Sewing classes in Chicago: Tchad: Workroom: Studio: Library: Designing Overcoat Patterns for Men and Young Men: David

David recently sent us a link wanting to come to classes and work out some of the finer points in the drafting instructions for   an early 20th century men’s overcoat from Designing Overcoat Patterns for Men and Young Men by Harry Simons published by The Clothing Designer and Manufacturer, NY, NY, 1916.Read More →

sewing classes in chicago: tchad: Paillettes: sewing studio: debbie: permoda

Debbie has been on a roll again with pageant showstoppers as part of her D’Jean series. This dress is interesting, in that she is venturing out into developing patterns of her own based roughly on multiple pieces from multiple patterns then overlaid with her own interpretation. She started with the bodice from Simplicity #8330.  She modified the shape to fit just a bit better and did a little sculpting through the sides and back. The skirt section is loosely based on Neue Mode #22627 with the flare of the skirt changed subtly. Once we got through the initial redrafting, shaping, and draping, we were goodRead 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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →