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,