Sunday, 2 June 2013

These posts are like buses

I did say I'd been productive. 
It wasn't just the draping class, there is also the Burda dress, and the Gertie blouse! Well, Gertie may have to wait - the blouse is the third project I've attempted from her book and perhaps they all should go up together. (Although I did make it for the new job, about which I'm most thrilled, as opposed to the new job about which I am distinctly fazed, so excitement overflow is likely imminent.)

But the Burda dress needs to be shown now, as it's just about the only timely thing I've ever done. Yes, it's still vaguely current! Hurrah for me! 

Front dress full lengthFront bodice close up

Back view

For anyone even feigning an interest, this is a mashing together of the elements of #124 and #125 in the May edition of Burdastyle magazine. Really, I took the 'poplin dress' and omitted one of the pockets and added some sleevage from #125.

It wasn't without a couple of issues. In honesty, this dress was in the middle of utter life-chaos - which maybe I'll have the wherewithal to post about when it's over - and I don't think I gave it the concentration it deserved. For some reason (probably distracted cutting on my part) the back ended up huge, so it found itself newly-fashioned with a pleat. I now fervently believe this is a good thing. Honestly. Then the shaped central band was somewhat fiddly and awkward, and baffled further by the 'instructions', but I worked it out eventually. 

This will always be my pinny frock. It's so comfortable I can't fail to love it. It reminds me of Mrs Lawrenson, Mrs Tipton and other friends of my nan's, who wore lovely wrap-around pinnies, although this is missing the bias-bound edges (I've just had the startling revelation that I noticed that pinny detail when I was eight and therefore probably needed to 'get a life' even then...)

I'm going to stop wittering about dressmaking now. This is really rather lacklustre - I'm not really in the headspace for writing and I'll regret having chuntered on. I just needed to clear the slate, as it were. 

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Pins and brown paper

Yup, I've been gone a while. A whole month, in fact! How did that happen? 

In the solid world, it was probably through dull life commitments... But here such things are impossible! I have a rule about stringently limiting doings of a non-frivolous nature. No, no, no. This must mean that it was to do with the world of marshmallow and smoke, and me being out exploring strange new worlds, running away with music idols, and generally being just too fabulous for school. Yes, that was clearly it.
However, somehow, alongside the stardom, notoriety and hedonism (aka working three jobs) I have found some time to do new stuff - I may have appeared quiet but this has been a most-industrious time. Oh, yes. I need to gush a bit. I've just completed Paul Gallo's class on Craftsy, and it was marvellous. So there.

Admittedly, my industry was facilitated by procrastination. I had told myself that the last few days would be spent learning practical things that I ought to know for one of my new jobs. Strangely, this had the effect of me desperately needing to sew. It made 'right now' the right time to do something I've managed to put on hold for the last 25 (or something) years. It was time for me to learn to drape and put together my own patterns. Naturally. Anyone would feel the same. But now that it's over, I feel I ought to have some form of guilt for running from commitments. I don't. I just have guilt for not feeling guilty for running from commitments. And that makes it OK. 

There is a further confession: the least-enjoyable part of the adventure was the sewing. 
I just wasn't so bothered about the sewing once my head had been turned by the relaxing smoothing and pinning of calico, the possibilities of how it could be tucked and pinned for future experimentation, of how the simple project in my hands could be re-utilised in different forms, with new angles and lengths... That new star system was suddenly navigable! I just wanted to architect a million designs, all to be magically sewn without me having to wait for my own ridiculously-slow sewing skills. And I use the word 'architect' purposely. The second joy was making the paper pattern. Measuring, aligning... I was home. A pen, an array of rulers, the crisp crackling of tracing wheel on brown paper. Ah, joy!

Side view of muslin
Muslin front view

Back view of muslin

See? Doesn't it look joyous? Doesn't Miranda wear it so well (despite my slowness at working out how to pin it correctly on her adjustable loveliness)?

Unfortunately, my shots of the final outcome can't be complemented by such an apt model...

Finished 'draped dress'Draped dress darts detail
Angled view of dress.

Dress with belt 

Rear view of draped dress

So that's that. 
In reality, it's allegedly summer at the moment, so I'm going to undo some of that work and remove the sleeves. I just had to prove that I could do them first. And maybe the doing and undoing is part of my reluctance to actually leave the project as finished. I am possibly that transparent; I don't really care. 

In the space of a week, I've learnt so-oo much my head might explode. And none of it what I should have learnt, which I may regret on Monday morning. But it was good. So good.