The World of Couture Sewing

Excitement abounds in the world of couture sewing! The long-anticipated debut of Susan Khalje’s video series has arrived with the release of “The Cocktail Dress”.

Many of you are familiar with the Craftsy Class by Susan in which she guides one through the process of making a dress adhering to the fine and precise construction methods of “The Couture Dress”. Susan’s own video series promises to be more expansive, as she includes patterns, which she has designed and developed, with each video.

The three views of the Cocktail Dress pattern feature partial lace construction, one with an asymmetrical neckline and hemline insert, and what looks to me to be a (gorgeous!) Balenciaga-inspired bow at the shoulder. The feminine sheath styling, princess lines and Susan’s precise fitting advice are sure to make this dress a classic in one’s wardrobe.

Here is the pattern which comes with your enrollment in The Cocktail Dress.  The three variations of the dress each have their own charms!

Here is the pattern which comes with your enrollment in The Cocktail Dress. The three variations of the dress each have their own charms!

For those of you unfamiliar with Susan’s exceptional teaching style, her video series provides a wonderful opportunity for you: she includes two Free Videos on her website. Check out “Things to Bear in Mind When Choosing Fabrics” and “Choosing the Right Pattern Size” for a small preview of Susan’s friendly, easy-going, informative approach to fashion sewing.

Other courses planned in Susan’s video series are:

  • The French Couture Jacket
  • The Lace Class
  • The Couture Notebook
  • The Little Black Dress
  • The Corset
  • The Skirts Class

Finally – one thing I know, both from completing Susan’s Craftsy course, and from taking classes with Susan in person, is that you will grow as a dressmaker as you make your way through the couture process taught by her. Yes, it takes patience and tenacity, but the finished product is more than just a dress or a jacket (or whatever!) – it is art and craft and style all rolled into one. I am so looking forward to getting started on my Cocktail Dress — care to join me??


Filed under couture construction, Love of sewing

17 responses to “The World of Couture Sewing

  1. Cissie

    Karen, what a nice review you have given to those who aren’t familiar with Susan and her incomparable teaching style. I can’t wait to make the one-shoulder dress, which I have admired from my many classes with her! Now to find the perfect fabric! Can’t wait to see what you will make as it is certain to be a show-stopper!

    • It is so, so easy to write a nice review of anything “Susan”! But thank you! Yes, the fabric search is on for the Cocktail Dress. I’ll be making mine for a September event, so I have a little time to look yet… I will be anxious to see what you find for yours.

  2. Susan’s Couture Dress course got me sewing again. I’m a big fan!

  3. onedabbles

    Thank you for posting this. I am light years away from couture – a very raw beginner. I watched the free videos on Susan’s website. Her manner and teaching style are incredibly welcoming, accessible and informative – so much knowledge easily communicated. The video on pattern sizing was particularly helpful.

    • You know, at one time all of us were (or are) very raw beginners, but the important thing is practicing the craft, even in simple (or especially in simple) sewing projects. Luckily, it doesn’t take more than basic sewing skills to benefit from Susan’s expertise! Thanks so much for your comment.

  4. Cross Stitch

    I like the idea of the videos, but $120 for a year’s access to an online video is more than I would feel comfortable paying for. I’ve bought a couple of Craftsy classes, including Khalje’s “The Couture Dress,” and am always afraid that one day the platform will be shut down.

    • I can certainly understand about the $120… I guess it is one of those things that has to be considered in perspective. For example, it’s a bargain, money-wise, compared to traveling to take one of her classes in person (as wonderful and incomparable as that is!)
      Thanks so much for commenting…

  5. Kat

    Oh, I went gaga when I saw this originally! I’m going to save my pennies for this one. I was extra excited when I saw that the pattern was drafted by her! Esp looking forward to the corset!! Thanks for posting 🙂

  6. You’re welcome, Kat! I am really excited about her patterns as well – the cocktail dress pattern is stunning! Isn’t it fun to know you’ll be able to take a corset class online??

  7. Yes I’ve been watching her website closely these past few months waiting for her to bring them out! Whilst I’ve been to her classes once before… access to this kind of knowledge on demand is just a wonderful thing. I’ll definitely be signing up, just as soon as I’ve finished a few other projects sitting in my queue 🙂

    • We all have those projects sitting in queue! I have a few “summer” things I want/need to make before I can get started on my cocktail dress. But I am hoping my excitement to start it will help me be extra focused in my sewing room!

  8. Cynsin

    I am returning to my couture “roots.” Susan is a wonderful teacher and she, among others, are my guides and resources. Hopefully, as I transition from CEO of a residential program for homeless families to my own business, the next two-year journey will well prepare me.

  9. Deborah Johnson

    I studied couture sewing when I lived in Rome many years ago. Loved it but put it down and am just now picking up my thread and needles again. Fifty Dresses is one of my favorite blogs and has been such an inspiration. One question: where can I see a picture of Susan’s couture dress pattern? I’m eager to sign up for the video.

    • Hi Deborah – you can see Susan’s cocktail dress pattern on her website, under her “store”. Also, I have received my pattern from her and will scan it and add it to this post very shortly. I should also add that Susan has extended the “viewing” time for her videos up to three years (from one) which makes each class extra attractive.
      Studying couture In Rome must have been an amazing experience for you. Thanks so much for your very kind comment!

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