Hello, I am back, I took a long break from the blog when I went on vacation and didn’t do any sewing but I am back. I did a couple swimsuits at the end of the season because I got some pulls from stylists but otherwise I have been doing HOMEWORK! for my new class at FIT, which is the 2nd class in the Haute Couture certificate and it is called “Haute Couture Decorative Techniques & Embellishments.” Here’s the official description:

“Expands knowledge of the couture by exploring various decorative techniques. Learn how to hand bead and apply rocailles, sequins, pearls, and faux gems on different types of fabrics. Create embellishments such as flowers and frog closures from fabric and ribbons, hand embroider original designs, and learn the arts of quilting, cartridge pleating, and trapunto.”

If you remember from my last class at FIT, everything was a small sample of a couture technique. This is the same way – no final garments, just technique work. The work is very time consuming to do correctly so asking for a full garment doesn’t make sense, anyway one person can’t really run a couture maison alone so you don’t usually need to bead 12,000 beads by yourself to prove anything.

So far we’ve done flowers and beads for 4 weeks. In the next few months we’ll do embroidery, tassels, closures, feathers and edges (ruffles/tucks). The final project is to design a garment integrating 2 of the techniques we learned so I’m interested in how that will go for me. Anyway I’ve really liked what we’ve done so far:

Dior rose, Valentino rosebud from silk and silk organza

Variety of ribbon flowers, for the center 2 colored ones I watercolored a length of ribbon and then gathered them into flowers.

Two small grosgrain ribbon hatpin roses, I did not like making these at all. And a huge silk/organza rose I made that I love to tack onto a headband and wear as a hat:

So cute 🙂 The rest of the flowers could be used on dresses or on hats, sometimes I just pin or tack them on to an outfit I’m wearing since I really like them.

Charles James 1937, Comme des Garcons 2013, photos from the FIT “Rose in Fashion” exhibit that I should go see (but FIT museum is closed on Tuesdays when my class is), just examples of how they are used.

Next we did beading, which I enjoyed much less than the flowers to be honest. It was more painstaking … I think it’s more immediately useful to me to know how to bead but I just didn’t like doing it that much. I still liked it though 🙂

My silly bead sampler, some interesting techniques. I just saw an amazing Loris Azzaro dress on Shrimpton Couture (now sold) that used the mesh beading to connect the bodice of the dress with the skirt:

How amazing! I love seeing things like that and thinking of how I could make it. Maybe I will do some beading on my Halloween costume, we will see, until then I have lots to do, not enough hours in the day!

Bye bye, till next time, and let me know if you have specific flowers or beading you would like to know how to do and I would love to try to help you.

Posted by:Patricia Torvalds

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