vol.25 // Friday, November 15th


This month I was lucky enough to go on the trip of a lifetime to Paris with Susan Khalje on her "Couture Tour". I've dreamed of this opportunity for years, and it was a tremendous privilege to finally realize it.

For the last year or so I've felt like I hit a sewing plateau, and I've found that the best way to stay continually engaged with my sewing practice is to constantly push myself forward and learn new ways of thinking and doing things. Studying couture methods has been a godsend in many ways; while I don't see myself sewing couture exclusively, discovering these time-honored traditions has completely reinvigorated my relationship with my sewing machine. Sinking deeply into a big, time-intensive project (ideally one with lots of hand stitching I can accomplish while cringing my way through HBO's Succession) feels comforting and healing, especially when our long, cold winter descends.

Our trip to Paris opened so many doors, both literally and figuratively. We spent a day learning draping with one of Alaia's patternmakers and studied the iconic jersey pleats of Madame Gres with one of her last atelier masters. We had private tours of gorgeous fashion exhibits and visited some of the most beautiful fabric stores I've ever seen. Because I know not everyone can do the same, I felt compelled to share as much as I could in Instagram stories while I was gone (saved as a permanent highlight to our feed here). It was my honor to bring people along on the journey, and I hope in some way to capture what learned and bring it to Closet Case Patterns in some manner or another. Our patternmaker Celine and I are already brainstorming some beautiful draped designs we might bring to you in the future, and I'm planning some blog content in the new year to introduce you to couture methods and ideas.

In the meantime, we announced at the beginning of the month the start of Sew Frosting 2019. This is a fun, no-pressure community challenge to make something beautiful just for the joy of it, and I hope you'll take a look at your stash to find that gorgeous fabric you've been meaning to finally use and maybe make a fabulous something to wear for the holiday season. I'm working on a gorgeous couture coat, and may also sneak in this Rachel Comey jumpsuit if I have the time. Sewing some frosting is always a good way to shake out of a sewing rut, and I hope you'll be inspired to participate!

In sewing solidarity,
Heather Lou


... LINK PARTY ...

Sewing ...

We love seeing our friends in the news! A wonderful article in the Guardian from Jenny of Cashmerette on the power of sewing your own clothes.

Diary of a Chainstitcher shared all her recent Hampton Jean Jacket knowledge with us and I am so inspired. Topstitching for days!

Check out these glorious knee highs by the Needle and the Belle! Discouraged by RTW knee highs that didn't fit, she went ahead and made her own with this pattern by The Petite Stitchery.  Just the thing to layer under pants for our freezing winters.

This is a great general tutorial from Handmade by Carolyn on how to make a tulle petticoat. Very frosting indeed!

Love this idea from Made by Meg of planning your Halloween costume me-made in such a way that it doesn't die in your closet on November 1st! 

A deeply glorious red power suit from Couture & Tricot.

GAHHH! This reversible Tamarack from Merritts Makes is PERFECTION.

Art ...

These notecards called Personal Messages are a collaboration between artists Michael Dumontier and Neil Farber and are just the most charming and adorable art project we've seen in a long time. They would make the sweetest stocking stuffer...

Deeply inspired by these exquisite sculptures by Kathleen Ryan in a series called Bad Fruit. The meticulous beading combined with the idea of Damien Hirst eat your heart out!

This insta account is a thing of beauty: Milan based graphic designer TheBigBagClub exaggerates the size of statement bags at fashion events and the result is hilarious/gorgeous.

Doing Good ...

Shoe brand Nisolo (a favorite in the studio!) is working on a campaign to help with transparency in the fashion industry. This initiative shares the lowest wage at their company and encourages other businesses to do the same! #lowestwagechallenge

Reading ...
An homage to the glory of high-waisted pants from the New Yorker.

Looking for couture inspo? Look no further than Christian Dior: History and Modernity by Alexandra Palmer. The rare fashion tome that shows you the insides of those incredible garments...


Never one to do anything boring, check out what I Sew Therefore I Am came up with by mashing up views of our Sienna Maker Jacket!
Loving this Kalle Shirtdress from Courtney. Cozy flannel and the ease of a popover placket make this the ultimate "Secret pajamas"!
We can always count on Abby to bring the winter looks! Here she is stretching her Sienna Maker jacket into snow season with this cute layered ensemble.

I recently purchased a straight stitch needle plate. It helps sew great topstitching and is perfect for lightweight fabrics. The only problem is when I forget that I’m on this plate and I switch to zig-zag... flying pieces of a needle are no fun! My trick is to put a piece of painters’ tape over the buttons to change stitches at the same time as I install this needle plate. No more broken needles!

(Submitted by Rimma)

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