The Couture Dress »
InstructionsTo Susan and the Craftsy team, thank you for this excellent course! As I started watching it, I realized that a 3-layer dress wouldn't work for my lifestyle, so I did a muslin for a top. Hated it, fitted it, still hated it, realized it was wrong for the project, took Susan's advice to throw out a muslin that's not working, and decided to jump into the next project I was planning, a 60's ...
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Type of item: Clothing
Style: Retro / Vintage, Classic
French wool/novelty yarn fashion fabric, silk crepe de chine lining, silk organza interlining, copper chain weight.
What was your inspiration?
I have to say my love of vintage fashion and this excellent Craftsy class. I've been lucky enough to own several French haute couture gowns from the 50's and the interior is every bit as fascinating as the exterior. Also inspired by Didier Ludot's shop "La Petite Robe Noire" in Paris which sells modern versions of little black dresses based on actual vintage fashions. In the case of this jacket, I was picturing the type of jacket curvy Joan from Mad Men might have made her lover buy her at Bonwits...a streamlined Chanel-type jacket that Jackie would wear to a luncheon in Georgetown. I was going to put on trim, but ended up really liking the simple lines so left it as is. I enjoy wearing vintage, but at this age you have to be careful you don't look like you're wearing a costume or you haven't cleaned out your closet in 20 years.
What are you most proud of?
That the jacket turned out so well, and that I won a blue ribbon for it! As I told my husband, you don't get a lot of recognition at this age... I know I'm going to enjoy wearing this jacket out to dinner in Boston this winter, as it can be dressed down for movie night or dressed up for the ballet. I love that it really holds it's structure but is light, soft and breathable. It will be comfortable to wear under a winter coat.
What advice would you give someone starting this project?
Take Susan's class, even if you don't feel like making a dress. I think this class works equally well with a jacket or top if you choose a structured pattern with set-in sleeves and woven fabric like she uses on the dress, as long as you have intermediate sewing skills and know your way around a pattern. The loose tweed I used unraveled a lot which made the project more difficult for me, so I'd choose something relatively stable. Also follow all of Susan's directions. If you don't, the parts you skipped will come back to haunt you in a later step. Think of the project as being something that will take awhile and enjoy the process. I'd also go the whole nine yards and invest in high-quality fashion fabric, silk organza, silk crepe de chine, and silk thread, as well as sharp pins, needles and shears. If you're spending this much time, you'll want to end up with a luxurious product. The crepe de chine lining feels really soft and deluxe when you're wearing it. I shopped around online and found good prices on a variety of different websites (including Susan's), which was part of the fun for me.