“When the student is ready, the master appears.” Buddhist Proverb
I was ready to learn how to make a good dress, and boy did I learn. My dedicated efforts in dressmaking were often flawed by random mediocre details leaving me discouraged and insecure.
Enter the Online Couture Dress Class with Susan Khalje.
I’m wondering if I even knew what C O U T U R E meant.
Very nice, good fitting, custom-made clothes with special hand-sewn techniques – right? My naivety proved me nearly clueless.
I decided to invest my time in a dress I could wear most anywhere, as well as making a dress I have never purchased - a classic and simple linen dress.
Did I say simple?
The dress has 21 pieces, plus 21 pieces of underlining, plus 21 pieces of lining, and 21 pieces for the muslin.
Yes it’s me. No bows, no ruffles, no bright colors or prints.
Perhaps the loving attention I have given to the 84 pattern pieces is evident simply by the way I wear my newest dress, but I doubt the intense labor involved will ever be apparent, which brings me to the most recent addition to my vocabulary:
S H I B U I .
It’s a Japanese term for something that appears simple but is actually very complex in detail, and this simple looking dress fits the bill with:
a thread traced muslin,
84 pattern pieces basted by hand, by machine, with silk thread and/or cotton poly thread
over 55 catch-stitched seams, by hand of course
hand inserted zipper
hand inserted lining
and several other couture techniques such as running thread through beeswax and then setting it with a hot iron.
Maybe this is how most everyone sews, but the course was an eye-opener to me and my approach to dressmaking has forever changed. Every dress cannot be couture but every dress endeavor can be approached with a couture frame of mind. It’s hard going back to what was now that I know a better way.
My class review can be read here, on the Pattern Review website.