Friday, January 30, 2009

the tree dress, finally, and a bit of disappointment...

I started this dress back in April and I just finished it last week. It has been a long and harrowing experience. I finally got the muslin to a place that i liked and altered the pattern and then finally got around to cutting out the fabric maybe 3 weeks ago and started going and realized that i hadn't referenced my little sketch before i cut and had to recut a few pieces. Then i had some guests and it got put on hold again. Then I finally finished it.

And I don't like it. The top part is still too big and it looks funny on. Bryson thinks it is because the feel of the dress is more feminine and the fabric is more stark and sort of structured. And on me the proportions are off. The black makes the top half heavy and while i like the length on me it is almost too short to compete with the top. I have some ideas on how to make it look better and i want to take in the top half but not right now. It is going to sit in my closet while i work on some other things before i come back to it.
I had such high hopes for this dress. sigh. oh least i have a new black sash.

I have another dress idea that I want to work out the pattern for and I would like to make myself some handkerchiefs. Right now I am taking a sewing break and working on some knitting that has been hibernating awhile.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

the Gap window says it is 20 colors of spring. my thermometer says it is -10 F...and that's the high for the week...

I recently read this post by needled. It was so inspiring on so many levels. As someone who has studied Fashion and worked as a seamstress I am aware of how much waste there is in the fashion and textile industries. The textile industry is also very hazardous to its workers health. I have always been one to enjoy quality vs. quantity but as I became a college student and then a person who had a very difficult time finding a job-or a direction for that matter- my "fashion" budget has been... lets say very low for the past several years. Not being in school anymore has lead me to want to look nicer. I am not spending all of my time in a Darkroom where I can spill chemicals all over myself and ruin "nice" clothes so now i actually want "nice" clothes. I had recently decided that since I have more time to spend on myself that the best way to get clothes that I love and will fit and I will wear out is to make them myself. Then I read the above mentioned article. I don't feel like I can make a commitment to not buying anything-there are too many things in my closet that need severe repairs or alterations along with too many things i simply do not like- but already having decided to make a good number of things for myself i do feel comfortable trying to push it a little further. If i do make a purchase I will buy the best that i can afford and only buy something I love and not settle for mediocrity. I am also inspired to try to organize a sort of regular knitting/sewing meet up. A way to share what I know about making, altering and mending clothing as well as a chance to be social. I think that the current economy is pushing more people to return to a simpler way of life where you have to use it up, wear it out or make it do.

While I have stepped out of the world of high fashion in the past several years and have recently made a few attempts to get reacquainted I think I could never be a slave to fashion. My morals and ideals for this life have just been set too high to live by the standards that industry has set. I wish for a return of the smaller dressmaking houses like Martha, like what Charles Worth was in his day. Expert people who created not just fashion but a wearable work of art based solely on the level of technique and construction involved in each piece. A wish for a mass understanding of what it takes to create something, anything, from an idea and image in your head to a material object that sits in front of you. All done by someone's hand. The problem with this wish in today's world is that object now created becomes very difficult to throw away. One must create with a purpose to make something special.

The dart and the hem are the first and the last steps respectively when putting together a garment and so encompass every other step taken when making a garment. So here we are at the beginning...