Couture prepping

Would you choose to do a couture workshop?
I did because Susan Khalje announced she would be running workshops in Australia. Having Susan run these workshops here is an amazing opportunity.

I had real reservations about attending these workshops:

  • What did I really want to learn (more about fit and construction techniques)
  • Could I get the time off work to do any of these classes (yes but only just)
  • Is our dollar going to make this a huge expense (yes)
  • Did I really want to make a French style jacket (no)

Prepping for the 6 day couture workshop meant at least a full day’s worth of work prepping a test dress (toile/muslin).

I love going to parties so I chose Vogue 1174 as my main pattern and a Burda 7746 trouser pattern to tweak for a future Winter project. Yes more than 1 project but I’m just like that with sewing projects.

The toile instruction meant a lot of preparation work so by the time I had prepared Vogue 1174 I was determined to at least get the pants ready to tweak. 

We were asked to bring our favourite hand-sewing needles, good quality thread, good scissors, beeswax, tracing paper (old-fashioned wax paper), a tracing wheel, good pins, calico, our patterns and a tape measure. 

Tools of the trade
My generous Prym team sent me a few new sewing tools including tools we were asked to bring to class. 

The design of Prym’s sewingtools are ergonomic so I was keen to use these for my workshop prep.

Ergonomic designed tools should result in less fatigue, and that’s always a good thing. The red tracing tool pictured is the original tracing wheel I’ve been using. There’s no comparison.

The basic tracing wheel has never felt very stable or accurate and was fatiguing to use. 

The Prym tracing wheel is really accurate. It doesn’t wobble like the classic red wheel I’ve been using. It’s is molded to allow you to do lots of couture work. 

I’m getting used to wearing the Prym arm pin cushion. The pins types I have work well.

I work on the floor for tracing and cutting, sewing on the machine and on the sewing bench to check the instructions as I go.

The Prym Love magnet and pin set were great to use for prepping the toile. I prefer to use pins of one colour so I know what to look for when they drop on the floor or when I’m scanning a pinned project.

Making the test version
We were asked to partly make up our test version but I made all of the two garments up to be tweaked.
The strapless dress has 27 pieces.
The pants only has 4 pieces to cut and mark.

Our test pattern pieces have 2.5cm seams. 
Seam lines marked and stitched in contrasting thread.
Seams sewn with basting stitches.
All notches are marked on the calico.

I’m packing my sewing kit as we speak as Monday’s day 1 for the 6 day workshop.

Don’t forget use the discount code ‘maria’ and get 10% off all Prym purchases at Minerva Crafts

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