Portret in Vriendin (12-01-2021)
During the holidays I found a gem of a documentary about the creation of a new collection at the Chanel workshop in Paris.
It is filmed in June 2020 and you can see how the most beautiful garments are designed and created from scratch.
What is so great about it, is that you for example, can see
how tweed is made/woven and how the pretty trims on Chanel jackets are created. Also, you can see what a 3 piece sleeve looks like (the sleeve used for Chanel jackets) and how amazing some of the cotton toiles (test pieces) look already!
If you look closer, you can also see the use of silk organza as an extra firming layer in many of the delicate garments. All techniques we use in our French Couture Jacket course!
So, for me, this 1-hour documentary is full of inspiration and eye candy behind the scenes and if you have the time to fully watch it please do,
I can highly recommend it! :)
November 02nd, 2020
Wil jij je oude spijkerbroek een nieuw leven geven?
In samenwerking met Usedem.nl zal The Dressmakers Academy jouw opgestuurde jeans upcyclen tot een toffe shopper, laptopsleeve of kookschort. Op deze manier draag jij bij aan een beter milieu en voorkom je verspilling door je oude jeans her- te gebruiken. Kosten voor deze manier van upcyclen zijn:
Shopper 28 Euro, laptop sleeve 38 Euro en een kookschort 48 Euro.
Je kunt je spijkerbroek opsturen naar USEDEM, Lingerzijde 41, 1135 AN te Edam. Laat even weten wat je gegevens zijn en welk item je zou willen maken van die oude lievelingsjeans! Kijk ook voor meer informatie op de website van Usedem: www.usedem.nl
Here's a beautiful view of my sewing studio when I was working on this wedding gown. The bride came to me in March for her wedding in June, but unfortunately, the wedding had to be postponed twice because of the Corona lockdown here in the Netherlands. Yesterday was finally her big day and the dress was perfect!
I shall tell a little bit more about the alteration process below.
I shall tell a little bit more about the alteration process below.
At the first fitting, the dress was one size too big and the weight of the whole dress was hanging on the two fragile tule mesh shoulder seams.
So first I took in the waist at both side seams and second I made a grosgrain waistband that I hand sewed on the inside of the dress.
For taking in the two side seams I had to remove the boning first. after sewing the new side seams I asked the bride to come back for a second fitting. I needed to check whether the bodice was fitting right because I had to trim both side seam allowances to 2-3 mm in order to sew the ribbon and the boning back on. After trimming these seams there's no way back so a double check is in its place :)
The Bride lost a little bit of weight so I took in the dress a little bit more in the side seams. I placed the boning back and the corset base was now the right size. After that, I had to take in the same amount of the side seams of the tule mesh layer. In order to do this, I needed to remove the lace pieces on the bodice first and afterward place them back again and hand sew them in place.
Once this was done, I made a grosgrain waistband from a Petersham ribbon, with a bra closing attached to it. By adding this waistband, the dress is supported in the waist and 'stands' on the waist rather than hanging on the tule mesh shoulder seams.
The inside fabric of the corset was a bit rough so I added a silk satin layer in the bust area, which I made by first drawing a pattern for the corset pieces and then sewing it in the corset by hand with tiny stitches.
The lining of the skirt needed something extra at the waist area so I added a piece of silk organza under it as an extra interlining.
Last but not least I needed to shorten the two tule skirt layers which took 1,5 hours each of cutting. I can recommend a large and sharp pair of scissors doing this kind of job. You can see the end result in the picture below and I also made a youtube video explaining the process.
Working with lace
After visiting the Art of Lace Exibition in the Textielfabriek in Tilburg, The Netherlands,
I came back with so many new ideas and inspiration, I wanted to share with you some backround information about the different types of lace and its use in couture sewing:
Leavers and Chantilly lace.
Leavers lace comes from Calais and is famous for its refinement, its beautiful motives and its strong weave. The base of the lace is tule.
Chantilly lace comes from the city of Chantilly, France, and is considered to be the most refined lace there is. The lace is often used for bridal gowns and has also a tule base like the Leavers lace.
Bourdon lace is made with Bourdon thread, which is a thicker thread that adds thickness and relief to the motives of the lace.
Gupure lace is lace that is embroided, not weaved. It has no mesh or tule backround, the motived are embroided on a base of fabric that is removed later in the process. The embroided motives remain and are attached to each other by small bars or plaits.
The use of lace is endless, and can be applied in many ways.
In haute couture there often is a technique used to sew the lace in a way that the seams are made invisible. As you can see in below picture, no visible seams and darts can be spotted. This marks the diffence between a haute couture dress and a fashion industry dress.
For sewing these invisible seams guipure or Bourbon lace is used. These laces have motives that can be cut out easily and can be molded in various shapes by cutting them. In the pictures below you can see how for instant a dart is covered with molding/shaping the lace by cutting it.
First, the lace is draped over the sewn dart of the underskirt, in this picture the green fabric.
sNext, the pathway around the motives is set out with pins. This is where the cut will be made. See the picture below:
The two sides of the area that has been cut are carefully placed over each other and access lace is cut out in way the area of the dart lays flat again. The lace is then pinned and hand sewn back together.
The end result; a skirt without any visible darts.
Do you wish to learn this technique and much more? Our Couture Lace Skirt online course starts on Sept 15, if you want to join you can sign up here. Also for more information you can click below button.
Sewing, coffee and chocolate
Angel Trumpet Top Sew-a-long
This is a sew-a-long for the Angel Trumpet Top pattern. It is an easy pattern to sew, with enough glamour for the holidays! I have used a satin fabric with a little bit of stretch in it but this model will also look fabulous in many different fabrics. My next one will be made out of a lovely denim for summer time.
1) place drafting paper on your pattern and trace your size. Make sure you check the measurements (cm)in the size chart first. Make sur to copy the arrows on the pattern.
Next, cut out the pattern pieces and place them on the folded fabric. Tape the two paper pattern pieces of the waistband together. You can add seam allowances with tailors chalk on the fabric later. The arrows on the paper pieces need to align/ be parallel to the fold line or the selvage of the fabric. Because both front and back pieces are on the fold, it is best to fold the fabric with the selvages in the middle of the fabric so you create two fold lines (see 2nd picture below)
Next, cut out the fabric with a seam allowance of 1,5 cm. On the hem line of the front and back piece add 3 cm's . I used my seam allowance magnets to cut the fabric.
Next, Place the sleeve pattern pieces on the interfacing and cut it out. Iron the interfacing on the wrong sides of two of the fabric sleeve pieces.
You are now ready to start sewing the garment together!
On Thursday December 19 we will show you the next steps in this sew-a-long.
Today someone asked in a Facebook group a tip for preventing necklines curling outwards. I gave them my stitch-line trick and people were quite happy with it. So I thought it might be a good idea to share it with the rest of the world too :)
The trick is from my '6 months of sewing tips & tricks from a pro' collection, and I love to share it here with you:
The first time I learned about this technique was in my first job as a dressmaker in a bridal shop. It is a very simple couture technique to mold and finishes necklines.
Often a part of a neckline curls in a direction you don't want it to curl. This technique helps to change
the tension of a seam so the part you want to change will curl back in the right direction.
Since then, I use this trick very often on an almost finished garment. The only 2 things you need are a needle and a firm thread in the same color of your garment.
Pic. 3: Use thread and needle and use a running stitch with tiny stitches on the inside of the curling
seam. Make sure the thread is firmly bar-tacked. In this picture, I have used a red thread for clarity.
Here comes the trick: after you have used running stitches for the whole part that you want to mold, you have to pull the thread in order to create tension on it. You do not want small pleads so you have to find the right tension just before pleats appear. The fabric will start to bulge a bit. Now keep this tension by
anchoring the thread. Because of the tension on the thread, the fabric will fall beautifully to the inside of the garment just as you want it.
I have used this technique multiple times from molding v- and boat necks in dresses to heart-shaped necklines and jackets like these. It is a simple technique to finish your garment into perfection!
On pic. 5 & 6 you can see the difference between the necklines with and without the running stitches.
The corner of the neckline in pic. 5 falls nicely on the chest. In pic. 6 you can see the difference even
better. The right corner still pointing outwards, the left corner perfectly molded.
BLack Friday Sale
Next week we will have a massive sale during Black Friday. The sale will only be available for 12-24 hours, so make sure if you are interested in our offers, to keep an eye on this website. We will have discounts up to 70% for our courses and some nice bonusses coming along. If you want, you can subscibe for the sale so you will be the first to know when it starts and what it is about!
You can subscribe via this link:
One of my new resolutions is to do more blog posts so everyone can see what I'm up to and to share a bit of behind-the-scenes at the Dressmakers Academy.
Right now, I am working on sewing a lace dress for a client, and I think it is great to share the process of making the dress. I will use couture techniques to make the lace seams invisible and since my last free couture sewing masterclass, I noticed a lot of you are interested in these techniques , so I hope you will enjoy this blogpost!
For this client, I have made a dress before, and we decided that I would use that pattern as the base for this new dress. It will be a dress made out of a gold/silver lace with a mauve satin fashion fabric as a layer under the lace. The neckline and sleeves will be made out of lace only.
As I made the previous pattern more than a year ago, I made an appointment with the client to take measurements again, to see if there are some changes. There was not much difference in size but the first dress was made out of stretch material, this one will be without the stretch so as a precaution, I have added seam allowances of 2 cm wide to the dress. This will give enough room for scaling if needed.
Next, I made some fabric samples to check the cotton I will use as an extra underlining. So in order to see how the cotton will feel and give extra structure, I make samples of all layers together and just feel what works best for me.
A trick to make your paper pattern without wrinkles is to iron is. Just be careful if you have used plastic tape, because it will melt and stick to your iron.
I also iron the satin so I can place it nice and neat on the cutting table. Next, I place the paper patterns on the fabric and use weights to keep them in place. With my tailors chalk I add a 2 cm seam allowance around the pattern pieces, except in the neckline and armcye. There I add 1.5 cm.
To be continued!
Hi, I'm Maaike Andriessen, Dutch dressmaker who loves to share knowledge/teach. LOVE craftsmenship/bespoke dressmaking and traveling the world in search of beautiful fabric..