Saturday, July 30, 2011

Black Piped Dress Prototype

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I am finally sewing.

And it has taken way too long for me to be able to make that statement this summer. But between working and taking an online class for a month, I never made the time actually sit down and start a project. I mean, I sort of did--I drafted a new bodice pattern a couple weeks ago, but didn't get any further than adding seam allowances and cleaning up my pencil lines. (The latter is a school habit pounded into me! If you had any chicken scratchy-lines, it was an automatic ten percent off the pattern grade. Ouch.)

But finally, I found a whole new pocket of the web, full of super-talented seamstresses who work with vintage patterns and use all the fancy finishing techniques I've been learning and (some of them) make and sell their own pattern lines! (I'll share links soon!) Inspiring doesn't even begin to describe it. I didn't have time to become necessarily disillusioned with making clothes, but I guess I haven't been chomping at the bit to get back to it. But after reading about these amazing women, I am completely re-invigorated.

When people ask me what I want to do after I graduate, as they inevitably tend to, I'm always a little unsure of how to respond. I have three more years, at least, to figure that out. Why narrow my options now? It's important to work towards goals and know what you want, sure, but right now I'm enjoying learning about every aspect of the industry. I also know that I change my mind all the time. First semester, I would tentatively say I'd like to be a technical designer. Having completed my freshman year, I now tell people I wouldn't mind being a patternmaker. But the truth is, I have no idea. I don't know if I'd care to make patterns for other people's designs, and I'm kind of terrified that the only options I'd have would be in, I don't know, sportswear or really practical clothing. I want to work with clothes that make people feel amazing--finely tailored garments and careful details, finer fabrics and inspired techniques.

But having your own patternmaking business? Can you imagine? Self-employment, your own designs, a challenging creative process from start to finish, the option to test your own patterns (thus, getting to sew), working with fit, problem solving, and the ability to inspire other sewers AND give them designs that make them feel great about themselves. I see no downside in this scenario as far as the process goes!

This is just a new thought for me to toss around. I know I'll end up working in the industry for a period of time, but it isn't too soon to think about the eventual future, is it?

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Anyway. The main point of all this rambling is that I was very, very inspired to test out the pattern I'd drafted. So I made a muslin, and miraculously, it fit with very little adjustment. I went ahead and cut out my fabric--some nice, lightweight cotton--and underlined the bodice. I piped the neckline and armholes and it took forever, but it was so worth it. I took a little extra time on the skirt to give it inseam pockets, and it's totally lined. It has an elastic waist so there is some ease for fit--since I don't know who will be wearing it, I figured a looser style would be appropriate.

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My favorite detail is the lace hem tape. I love this stuff! I figured a contrast would give it some fun kick if the inside hem ever showed! I insisted on doing tons of handstiching on this dress, including the invisible hem. I am so good at picking threads, let me tell you. It takes forever but it looks like a million bucks!

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What do you think? I think it's too short for me, haha! But my plan has been to put it in the shop all along. Would you wear something of a similar style, in different fabrics with variation in details? What if it had a cut out in back?

And if you're still reading after all that, then you deserve a bucket of strawberries. Thanks for sticking with me throughout all my hiatuses, dearies!

5 comments:

  1. I love it Addie! It really is very versatile and fits perfectly. Sorry to hear about your dilemma though. I'm also freaking out about what I want to do with my life, all going to university has done is mess with what I thought I wanted. Lovely to see you posting again though! :)

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  2. Love it so very much, especially the layers and detail underneath the dress.

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  3. It's beautiful, Addie! (And kudos to you for posting again....your old mom hasn't done that yet!) Your ramblings make perfect sense to me. Why pin yourself down to one thing, when you don't even know all of the options yet? And you, too, Veronika---don't freak out! Sometimes, we land in the most unexpected places, but when we look at it in retrospect, it all makes sense. My friend Margy would tell me to focus on what you think that you want to happen, and if it is meant to, it will all line up. And who knows what cool things might happen along the way! So hang in there, and enjoy. Look for the surprises.
    Now look who's rambling! Great job on the dress, my dear. Oh, and I got to see a big beautiful bowl of red raspberries today. They looked yummy! Love, Mom

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  4. Oh man, you are one extremely talented lady. I can't believe all the little details. How long did the whole thing take you? I wish so bad that I could sew that well. I know I could still learn but the time it'd take as a beginner is mind-boggling. I'd totally wear something like that. By the way, it doesn't look too short for you in my opinion.
    And yes, it's always good to keep your future open. But I wouldn't be afraid of starting your own business. Sure it'd be hard work and yeah, it's risky, but if you're passionate about it... Life's too short to do sportswear. Elsie from ABeautifulMess started her own business last year. It's been really inspiring to read along with her. I switched from film to neuroscience so I'm glad I didn't narrow my options too soon.

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  5. I take the strawberries... ;) The dress is lovely, I love the lacy hem tape! I don't think it looks too short on you! I think there are quite a few independent pattern companies out there (Colette and Sewaholic come to mind) so I say go for it! :)

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I love hearing from people! Feel free to leave thoughts, questions, etc. Thanks, dolls!