Sunday, January 24, 2010

step one of five thousand

Well, the bodice is drawn. I can't say finished because the next step is to sew up a muslin to see if it fits. Which should be an adventure in itself since I'll have to fit it on myself.

I always wonder about this, because sewing is a fairly solitary pursuit, and yet most of the instructions on fitting tell you to have someone help you. And yet, after having drawn this sloper, I am supposed to wait until i can find someone who can help me fit it? This means a) find another pattern maker or b) teach someone who doesn't know how to sew what to do. right.

You see, I am ensconced in LA--and while there are a number of people in this city who know how to sew, it always seems to be this secret society here. I mean, there are all the costumers and designers, and thousands of garment district employees around, and there are always tons of people in the fabric stores, but with the exception of walking up to a complete stranger in Michael Levine, i don't know another person who sews. i mean SEWS. I blame it on the myth of the sewing circle. Yes, back in the day, women did get together and worked on their sewing. That's because they weren't allowed to socialize with men until men deemed it appropriate to do so. At which time, women found it behooved them to be engaged in "womanly pursuits" to make them more attractive and marriage material. But in all my time as a seamstress (and I've been sewing since i was 14) I've never once been part of a sewing circle. Oh, there is family--but my mother lives 3 hours away. I'm not driving 6 hours just to fit a half bodice.

Which brings on the other myth, that being a seamstress implies patience. please. Take on a project that then has to wait? feh! Put it on and do it yourself! I know a lot of my sewing sisters are with me. Sure, it may not be perfect, but it will be DONE. I think many of us in the crafty world are obsessed with done. The thing that haunts us most is that pile of "UFO's" (unfinished objects). I've seen more than a few women on my sewing forums rejoice at finishing or finally getting to a UFO! always to a resounding chorus of "good for you!" So to tell me that i have to spend a few hours meticulously drawing this thing, truing it, then cutting it out and basting it together, only to hit the top of my UFO pile? No thank you!

So between orders today, I plan to at least cut and baste. Then up here to the hall of mirrors (previous owners FILLED this house with wall mirrors--thus my previous fears about measurements) and I'm going to fit this garment if it kills me.

Of course then comes the question not answered in the book. Once i fit it (since it's just a sloper--this isn't to wear) THEN what do i do--i.e. how does that "fit" translate back onto the paper?

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