Craftsy added two new couture classes, readers! Couture Dressmaking Techniques and Couture Finishing Techniques, both with a British instructor Alison Smith. Apparently, Ms Alison Smith has received MBE award (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) from the Queen for her sewing and teaching, isn't it amazing? Especially when you think that the Beatles were MBE award recipients as well. Quite a credential!..
I've started working on a cocktail dress for myself and plan to incorporate some of the the techniques from the class into the project.
At first you may wonder how many couture classes can you take. Actually, it is never enough. Everytime I take a new class I learn something new, and it was the case with this class as well. It's great to gather as much knowledge as possible, and, once working on a project, being able to choose the most appropriate technique from your couture portfolio.
Two lessons from Couture Dressmaking Techniques is as far as I got for now. Not surprisingly, Lesson 1 is dealing with pattern preparation, muslin and pattern placement.
It is not a step-by-step project-based class, but rather a round up of techniques you may encounter in couture sewing. Alison Smith shares very good tips for checking the fit and pattern placement using semi-transparent tracing paper.
She uses British sewing terms, but you can see american equivalents in text boxes on the screen. I learnt quite a few words during the lesson. I loved when she used the word 'gingerly' when explaining how to press open a seam. Gingerly is a word I am going to use a lot from now on.
In Lesson 2, the instructor shows samples of her favorite underlining fabrics and explains how to join the underlining and fashion fabric, how to use tailor tucks for markings, thread trace darts and the center line.
As the lesson goes on, she shows how to stabilize cut out garment pieces before they are joined together. She uses silk organza to interface neck edge and secures it with herringbone stitch. A strip of organza and diagonal basting stitch to stabilize zipper area, and a binding tape for shoulder seams.
And here is the test run of the stabilized zipper area on my future dress,.. and my gingerly pressed waist seam. More to come...