Thursday, April 5, 2012

Camp Couture: Field Dispatch #2

Dear readers, here I am again with some goodies from the Camp Couture. The pictures below feature, in my opinion, one of most interesting and inspiring couture techniques by Susan Khalje. Interesting, because I have seen different treatments of the same stitch on her sample couture garments. I am talking about the prickstitch, a.k.a. pickstitch.

As you may know, p(r)ick stitch is often used for a hand-picked zipper, as well as for understitching. It is a tiny back stitch that secures several layers of fabric where they are most prone to shifting. (For those who are not familiar with this handstitch, check out this tutorial by Kenneth D. King on Threads Magazine website).

Now, have a look at Susan's treatment:

A lace yoke dress - bodice 

The lace yoke dress: the bodice is understitched with tiny beads
Here three beads are used for each stitch, forming a very pretty pattern.
I liked this dress very much, because of the yoke and this p(r)ickstitch treatment  and will try to apply it in one of my future couture projects. I think it will look lovely on the navy linen dress I am making for Susan's Couture Dress Class on

And, again, thanks to Susan for letting me share this images with you! I hope they will inspire you to try this technique in your projects!


  1. Louise DahlstromApril 5, 2012 at 8:29 AM

    Wow.. Marina that was a very short sleep....:-) but love this... Totally amazing!!! I have never seen this before.... And definitely going to check out the link.. So thanks for that.... :) I think I had better be a late enrollment in Susan' s hand stitching course on PR.... I think it will look wonderful on your navy linen dress... And you must pass on my Thanks to Susan for sharing this superb craftsmanship! And hope you feel rested... Or can get some sleep...:-) I am sure I will be back to look at this over and over....:)
    Lou xx

  2. What beautiful detail! Maybe I have not the opportunity to make this kind of garments, but I love to see the making. The detail of the beads is great, I haven't seen it before, and I love it.

  3. What a fabulous detail!!!!  I'm will look to use in my next couture dress.  Thanks for sharing.

  4. Very pretty detail.  I've never seen the beaded effect used before.  

    I know there's disagreement about the terminology, but I use "prickstitch" for the backstitch that goes through all the layers and shows on the underside, and "pickstitch" for the one that goes through the layers.

  5. your use of the two terms is logical, Browsery, I wish all terminology would make that much sense! However, it seems, couture instructors and references do not make this difference.

    Also, you are very knowledgeable in couture sewing, and  I would love to learn more about your background and about you! 

  6. love it! the beading is so gorgeous

  7. The bead treatment of the p(r)ickstick is lovely. Loads of patience required.

  8. What a lovely detail, makes it much prettyier to look at than the normal pick-stitch. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Marina, I love reading your  blog and having these insights into the inner workings of couture sewing is just wonderful. Thank you so much for posting them. I am currently doing 'The Couture Dress' on Craftsy and loving every minute. I wish I could attend one of Susan's workshops, but being in the UK makes this slightly tricky! :( So for now I will just absorb all the information I can find on here and online. Thanks for all your great posts and looking forward to all the rest to come.


  10.  Marina, I love reading your blog and being able to see the inner workings of these beautiful couture garments is wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing. I am currently doing 'The Couture Dress' course on Craftsy and loving every minute of it. Would love to be able to attend one of Susan's workshops, but being in the UK makes this tricky! So for now I'll have to make do with absorbing all the information I can get here and from other bloggers! Thanks again and looking forward to seeing the rest.

  11. I am about to attempt my very first prickstitched zipper and this post is so appropriate for me. I am doing Susan's course on 



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