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This week, BurdaStyle guest blogger Marina von Koenig interviews Susan Khalje – one of the country’s very few and sought-after couture experts – about her favorite sewing patterns from our site. An exceptional and in-demand teacher, Susan established The Couture Sewing School in 1993 and teaches couture sewing techniques throughout the U.S. Read on for Susan’s tips on how to customize and style these looks.

1. Dress with bow in back (#116 Burda Style Magazine 08/2010)
“My absolute favorite – a really elegant little black dress. I might replace the bow tails with a jeweled pin of some sort, or some other sort of embellishment.”

2. Jacket with front frills (#106 Burda Style Magazine 01/2012)
“While this is a jacket, I can see it as an evening blouse in a bright color of silk taffeta, maybe with ruffles added to the sleeves, too; a few darts could be added for shaping the torso.”

3. A-line dress (#108B Burda Style Magazine 05/2011)
“Very cool lines, could be just stunning in the right fabric – or combination of fabrics and colors; I’d add a narrow, self-fabric belt.”

4. Double-breasted Paola dress (#BS-011 BurdaStyle)
“Kind of a vintage classic; I can see this in navy with white details.”

5. “I’m going to sneak two in here. I like both the V-neck LBD (#110 Burda Style Magazine 07/2011) and the Cap sleeve cocktail dress with metallic insets (#125 Burda Style Magazine 11/2011) – nice clean lines, nice sharp details – I can see them in faille, or heavy silk twill; lace could even work its way into either one of them.”


  • Mary_large

    Mar 31, 2012, 12.37 AMby mary serah koroma

    WOW! semplicemente fantastico! well done and love it.

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    Mar 24, 2012, 04.00 PMby marec

    larkin2sf, Didn’t you post some photos on PR? If so, I saw them and was entranced by your dress!

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    Mar 20, 2012, 06.28 PMby Nalaharley

    just lovely.. :)

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    Mar 18, 2012, 02.08 PMby SurMesure

    I did the no.5, v-neck dress – quite a wonderful dress! I chose a black fabric with a bit of stretch, with a modern flower motif in ivory, beige and pink. I did the suggested “surpiqûres” in pink. The result is stunning! I’ll try to post a picture of it on my studio….

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    Mar 14, 2012, 05.02 PMby jennel

    These are all amazing. I’m just beginning to learn how to sew and can’t wait until I can make amazing pieces like these!

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    Mar 14, 2012, 04.23 PMby msliz

    I am totally with # 3 and #4 – love those, too!

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    Mar 14, 2012, 08.37 AMby loulourosa

    I also like the dress with the bow, it looks so glamourous!

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    Mar 13, 2012, 08.26 PMby mje2009

    I love all of these and I’m so inspired by Susan’s couture techniques and fabric suggestions. I can’t wait to start the dress with a bow and the jacket with front frills.

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    Mar 13, 2012, 01.51 PMby scormeny

    Fantastic article and a great way to add focus to picking patterns. Love it, thanks.

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    Mar 13, 2012, 11.43 AMby sewingfan1

    Love most of these designs too! The blog is great with the suggestions she gives.

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    Mar 12, 2012, 11.15 PMby larkin2sf

    Wow! I made her #1 choice for my wedding dress in July 2011. I kept the bow and added a jeweled button to it! It’s a great dress – I felt like a princess wearing it!

    2 Replies
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      Mar 13, 2012, 08.30 PMby cottonrose

      I am sure you would have looked stunning. Great choice.

    • Fb2227aaf242c0d041dbcd583baae4e4ccfba73d_large

      Mar 14, 2012, 08.38 AMby loulourosa

      This is a loveley pattern for a wedding dress, good idea! and congratulations on your wedding!

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