If you had been in our K Street store, or our Georgetown store, you might remember our "Outlet Corner," where one could find bargains galore. One of our customers called it her prayer corner!
We donated the contents to a great DC program called "Sew and Know" when we moved out of Georgetown Park Mall, but the good news for bargain fashionista sewing is, we have again accumulated a bunch of end pieces and end-of-season pieces, window samples, and so on, and we'll be adding them online very soon at up to 70% OFF!
These pieces will include silks, brocades, and all kinds of things that will spark the creativity in your sewing room. Please note that they will available online only, first come first serve.
Keep your eyes peeled on our website, join it if you want for the latest updates, and check back often!
Here's the link:
Exquisite Fabrics' OUTLET CORNER.
All I learned about couture methods (not much) was from Madam Simone and Madam Therese Andree.
I think my next teacher, when I decide to learn in earnest about couture, will be Claire Shaeffer. But I haven't much time to decide, because the last of her famous Sewfari workshop/classes are filling up.
So, in the meantime, I found her on Facebook and viewed a video she had posted from the Chanel website.
If you have time to watch it, notice a few things.
You can get lessons on "French jackets" (which are cleverly not referred to as "Chanel"for trademark reasons), but many times the result seems overworked. Not that 130 hours or so on a jacket isn't a lot of work! It is a matter of experience and a certain light touch to be able to make a jacket that looks as casual and yet perfectly fitted as the real thing.
A few differences. All those buttons and all that braid can make a jacket look militaristic. One reason Chanel jackets look relaxed is that the braid is applied following the natural contour of the fabric. Since the fabrics are usually nubby, the braid does not look like it was applied to a piece of cardboard. If you can look carefully, the pockets are not mirror image perfect nor are they perfectly flat. Everything lies, relaxed, and has enough "give" in the application to allow the human body to wear the jacket, and not the jacket to wear the person.
That's why some of the real jackets have survived generations of women who have worn then first as suits, then donned them over chiffon dresses, and then at last with jeans.
All that being said, I can't explain how it's done. I just know it when I see it.
Visit the shop Wednesday-Saturday from noon to 6 pm and stock up on woolens because...there will always be winter!
Look for the yellow signs for up to 50% off.
Exquisite Fabrics, 107A East Davis Street, Culpeper, VA 22701.
Tel. 540 727 0396 or 202 507 9775.
Today I thought I finally will have some free time to pursue some better sewing instruction for myself. I looked up Claire Shaeffer, and I learned that she plans to stop giving her well-regarded workshops in the middle of 2017. Her last few classes are listed online and some have openings, so if you've ever wanted to attend one and improve upon your couture sewing techniques, now's the time.
A little about Ms. Shaeffer can be found from a Threads magazine snippet from the August/September 2011 issue, and a more extensive series in video form on the Threads website (subscription required, or maybe you can take advantage of a free trial).
In part one, she explains that she wandered into couture sewing (and into writing about that topic). Her intent had been to learn how to make her own patterns for personal use, since she was a smaller size. She learned all facets of sewing, including industrial techniques, in a trade school, and applied them in her own personal sewing.
Years later, she rediscovered couture methods and began collecting garments, especially vintage Chanel, to study. She compares her garments to books which she enjoys "reading," rediscovering some snippet every day.
Ms. Shaeffer is truly a treasure for the sewing community, having written some twenty books, starting with 1981's "The Complete Book of Sewing Shortcuts," up to her video "Couture Sewing; Designer Trims."
Check them out, and get sewing!
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