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Guipure lace skirt with Susan Khalje (Sewing Class Review)
Virginia, UNITED STATES
Viewed 663 times
Review rated Very Helpful by 4 people   
Posted by: dbsewer
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About dbsewer star
MA USA
Member since: 1/16/04
Reviews written: 32
Sewing skills:Advanced
Favored by: 10 people
classes reviewed: 1
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Posted on: 8/6/13 11:10 AM
Rating: starstarstar
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I took this workshop at the ASG Conference in Arlington, VA over the weekend, and wanted to share my experience. It was all good. Here are some details:

First, this project is not for the newbie or faint of heart. I paid about $120/yard for my fabric from B&J in NYC, but others in the class were smarter shoppers and found lovely lace at Britex and other shops for less. Mine is a particularly sturdy (read heavy) lace, and I think it was worth what I paid. However, you have to actually Cut into the lace, which can be intimidating. Susan's presence, though, eased much of the sturm and drang of taking scissors to such expensive cloth.

Second, don't expect to finish it in one day, unless you are a master at basting and stitching. This is, after all, a class on sewing couture, which translates from the French into time consuming and labor intensive. Some folks got further than others, but most of us left with work to do, though confident with Susan's instruction that we could tackle this project on our own with success.

BTW, it's pronounced Gip-oor.

Susan gave us very detailed printed instructions. She started the class with some muslin tweaking. I would recommend investing serious time into fitting your skirt muslin, because you'll be putting serious time into its construction. The skirt requires four layers of fabric. In couture, accuracy is everything, and I've got a long way to go to improve in that area. You have to mark, remark, hand baste, and stitch your fabric, and going even a little off kilter can compromise the fit or drape. I'll re-post when the skirt is finished and let you all know just how off kilter my marking and stitching turned out to be.

The classroom was small, which is my only complaint, and some of us set up tables in the hall, where the lighting was somewhat insufficient. But this is an issue with the hotel, not the class itself. Susan is excellent at dividing her time evenly, so we all got good attention, including those of us who were out in the "annex." She spent a lot of time demonstrating how to lay out the lace on top of our skirts, making sure the motifs line up properly, and finished up the day explaining in detail how to handle darts, center back seam, waistband, and the back zipper.

I wish this had been a two day class. I think it would be great if ASG would consider that in future, though I know folks sign up for Susan's couture hand and machine stitch classes and might not appreciate the lace skirt folks hogging her precious days at the conference. Maybe she'll do a two day class at her studio.

I really like Susan as a teacher. I was sorely disappointed in some of the other classes I took at the conference, but not this one. I learned a lot, and it was worth the investment. Whenever I take a class with Susan, I feel my skill levels go up.

BTW, I overheard a rumor that she might be doing a class like this online, but I don't have details to share. I'd say keep looking at her website susankhalje.com, to see what classes she's offering. I plan to do her French jacket class in Sept. and her sit and sew with Kenneth King in October. Merry Christmas to me.
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2 Comments      Login to Add a Comment
dinagideon said...
Ooh, I love Guipure lace...way too early in my sewing life to attempt it, but someday I will definitely make a beautiful item with it! Great review, and will watch for the class online, if it happens. (I am in NoVA, but thought the ASG conference fee way too high for a newbie!)
8/6/13 5:59 PM
ASiverson said...
Taking an online class with Susan is a good way to learn from her too. I agree, she is a fabulous teacher. You cannot go wrong!
8/7/13 3:20 PM

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