you for visiting!

If you missed any part of the 2013 Couture journey, please click on one of the links below for a quick update:

1) Sketch & Color Voting

2) Color Announcement

3) Lace Reveal & Cutting the Muslin

4) Sewing the Muslin

If you would like to improve your sewing skills, I encourage you to take Susan Khalje’s Couture Sewing School.  You can visit her class schedule by clicking (here).  If your schedule does not fit hers, there is an online course “The Couture Dress” through Craftsy you can also take and it is flexible to your schedule.

laser cut and fringe

While waiting to get my couture muslin dress fitted with Eileen J, I’ll share the quick dress project I made on the next blog.  As for now, here is a sneak peek of the fabrics above:)

Online Sewing Class

2013 Couture Project : Sewing the Muslin

Thank you for visiting!  If you are here for the tutorials, please click {here} to visit my Youtube Channel.  New tutorials will be coming October 2013.

I am currently working on and sharing my 2013 Couture Project, a personal sewing journal.  Feel free to join me:)

I finished sewing the muslin together and decided to pin myself for the first fitting.  It was challenging but here are the adjustments I made.

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This is the muslin sewn together.  I still have to work on the ruffle hem for the skirt.  My next project day will be dedicated to getting the right hem length and creating the ruffle.

2013 Couture project

Before: Above are the pinnings for altering the muslin (add a side dart, bring up the skirt to remove wrinkle, new alignment for side sewing line)

2013 Couture Project new side

After: Muslin altered

2013 Couture Project neckline

Here you can see I added fabric to the neckline so I can make changes to the shoulder width.

2013 Couture Project - The Back

The Back

If you missed any part of the 2013 Couture journey, please click on one of the links below to catch up.

1) Sketch & Color Voting

2) Color Announcement

3) Lace Reveal & Cutting the Muslin

If you would like to improve your sewing skills, I encourage you to take Susan Khalje’s Couture Sewing School.  You can visit her class schedule by clicking (here).  If your schedule does not fit hers, there is an online course “The Couture Dress” through Craftsy you can also take and it is flexible to your schedule.

Thank you for visiting!

Online Sewing Class

2013 Couture Project : Making the Muslin

Thank you for visiting!  If you are here for the tutorials, please click {here} to visit my Youtube Channel.  New tutorials will be coming October 2013.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I am currently working on and sharing my 2013 Couture Project, a personal sewing journal.   So for all those waiting to see the lace…here it is!  I wish you can see it in person because it is gorgeous!  It is the midnight blue you guys voted for:)  Thank you!

1-2013 couture project the lace

To make life a little easier, I modified the muslin pattern I created for my gray “Ruffles & Pyramid Trim” Dress.  I took this muslin and made changes to the neckline, back bodice, and the skirt.

Below are the new muslin pieces to the 2013 Couture dress.  Now I need to sew it all together and have a fitting.  Since it is challenging to fit myself….Eileen J., I will be giving you a call very soon:)

1-2o13 couture muslin

I laid out the lace to see how it will border the back bodice…love it so far!

1-couture project lace on muslin

If you missed any part of the 2013 Couture journey, please click on one of the links below to catch up.

1) Sketch  & Color Voting

2) Color Announcement

If you would like to view my Gray “Ruffles & Pyramid Trim” Dress, please click {here}.  Thank you for reading!

susan-khalje-craftsy-class

Midnight Blue – Couture Project

alencon lace blue

Alencon Lace from Sigulda, Latvia

Happy Saturday!

Thank you to everyone that voted for my couture project color.  As voted, the color will be….Midnight Blue (blue-black).  I LOVE this color and pray that the project will come together as I imagined it in my head:)  I already put in the order for my midnight blue Alencon Lace (above).  I can not wait for it to arrive and hopefully it will travel overseas to me safely (a little nervous).

I do have some disappointing news.  When I was confirming with my mother about watching my children while in Couture School, she said she was not able to.  I was slightly disappointed but excited at the same time.  Is that possible?  Of course!  My mother wanted to save her vacation days to help care for my newborn niece joining the world in August.  Who can be disappointed about that?  Surely not I.  I am extremely excited about another new baby joining our family.

Even though I will not be in the class, I will continue my Couture project independently.  It may take a little longer but that is where my focus will be for the next couple of months.  As you may know, there is a lot of hand sewing in couture.

For all those visiting my blog for new tutorials, I hope you will be patient as the goal for the next tutorial will be October 2013.  During the meantime, please feel free to view all the current tutorials on my Youtube Channel by clicking {here}.  The next few posts will be the Couture Project, however, I will open each post with a link directly to my Youtube Channel for those visiting for the Bridal/Groom tutorials.

Also, I came across a video on the making of a Chanel Jacket.  You can see the lengthy tedious process summarized in a few minutes.  Enjoy!

Thank you Everyone!  Hope you join me on my Couture Sewing journey again:)

susan-khalje-craftsy-class

Personal Sewing : Ruffles & Pyramid Trims

I know I mentioned earlier in the year that I would start sewing for myself again.  Since my body finally “settled out” after all these years of childbearing, I thought it would be a good time to start (btw, this is not my couture sewing project).  And o my how much my measurements have changed!!!  I didn’t realize how much my rib cage, waist, and hips could expand — but I’m not complaining, just embracing:)

Above is my inspiration board.  When I first saw the Elie Saab dress (1), I fell in love with it instantly.  It was girly, feminine, and the ruffles and silhouette were just beautiful.  From studying the fabric, I knew it was time intensive to achieve the texture of the dress.  I had two weeks to complete the dress since I used an upcoming Dallas wedding reception as my due date:)  Fortunately, I came across a fabric that gave a SLIGHTLY similar feel if planned, laid out, and cut carefully.  So the gray dress color evolved from this fabric.

5fashion fabric

laying out the direction of the multi-pleated fabric, thread tracing

Originally, I was going to create the ruffles out of chiffon, but imagine the excitement I experienced when I came across some soft ruffled trim.  Yes!  Saved myself some time:)

4ruffles

hand-sewing on the ruffles and cutting the ruffle for the hem

Also, I knew I wanted a touch of edginess to my girly dress.  I was really inspired when I saw Givenchy’s blouse design (2) with all the spiked studs running down the back.  Givenchy’s blouses felt both feminine and edgy.  Although my personality is not that edgy (does tandem sky diving and wanting a motorcycle count as edgy?  lol), but yes, when I found a pyramid trim…I just loved it!

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hand-sewing the pyramid trim down the center bodice, along the waistline, and my favorite part of the dress…it is hidden in the pockets

So here is the dress completed.  I would say the most challenging part of the dress is playing with the multi-pleated fabric.  Since the fabric had random multi-pleated patterns throughout, it was hard trying to make sure it gave the right directional feel for each part of the dress.  As much as I would have liked the skirt to be less “wrinkled,” I am happy with the outcome knowing the amount of mindful planning that went into it.  And plus, I can confidently walk into the wedding reception knowing that no one had the exact same dress:)

3dress

…completed just in time for the event:)  Thank you Ms. Julie H. for taking this photo!

ann tan

Thank you Everyone for visiting!

youtube youtiquebridal pinterest pin

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Need your input : 2013 Couture Sewing Project

sketch

Greetings Everyone!

Hope you are all doing well.  If you have been following me on Pinterest, you know I have been pinning away and preparing for my sewing couture class with Susan Khalje.  Feel free to click (here) to view my Inspiration board.  You may have also noticed that I can get distracted with all the beautiful design details out there.  Excuse the distraction:)  I am extremely excited!  I gathered a few pins for my inspiration and finally did a sketch for my dress (above).  However, I can not finalize the color…and I thought it would be fun if you would help me.  I did narrow the choices down to a few deep rich color tones that I adore.  Although it may not be the correct color name – I labeled it with simple names:)  Keep in mind that I will mostly be wearing this dress to wedding receptions as I really do not get out much;)

Well, I started a poll so you can vote.  The voting poll will be closed Friday July 19, 2013 midnight so please help me out.   I would like to color my sketch and start shopping for the fashion fabrics next week.   I will let you know what the final color will be after all the votes are in.  Thank YOU for your help!

color choices

(1) Blue – Elie Saab (2) Fuschia – Monique Lhuillier (3) Black – Monique Lhuillier (4) Torquoise – Elie Saab

If you would like to improve your sewing skills, I encourage you to take Susan Khalje’s Couture Sewing School.  You can visit her class schedule by clicking (here).  If your schedule does not fit hers, there is an online course “The Couture Dress” through Craftsy you can also take and it is flexible to your schedule.  Since I like the classroom interaction, I highly encourage it:)  It allows me the opportunity to interact with other couture sewing enthusiasts and also with Susan herself.  For the next following weeks and for the month of August, I will take you along with me on my journey of the couture class.  Hope you can join me!

Also, I recently finished a simple dress for myself and will share that with you soon:)  Thanks for visiting!

xoxo,

Ann

Online Sewing Class

Hi! I’m back… : Couture Sewing School

Wow!  It has been awhile…well, so much has happened.  As announced, I was in the Couture Sewing School with Susan Khalje recently.  It was an amazing and intense experience.  I learned so much.  The majority of each student’s project were intricately sewn by hand.  You can see the intentional planning and sewing of the lace, silk or wool of each skirt, dress, or coat —- Amazing!  What made the experience even more memorable were the talented and silly ladies of the class.  They knew how to have fun, inspire, and motivate me and one another even when the tough gets going:)  And the tough really did get going.  My life has changed after this experience.  Here are glimpses of the class.

Susan Khalje.  Tina’s trim for the Classic French jacket

Cathy accurately measuring the placement for pinning. Preparing the stitching of the lace to the silk.

Claudia had to carefully plan and sew her silk fabric pattern in order to achieve this amazing layout

lace getting pinned onto Jamie’s silhouette. Being prepped for the intense hand stitching.

Fun and silly Barbara creating her vintage inspired dress

Achieving the perfect fit is important in couture. Eileen is getting her muslin fitted and pinned for her elegant black evening gown

The amazing tailoring of Theresa’s winter coat

Tina working on her beautiful Classic French jacket

you can see Ronnie’s careful hand basting from the underside of her skirt

Youthful Louise who taught me how to be adventurous again…She is 73 years young and working her Valentino fabric dress

Fun and fabulous Liz creating an outfit for her California event

As for me, I am working on a corset (since most wedding gowns are made with it or inspired by it).  I will share more on it soon as I come close to completing it.   Here it is in the muslin form…

the muslin fabric corset

Thank you for visiting!

If you would like to improve your sewing skills, I encourage you to take her online course “The Couture Dress” through Craftsy which is flexible to your schedule.

Online Sewing Class

A Little Update : Couture Sewing School

Greetings Everyone!  I hope you guys are doing well. So much has happened and I just wanted to give you a quick update on my whereabouts.  I am currently in the Couture Sewing School taught by the amazing Susan Khalje.  It is an intensive program where I learn about couture techniques and details.  Remember when I shared my excitement on this {post}?  Well, it is happening…

I will be officially back posting the week of August 27th.  So stay tuned…

ps. It may take a few days to reply to questions and comments.  Thanks in advance for your patience:)

susan-khalje-craftsy-class