I've had this class for a long time but hadn't got around to watching it - partly because I thought that perhaps 'couture' was beyond my skills.
A dress pattern came with the class - Vogue Options 8648. This is basically a princess seamed dress with skirt and sleeve variation and a separate midriff area.
I haven't been too sure about the dress; with my current extra weight I feel it may not suit me. The dress is not recommended for rectangle shaped people and though I reckon I'm a pear, I'm a pretty rectangular pear at present! Also, I wasn't that keen on the choice of sleeveless or short sleeves. The neckline is pretty low at front and back, too. So it was very much on my back burner, to the extent that I hadn't even watched the class.
In fact, last year, I made my youngest daughter, Helen, a dress and we considered this pattern, though in the end I used another Vogue pattern, 8766 - I did use underlining and lining there, too, so it would have been a great substitute for this class. She liked the neckline of the other pattern, though wanted it lower still I think, but didn't like the midriff band and the size range started too high on the pattern I had. At the time I didn't feel able to tackle that differently. I modified the neckline of V8766, which was easier for me.
I've now watched the whole class, though I confess I fell asleep during a couple of parts, not due to the teaching style, which I enjoyed. I'll re-watch those parts.
The first part is about getting a muslin to fit. This is the part that concerns me, but yesterday and today, I was simply watching the video. After the muslin is fitted, it is taken apart and used as the pattern, so the paper pattern pieces have no further part to play.
The model, Emily, was a tall slim young girl probably quite similar to Helen. The fit changes required were to lengthen the torso and the hem length. The style changes made were to raise the height of the front neckline slightly and the back neckline significantly. In addition, Emily wanted a slim 3/4 length sleeve. these are all changes I would have to make. In my case I would also need a full bust adjustment but neither Emily nor Helen would.
The key message from the video lessons was that it is the stitching line that is important, not the cutting line. I found this to be a very helpful message and felt that marking all the stitching lines would be very helpful in construction. It also fits in with the idea of using my body blocks.
Susan Khalje used a rather thick wool with an asymmetrical plaid pattern. She used a silk organza underlining and a silk crepe de chine lining. I enjoyed watching through her steps dealing with fitting adjustments, which then had to be transferred back to the muslin for use in cutting out the lining, and for future garments, fitting zip, modifying sleeve, doing hems, lining etc.
There is a fair bit of hand sewing required. However, somewhere along the way I had got the wrong impression - that the whole garment was hand sewn! Fortunately, this is not the case. Susan set out the reasons for using hand sewing in particular cases, and the reasons for the type of stitch. there are a lot of advantages to doing certain area by hand, as I found when I've struggled trying to do them my machine in the past.
I'm still not sure about attempting this particular pattern for myself. However, I very much enjoyed the lessons and will certainly put quite a few of her techniques into practice. I still haven't decided on what to make for my MOB outfit, if indeed I make it. I've broken my RTW fast after 9 months due to shortage of clothes as I simply don't make enough, quickly enough; and many of those that I have made are no more suitable to me than RTW. I have a long way to go yet.
I enjoyed Susan Khalje's teaching style. I tried to buy her book 'Bridal Couture' but was only able to buy it on CD. I haven't looked at it yet, but assume it is just a book on screen, so there won't be more of her teaching style observable. a shame, as I would have enjoyed that. I prefer a physical book to an on-screen book, where sewing books are concerned, as I can turn to the expropriate page when I need it but the style of this book may well lend itself okay to this format.
Next week, I am away from home for a few days and will have some opportunity to visit some fabric shops, I hope, the first being Fabworks in Dewsbury. I've heard good things about them. I'm looking for some silk organza, silk crepe de chine and some bridal practice supplies.