Though you may be itching for the beginning of a new bridal blog series (me too!), I recently worked on an unusual and special project that I really wanted to share. I made a Dior-inspired square for a surprise “Couture Quilt”!
First off, let’s establish that I am a dressmaker, not a quilter. I have zero quilting experience. However, I thought it might be fun to share how a non-quilter couturier tackled this non-traditional project step-by-step. I fear that I’m sharing waaaay too many photos, but this teeeeeny flat dress was soooo adorable that I couldn’t help myself!
What!? Who? When? Why?
The quilt was a surprise for Judy Adamson in celebration her retirement as the director of the University of North Carolina’s Costume Production MFA program, a 3-year full-time very-intense program where I learned all about the production side of professional costuming. Most schools will offer Masters Degrees in Costume Design, but very few are focused on the people and the skills needed to turn a designer’s sketch into reality- which is much more interesting to me than design (and way more interesting to me than fashion-based education). I learned custom pattern making, custom fitting, couture sewing, dyeing, millinery… all the good stuff! (And the graduates get hired! I landed a dreamy Broadway millinery job right out of school. Graduates work for professional theatres, film, opera… One of my classmates is Dolly Parton’s costumer…)
The program is very small. Each year, only two incoming students are accepted. (The program is also very difficult. Each year, one or both may drop out. Judy started the program in 1993. In 2001, I was the 8th graduate of the program!) The very small class size led to a very special education and very special relationships with our teachers. Most classes were taught by Judy herself. She helped turn us all into who we are today!
In April, former graduates gathered to celebrate her years being our mentor. As a surprise gift, many of us contributed a 12″x12″ custom square for a “Couture Quilt”….
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