Friday, August 15, 2014

Louise Cutting Fitting/Sewing/Styling Retreat

I was one of 14 women attending a workshop with Louise Cutting and Sandy Miller in Winter Park, Florida last weekend.    The first thing we do is take 21 specific measurements so that patterns can be easily checked and you know where they need to be altered.   Since all things change, she suggests re-measuring yourself at least once a year.   She limits the number of people at these workshops so everyone can get hands on attention all 3 days.    We all have different shapes and sizes and, because of the expert fitting and muslining, there were some beautifully fitted and styled garments.    Louise shows you how to place and match motifs, what alterations should be done and advises on the length and proportions.     You can also work as late at night as you want to while you are there.

I had several goals that were all accomplished.    They included some fine tuning/fitting/tweaking of patterns I had already sewn and some styling and restyling advice.    I brought this Eskandar linen duster so that Louise and Sandy could advise on the best way to restyle it and save the great motifs.   It's an Eskandar size 1 but was too wide and too long for my small frame.  Here is what it looked like before.  

The primitive motifs are beautifully matched at the shoulders and front so she advised to keep the front band, back neck and shoulders intact (the entire garment is sewn with french seams) and lay the size small Of The Moment pattern (view A) right front with the shoulder dot at the intersection of the band and the shoulder seam, omitting the front extension.    I decided to add 4.5" to the length of the Of The Moment jacket, and after comparing the sleeves, I just recut the cap and width using the OTM sleeve pattern, making sure to have that little extension that allows for the turn of the cloth at the hem. 

So here's how it turned out.   I'm wearing it with a silk jersey Of The Moment top and dark brown My Swing Set pants that I brought so they could check the placement and length of the darts.    Louise had only seen the photos of me in the pants and thought the darts might be too long.   When she saw the pants on me in person, she thought they were fine and no changes were necessary.

The front of this Of The Moment jacket is the same as this black/white linen jacket Louise Cutting is wearing in this photo taken at the American Sewing Guild conference earlier in the month.   Her jacket has the OTM long sleeves and my restyled jacket has the sleeve length from the Eskandar duster.    She added piping and a band of black linen at the hem to lengthen and add a design element.   Lots of possibilities.


  1. A beautiful "new" jacket from the remake. Would love to attend one of the workshops. Maybe one of these days I'll be able to get away......... I plan to see Louise in Ft Worth at the upcoming expo.

    1. Thank you Linda. I left a comment on your blog post about fall and transition sewing but it never appeared. Enjoy the expo and if you have something you want her advice on, by all means take it.

    2. What a wonderful "remake"!! looks great on you, I bet you'll get lots of wear out of it now. Wish I had your vision for making changes to patterns, etc. I'll plug along and copy when I can! LOL
      Lakestitcher on SG

    3. Thank you Lakestitcher. I never wore it before but I sure will now. I also have lots of the left-over linen to play with! Many of the ladies at the retreat made a Nine Lives top along with other garments that show off interesting placement of motifs.

  2. Hi Terri, don't know what happened to your comment on my blog. I'm not showing any comments awaiting moderation. Cyberspace strikes again!?? I'm sorry it didn't come thru. Always love to hear from you!

  3. The retreat sounds like it was not only fun but very productive. I think the remake of your jacket is inspired and makes the best of both the fabric and yourself. Best wishes Jacqui from NZ