Couture Sewing School (formerly the Bridal Sewing School)


 Susan Khalje

"A week with Susan Khalje will teach you how a combination of underlining, boning and waist stays provides the skeleton upon which a couture dress is built. Combine this with a solid knowledge of fabric manipulation and linings and your garment’s category moves from well-made to exceptional."

SANDRA BETZINA, author of Power Sewing and More Power Sewing


In SAN FRANCISCO, CA: at The Sewing Workshop -- July 9-15, 2000

In BALTIMORE, MD: Oct. 9-14 or Oct. 16-21, 2000 (This session is for returning students.)

In CHARLOTTE, VT: at Innovative Fashions -- November 12-17, 2000

Learn the fine art of couture sewing from couturière Susan Khalje!

Six intensive days will be devoted to creating your own one-of-a-kind wedding gown, evening wear, or other garment. It can be for yourself, a client, a friend or relative, or a sample.

During your 6 day-long session, you will plan, buy the fabric for, and sew your creation. You will incorporate into your project the couture techniques and details that go into Susan Khalje’s exquisite gowns that sell for thousands of dollars.

Professional dressmakers and others with advanced sewing skill will benefit from this excellent course, and from the inter-action and camaraderie of working with fellow skilled sewers.

Classes will be small to allow for individual attention. Maximum class size will be 12 students. In addition to teaching couture techniques, Susan operates her own successful couture business, and she will be sharing her business expertise with Couture Sewing School participants.

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Our week in Baltimore will begin with a private tour of the renowned G Street Fabrics in Rockville, Maryland, where you can purchase fabrics for your project if you have not already done so. Our week in San Francisco will include a visit to the world famous Britex Fabrics.

We will continue with:

  • fine tuning the fit of the muslin and adapting it for project use
  • assembling notebooks for your notes, handouts, and the couture samples you will make in class
  • choosing and working with the appropriate underlinings and linings
  • learning expert techniques using Alencon, Guipure, Chantilly and Venise lace
  • mastering boning and support techniques
  • discussing business topics, including advertising, pricing, public relations, and business growth
  • taking a close look at a number of Susan Khalje’s gowns
  • and much more!

Fee: $895. Includes:

  • 6 full days of instruction, Sunday-Friday
  • professional discounts on purchases at G street Fabrics and Britex Fabrics
  • numerous handouts, including a valuable wholesale resource list
  • farewell luncheon and presentation of certificates

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bullet1.gif (184 bytes) LOCATION

Classes will be held at a hotel in downtown Baltimore. In San Francisco, classes will be held at the Sewing Workshop. 

bullet1.gif (184 bytes) TUITION INFORMATION

Tuition is $895. At the time of registration, $250 must be paid. The balance of $645 is due 30 days before the start of your session. Payment may be made by check, money order, or credit card.

bullet1.gif (184 bytes) ACCOMMODATIONS

In Baltimore, participants can stay at the hotel in which classes are held. In San Francisco, students can stay at a number of hotels or bed & breakfasts in the area. Information about accommodations and room sharing will be sent approximately 2 months before the start of your session.

bullet1.gif (184 bytes) CANCELLATION POLICY

In the event that you must cancel, a full refund, less a $50 processing fee, will be returned to you provided we receive your refund request in writing 30 days before the beginning of the class for which you have registered. NOTE: You may transfer to another session at no additional cost, provided space is available.

In the event that Susan Khalje must cancel, a full refund will be sent to you.

bullet1.gif (184 bytes) WHAT TO BRING

Please bring your own sewing machine. Adjustable dress forms will be provided, as well as irons and ironing boards. Bring your usual sewing supplies, clearly labeled with your name.

bullet1.gif (184 bytes) YOUR COUTURE PROJECT

Please feel free to call Susan Khalje to discuss the project you plan to sew, and she will answer any questions you may have.

bullet1.gif (184 bytes) QUESTIONS?

Please write to the Couture Sewing School, 4600 Breidenbaugh Lane, Glenarm, MD 21057, call 410-592-5711 (Fax:410-592-6913), or e-mail Susan Khalje at;


From THREADS Magazine:



Editor’s note: Have you ever wished you could study couture sewing, if only for a week? Or maybe you’ve seen announcements for high dollar sewing, couture, quilting, or embellishment workshops, and wondered if they were for you. We’re happy to report that you don’t have to be a professional to enjoy and benefit form the majority of these sessions. Some of our readers and authors have attended such workshops and will, form time to time, report their experiences for us.

Bridal Sewing School

At Susan Khalje’s Bridal Sewing School last fall, I found myself in the company of nine professional and advanced level seamstresses and, during the course of the week long session, took my sewing to a new level. Couture-trained Khalje and her assistant focused on evening wear and bridal gowns, from fabric selection and fitting, to finishing techniques involving couture hand stitches that few of us are familiar with. Khalje shared her vast knowledge of fabrics and how they behave, as well as advice on fitting an structuring a gown, including selecting and applying underlining, linings, and boning.

Each student spent the week working on an individual project most of them bridal gowns. I chose to make a strapless leather bustier, from which I learned about fitting and about the inner structure necessary to support the weight of a voluminous ball gown. Susan Khalje’s bridal Sewing School is an invaluable experience for anyone interested in learning the techniques that constitute the backbone of couture sewing. My fellow students and I agreed that we got our money’s worth the first day!

The course will be taught in Baltimore, MD, Oct. 13-18 and 20-25. In 1997 it will be taught in Baltimore, April 6-11 and 13-18; and in Portland, OR, July 13-18 and 20-25. The $895 tuitin doesn’t include transportation or lodging. Contact the Bridal Sewing school, 4600 Breidenbaugh Ln, Glenarm, MD 21057;410-592-5711

-- Sandra Betzina of San Francisco, CA is the author of Power Sewing books and videos.


Couture Sewing School Registration Form

Phone (Day): (        ) Phone (Evening): (        )
I am registering for:
__ April 16 - 21,2000 (Boston, MA) __July 9 -15,2000 (San Francisco, CA)
__ October 9 -14,2000 (Baltimore, MD) __October 16 -21,2000 (Baltimore, MD -- This session is reserved for returning students.)

Payment: __ $250 check/money order enclosed;
balance of $645 due 30 days before the start of the session.

__Total enclosed;   __Mastercard; __ Visa; Card No:                                       
Signature:                                                                                 Exp.Date:  

Please register early to ensure a space. Return to:
Couture Sewing School
4600 Briedenbaugh Lane, Glenarm, MD 21057
Phone 410-592-5711; Fax 410-592-6913

More information on Susan Khalje

The Bridal Couture Book

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