Monday, January 24, 2011

Beware of Rayon with Steam!

During show and tell at the January 22 CWC meeting, Lorraine talked about the Louise Cutting blouse, "A Subtle Twist", that she made for her sister Jan in a pink and coral rayon batik. Although the techniques were not couture, Lorraine wanted to share her insight into working with the fabric after hemming the garment in three different ways before it was acceptable. Lorraine's problem stemmed from using a steam iron, which swells the fabric and distorts the techniques being used. Had she referenced Sandra Betzina's book, "More Fabric Savvy" (vs. "Fabric Savvy" in which she recommended using steam), she would have saved herself lots of work. The latest version of Betzina's book indicates that only a dry iron should be used.

The photo is of Lorraine in a raw silk version of the blouse and her sister Jan in the rayon batik version. Both are beautiful, aren't they?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sloper Point and Counterpoint

Ginny presented the *pro* sloper perspective to us, describing the intense effort required to create a proper sloper. A sloper is a method useful in creating new garment designs around your personal measurements. With a set of slopers (bodice front, bodice back, sleeve, etc), you can rotate darts, add collars, and create your own garments without a commercial pattern. It's really fun for the recovering engineers among us. Many stayed for a lesson in constructing a front bodice sloper.

Ruta presented the *anti* sloper perspective to us. Here she shows us her half-height dress form used to drape and design clothes in her studio. When sewing for herself, she likes to start with a commercial pattern. She has some standard changes she makes to the tissue first. Then she pin fits the tissue to her body. Next she constructs a muslin and tweaks it as needed. Last she uses the muslin to cut and construct the garment from her fashion fabric.

With both techniques, Ginny and Ruta stressed the need for a muslin (or toile or prototype) garment using inexpensive fabric. Save the expensive fabric for after tweaking the prototype version. This version may then become your pattern. Toile-construction is especially important when making a fitted garment.

There were a record 29 members present for this first meeting of 2011. Each shared her sewing challenge for 2011. These ranged from using up the stash to creating a Chanel-style jacket to completing a SWAP.

As is typical at City-wide Couture, there was much inspiration presented by the members present. At right Jeanine and Barbara model two of Jeanine's creations. Many other inspirational items were circulated during the meeting.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

January through April 2011 Program for City Wide Couture

The Personal Challenge - In January members can declare their personal garment challenge. We will report back to the group through Show and Tell and our blog to share our work in progress and our completed garments.
January 22 - Two Methods to Develop a New Pattern that Really Fits -- Experienced sewers can use several methods for a new pattern design. A perfectly fitted sloper can be used to draft new patterns, or a new commercial pattern can be drape fitted for every garment. A portfolio of well-fitted patterns can be transformed by grafting new elements on to these tried and true patterns. Ginny and Ruta will present the methods with their pros and cons - You pick the best method for yourself.
Afternoon Special: Making a sloper – After class workshop to draft and fit a bodice sloper
February 26 - Darts -- Adding a dart to a bodice can make a garment hang beautifully, making you look slimmer and more attractive. See a demo on adding a side dart to any pattern. A dart will often look better or be a cool design element if it is rotated into a new position. This demo with hands on practice will get you comfortable with rotating your darts to new and flattering locations. Bring scissors, tape and an awl. Leader: Karen
Emergency Hand Sewing Skills – Volunteers will stay for a hands-on program offered to St. Dunstan’s parishioners. This is a “thank you” class for their hospitality and part of our community service.
March 26 - Ties and other closures using cord. At least three techniques for making/creatively using ties and cords to close a garment will be demonstrated. Lois Ericson’s buttonhole edge was a highly ranked item from our ballot. Samples of construction process and garments using the techniques can add to the fun. Martha will lead this program. Who else would like to participate?
After our meeting, the six lucky ones will continue with their second class with Pam Howard on drape fitting their sheath.
April 23 -- Meeting Cancelled
May 28 -- Hand Stitches:  Rolled Hem and Buttonhole
June 25: Using a Croquis to Improve Your Results -- This demonstration with lots of hands on practice will get you used to using a croquis to design an outfit, work out pattern selection, details, and proportions. This is a fun way to solve problems, try out new silhouettes, and improve your results. Bring your croquis (if you don’t have one we will have samples), pencils, sketchbook, tracing paper, and colored pencils. Leader – Jenny
Part II - After program session to shoot the photography for individual croquis.