Monday, April 2, 2012

Camp Couture: Field dispatch #1

As you may have guessed, dear readers, I was sewing like crazy in the past week, which I spent in an isolated hotel in Baltimore together with several other couture aficionados. We worked day and night, and I was really happy to get some sleep once I was back home.

If you were wondering, packing for this Camp Couture was an exercise in restraint, and I managed to squeeze all my belongings, fabrics, tools and notions into two medium-size bags. I spent half a night carefully selecting every single item and managed to forget only my tracing chalk. And, once in Baltimore, I also skipped a shopping spree at Michael's fabrics, which saved couple of hours of precious sewing time...

Of course, I underestimated time needed to make a couture garment, so a bustier still remains a project-in-planning (PIP). But! I  managed to complete two garments I planned for my Couture Challenge: a skirt (#118B) and a blouse (#126) from the April 2012 issue of BurdaStyle magazine. More on this projects, plus tutorials will come later - this time, I will be treating you to something different! Are you ready?

Susan has kindly agreed to share with you some of her sample couture garments! So I diligently photographed several pieces, including some engineering, construction and finishing shots. I will be posting one garment at a time, with the first one being a dress bodice made of beautiful magenta lace and matching silk (the draping suffered from suitcase storage, but this is less important).

The lace is lined with flesh-colored silk organza. 
Bodice fragment: scallops were applied by hand on armholes and neckline
Inner support is provided by boning, and seam allowances are catch-stitched to the foundation
Bodice close up from the inside
I hope you enjoyed these detail shots, and many thanks to Susan, again, for letting me share these images with you. Stay tuned to more goodies from this class!

19 comments:

  1. Louise DahlstromApril 3, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    Oh thank You and Susan so very much for sharing this beauty..... I am like a couture sponge at present... Trying to learn as much as possible.... This bodice is stunning... I soo need to learn boning and how to attach the scallops of lace .... They look like they were just made that way.... Would desperately like to attend one of Susan's camps ... Even if it means traveling from Aus..... So looking forward to you posts about the camp and seeing more of the fabulous garments and the detail.... I am sure you were totally exhausted.... I would be.... But also expect you have great sense of achievement ...:-)
    Lou xx

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  2. Ohh so excited to see all you learned. Thanks for sharing .

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  3. Thank you so much for sharing that.  I have read that some couture garments are not lined, only left with the underlining exposed - is this the case?  The stitches themselves are a work of art, but I am never sure when to line a garment or not - can you help?  Love your blog!

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  4. Correction: not always lined...

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  5. Susan is the most lovely, generous teacher and her finished garments reflect her artistry and patience.  So happy that you enjoyed wonderful class and I bet you have terrific memories and techniques to bring home.  One of these days I'm determined to make one of her sessions.

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  6. So jealous of your recent "camp" experience!  I''m counting the days until May 28!  I've always said that Susan is the most generous teacher and this is a case in point.  So glad you will be sharing some of her gorgeous creations with us.

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  7. Hi, Claudia! This garment was lined to hide all the inner workings, the foundation is exposed to demonstrate construction of the bodice. With regard to the use of lining - you decide based on the functionality and the use of the garment. How do you want it to perform over time, how do you want it to feel, how does the fabric behave, how much structure you need and so on... it's really a judgement call. The most valuable lesson I learned is that in couture there are no instructions, but decision made trough careful thinking and consideration of many factors as a whole. Does it help :-) ?

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  8. Cissie, are you taking the French Jacket Class?! This was my favorite class - I love working with boucle and making those jackets!!!! Envy you in return!

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  9. What a dress! Inner shots are the best, I love seeing how this kind of garments are made on the inside.

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  10. That is unbelievably beautiful! I cannot wait to see it all finished.

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  11. I have been looking forward to seeing the garments you created on this camp - to hear you describe the experience even in general terms sounds like something I would LOVE to do!! 

    I'm reading Claire Schaeffer's Couture book now, and it's so fascinating to me to learn about the processes and techniques behind haute couture - looking forward to seeing more of Susan's samples, and also what you created!

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  12. Very much, glad there are no rules...  Thanks.

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  13. Wow. That's good work. I would love it if Susan would come to Australia to run some workshops.
    Please keep posting more of what you learnt on couture camp.

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  14. How beautiful! I'm enjoying so much susan's course on craftsy and I wish she could make it to Italy, I love her teaching method

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  15. Good post. i like it. You have done a great job. you can find latest online sarees shopping from G3 fashions surat.

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  16. Thanks for the nice post

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