Tuesday, October 4, 2011

If You Know You're Passionate About Patternmaking Invest In Your Tools

I can't emphasize this more, if you know you've really wanted to get into fashion design and patternmaking, like if you've really wanted to since you were a kid, get the tools you need. It's not fair to your potential progress to deprive yourself of the things you'll need to make it. I know because that's what I've been doing to myself for years. This is one of the bad things about having too many interests, you don't always know which ones you really want to see through till the end, or rather, through to the actual pursuit of a career. Also if you're one of those people that find this inner voice making you feel like you're irresponsible if you spend money on a skill you enjoy developing and working on, don't listen to that voice, kick it in the bud right away and spend that money, wisely. I'll give you my example: it's taken me years to finally get Connie Amadan Crawford's book, Patternmaking Made Easy, then, instead of getting a dressform, french curve for sleeves, buttonhole marker and things like that, I put it all off saying to myself "I don't want to spend all this money, just incase I don't make it" Well, a very good thing has happened because of this though, I've had the opportunity to find out just how serious I am about acquiring my fashion design and patternmaking skills because for every problem I inevitably run into, I find myself willing to fight to over come it. That's pretty nice.

So here's my new problem, I temporarily skipped the Raglan and Kimino blocks over the weekend in exchange for doing the sleeve blocks first, only to find out that I can't really complete the sleeve block procedure because they don't match up to the incorectly drafted bodice blocks, on account of the fact that they weren't made from a dressform. I'm not going to let that stop me though. One nice thing about the sleeve chapter, is that I discovered that I was already quite familiar with the various sleeve drafting concepts, puffed cap, bishop sleeve, cuffs, leg'o mutton sleeve from previous sewing and researching experience :) very nice. However, I learned a beautiful way to draft a fitted sleeve from which these variations are made. I've got artists french curves that I used to shape the cap, didn't quite work out the way the book suggested though, and I was of course un-able to "walk" the sleeve into the bodice armholes to check for accuracy. So what do I get out of this imperfection? I'm still more familiar with the sleeve drafting process than I would have been.

Well, yesterday I was 'lucky' enough not to have any writing assignments to work on, so I didn't take it easy, I went back to check out the Raglan and Kimino Sleeve Chapter, see if I could do it. Turns out that I could, I finished working on the Kimino block as I found out that I didn't really need a sleeve block to complete it, and even though, I don't have an accurate shirt and shirt sleeve blocks to work with I'm going to wing it with the Raglan block anyway, either today or this weekend. That is, depending on my writing work load.

Now a little bit about career and interest confusion. Years ago, actually since I was a young child I felt driven to get into film and fashion, it was so engrained in my heart, so early, that I can't really remember which came first. It started like this: everytime I watched a movie I liked, Star Wars, Dark Crystal, Legend etc, I would think to myself "I want to make it go on". I would then imagine an ongoing story or scenario for what ever film. This interest/passion went right into my teen years where I started getting my father to take me to the downtown library so I could pick up every book I could get my hands on that was about filmmaking and screenwriting. I halted my homeschooling and purchased a typewriter with the gift of $50 given to me by my mother's dearest friend and started working on film screenplays and treatments. Well after about 15 years of perpetual discouragement from my father, constant noise and interuption from my younger siblings and too many responsibilties, family instability, getting married, becoming a parent and a family break up (between my parents) I lost my zeal for the dream. Of course it didn't help any not to have any friends or contacts to network with and films took on a new charactor, at least the ones that someone brought home from time to time. I didn't have time any more to watch movies any way.

Where does the fashion come in? At the same time, from earliest memories of childhood to now, I've loved beautiful clothes, my mom would buy patterns from Woodwards department store where we would sit for hours looking at pattern books from Vogue, Butterick, McCalls and others. I could just die for how beautiful the illustrations were. I wanted to do everything I was looking at, the sewing, the cloths design, the illustrations. It was all so beautiful. These times make up some of my happiest memories. My mom would pick out some nice fabric too, back in the 80s they had some awesome prints, I'd have to see and touch as many as I could while my mom looked for the deals. And it didn't stop there, she would lay out all of these things on the living room floor and cut them out then sew them on her manual Singer sewing machine which she later handed down to me when I was about eleven years old. Every time I seen a dress or costume I liked in a cartoon, movie or comic book, I'd always dream about being able to make it myself. This turned into me eventually making my own patterns, they were terrible of course, but some of them were actually wearable and I did wear them, outside even when they were good enough. For years I made the mistake in thinking that if a person truly had a talent for something, they would be able to somehow just 'know' the skill without going to school (my parents were against formal education). I thought that a person wouldn't have to be taught and they would simply be able to develop the necessary skills on their own, lol. The problem with that, is it's true, however, it will take a very long time to do. And this time is unecessary thanks to books and schools. My father always taught that schools were for people who weren't really talented and didn't have an imagination, I laugh at that now as it's ridiculously unfair and so untrue.

Oh, oh, time is slipping here, I've got to attend to other things now, before my babies wake up. Blogger has taken away (only temporarily I hope) the spell checker, so I apologize for any typing errors.

If you'd like to read more about fashion, information on the industry and online schools check out my site at:
Budget Online Fashion Design Schools and Resources

If you're a designer or home sewer and you'd like to find some cool eco-friendly fabrics and more check out my resource page at:
The Eco-Friendly Fashion Designer's Resource Page

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