Sewing classes in chicago: tchad: workroom: studio: Debbie permoda: butterick 5557: front #2

So Debbie started off with Butterick #5557 to get a little dressy after-hours cocktail thing going on; we started off with the muslin.   Debbie is an advanced sewer, as is Tchad.  Our friends, let us tell you that these inset neckline corners are no fun at all if your fabric is too smooth and/or dense.  Debbie wanted to work this up in a medium weight satin, we dove in. The fit was great, although you really have to get those long side darts right or you will look ridiculous. Debbie chose a medium weight red satin, not unlike what the model in the pattern bookRead More →

Sewing classes in chicago: tchad: drafting: workroom: final dress project: red silk: black buttons

We get a lot (dude.  a LOT) of requests for first time projects up here.  Sometimes there is an automatic veto, sometimes there is a warning or caveat, and sometimes we are ON BOARD from the start.  This post is about one of the times we had no doubt. She came to us at first with just a rendering of the dress: We didn’t want to take the time to draft the sloper from scratch – it would have taken too long and eaten into our class time.  She was more interested in using the sloper to rough out the shape and work on herRead More →

Sewing classes in chicago: Tchad: Debbie permoda: Finished gown: Vogue #2890

Vogue #2890 – an elegant Bellville Sassoon design. So Debbie Permoda was a student at Tchad for a while.  She needed an evening gown to wear when she gave up her title as Mrs. Indiana and came to us with the chiffon confection that Bellville Sassoon has had in the Vogue pattern book for years. She wanted a striking red satin and chiffon dress that would hold up as both pageant wear and as a well-made evening gown. Let’s get started. First off, sorry about the darkness in some of the photos.  Debbie was burning the midnight oil more than once on this project andRead More →

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 →

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 →

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 →

Entirely hand-sewn seams in Sylvia's dress shirt at Tchad workrooms

What makes this picture so “Advanced” that is is categorized with advanced projects? After all, it just looks like a regular old shoulder and sleeve conjunction… Baby, those seams are ENTIRELY backstitched by hand.   She is doing a GREAT job with this.  It is incredibly difficult to keep this quality of sewing consistent.Read More →