Verena's draped sleeveless blouse done at Tchad workrooms

When you have some leftover scraps form the remnant bin and love the fabric but don’t know what to do with them, one of the best things to play with is draping something like this sleeveless cropped blouse. Verena used the front and back from the workroom’s slope size 10 and worked her way out from there.  The front had to be pieced at the waistline to accommodate the odd-shaped scraps and the back had to be cut in a V, but it looks great. If you look at the neckline you can see a slight join where the black border wasn’t long enough toRead More →

Sana's first draping project at tchad workrooms

Sana came to the States having worked under a designer before and wanting to know more.  Over the course of the class, she draped this multi-sized grey floor length dress in georgette.     And then once she was done, she got a model to go out for a late-Winter photoshoot:  You can follow her on Instagram and watch her go go go!Read More →

Laura models off her shift that she made in the tchad workrooms!

Laura worked up this cute shift, New Look 6261 view B, as her first project.  It is always nice when we don’t have to do much fitting, even if her shape and how fast she took the project on makes for less reading for you guys! She did a great job with the finishes and the whole thing looks great!Read More →

Umang and Verena wearing projects they worked on at Tchad workrooms

Umang had started on a formal strapless gown and then got discouraged because she had to take a break and changed size.  We don’t shame folks for that, but there is only so much you can vary in size with a fitted corseted strapless evening gown. So the poor little guy sat in the closet for weeks and weeks, just waiting… And then, after having met the sweetest guy, she all the sudden needed a wedding dress and started the work to get back to the size of the dress. The final day of her progress on it we (shakily) captured:   We constructed theRead More →

Patternmaking for Menswear

We’ve had a few students use Patternmaking for Menswear by Myoungok Kim and Injoo Kim a few times, most recently by Jae to make a Fall hoodie.   Amazon says of it: This comprehensive men’s patternmaking text covers many different garment types and design elements, including patternmaking techniques for both woven and knit fabrics. The step-by-step format with accompanying detailed illustrations is appropriate for beginning to advanced students, as well as the industry professionals looking to sharpen their patternmaking skill. Photographs provide examples of completed garments on the dress form and clear illustrations are highlighted with color to show precisely what to do at each stepRead More →

Sewing classes in chicago: tchad: workroom: studio: student project: ankit: pattern drafting: jeans: custom

Ankit had already worked up a couple of shirts and wanted to venture into denim. It isn’t easy making good denim as a hobby sewer.  It tends to look a little cheap if you don’t have the right tools.   And so, while we still won’t let you do denim for a first project, we can be convinced to let you do it for your… let’s say 3rd… …almost done…Read More →

Testing the fit of strapless silk with Halston construction at Tchad workrooms

Decima, she who conquered Province, called us up wondering if she could fly into Chicago to work on a draped black silk evening gown and beaded collar. We are never ever going to say no to something like that, so with the humility required when students want to fly across the country to work with you, we said: “Yes, absolutely yes.” Decima has already had a good deal of sewing under her belt, and the dress itself was pretty straightforward, so we dove right into it.  As Tchad was showing her how to manipulate the draping so that it formed the right slack, it feltRead More →

Verena's sneak peek... at Tchad workrooms

Verena has been working on getting the design together for her wedding dress later this Summer… A little peek into what we’ll be seeing more of over the next few months…       It s going to end up being a strapless convertible dress that can be work as a cocktail dress with honor alterations after the ceremony is over. Stay tuned.Read More →

Ada Shows off the flared skirt she drafted in her 2nd class at Tchad's Workrooms

Ada wanted something special for her second class and had just bought a few meters of gilded cut cotton velvet.  We already had a basic straight skirt and a couple of tunics, so we drafted this flared skirt from the sloper. With the extra yardage, we sewed it together and she made this matching gele!     It can be hard to get the flare positioned properly on these skirts – you want to start the flare just below the knee and then bring it out from there based on how full you want it to be. We’ll be putting together a brief tutorial onRead More →

Susan's beaded silk evening gown worked up at Tchad workrooms

Susan was working on her beaded silk evening gown and thought she’d sed a picture to her kids.  She snapped the pic, sent it off, and then happily chatted about them and how great they are while she couchstiched this and backstitched that. Then her phone went off.  She picked it up and read: “I don’t know, Mom. It’s A LOT” Picking up the scraps of beading, rhinestones and opals (with an assist and a wig form from Tchad) she said: “Jerks.  I’ll show them A LOT” She then sent them this:   “Well, here’s the matching hat”Read More →

Finished smocking on Duree's final dress at tchad workrooms

When we get beginner folks up here who want to start off with something other than a basic pattern for themselves, we give a couple of caveats about technique and fabric.  Sometimes the things you will learn from a project that is slightly outside of the main will be SO specific that you don’t ultimately get what you need. Duree came to us wanting to work up a smocked pattern from a children’s pattern book and, with the caveats that we always give, we went ahead. She was working from the Girl’s Style Book by Yoshiko Tsukiori. We reviewed it over here. Japanese sewing booksRead More →

Erin trims out under the bustline of her Uniquely You form to get the perfectly shaped bosom.

We’ve written before about how much we enjoy the Uniquely You forms.  They are really the best way to get the most use out of an adjustable dress form while maintaining flexibility. When you are getting into the initial stages, you may find that the form is too big so that even when you get the shaped cover on, it still bulges because of the pressure. Not to fear!  If you use an electric knife or bread knife to pre-cut it, you can trim the shape down a bit so that it doesn’t give you an undefined bulge.  This is especially good to keep inRead More →

Girls Style Book by Yoshiko Tsukiori

We recently had a student use Girls Style Book by: Yoshiko Tsukiori in class and thought we’d offer up a review. Amazon says of it: Sew cute and original clothes for your little girl with this stylish sewing book. Popular Japanese author and designer Yoshiko Tsukiori brings unique new designs and style to the do-it-yourself sewist that make it easy to create the kind of clothes little girls adore. Japanese Sewing book Girls Style Book (in English) offers 24 full-sized patterns in five sizes for some of the cutest dresses, tops, outfits and accessories for girls from ages 4-10. Already loved by aficionados of JapaneseRead More →

Tchad's buttonhole template with notes for placement.

If you have a pattern you make a lot and you already know the ins-and-outs of the general sewing but always drag your feet when it comes to making the final marks for buttonholes and other finishing details, make a template to keep with the pattern.  Also be sure to note any of the regular measurements you use.  We find that a 3.5″ buttonhole spacing is perfect for dress shirts, so that is the spacing we use on ALL dress shirts or garments that are in the dress-shirt-adjacent family.  Just make a template and a note about details and off you go. We use aRead More →