You know how people, mostly people involved in the fashion industry, always talk about how fashion defines them? How without fashion or art, they would have no purpose? I usually find this amusing, while it might be true. As much as I love designing, nothing makes me happier than when I have successfully sewed, draped, or sketched something. I feel like they have to be other things that designers enjoy. This Saturday, though, I realized that as funny as it may sound, without fashion I would spend all day napping! My father drove me into the city this week, so I didn’t have to dress for long bus waits and cold subway stations. I wore a new pair of pants, covered in tacky large red roses, and a plain black long sleeved shirt. I got the shirt second hand and I have studded the shoulders and added a few “artsy” holes near the neckline. I packed my backpack at six in the morning, so I didn’t really think out the fabrics I brought to class. I grabbed some striped black and
white fabric and some stretchy lace. I got to class early, as usual, so I spoke with the girl who sits next to me until the professor came. I threaded my machine and started sketching. I hadn’t taken time to plan what I was going to sew, but I knew I wanted to make a dinner jacket vest-type-thing. I sketched a plain, fitted jacket, using the lace to end in an angled front. I can’t quite describe it, but it’s practically the complete opposite of what I ended up sewing, so it doesn’t matter. I cut out the front pieces, then discovered that the back would have to be pieced together, as I didn’t have enough fabric. This, once again, was not what I was planning. I don’t think I’m ready to do complicated fitting, but that’s what I did! Once I had my pieces cut out, I started the elaborate process of making it all work. This involved so many changes in design and fit that I was practically the last one out of the class. I had lunch quickly, then spent way too much time in the seventh floor bathroom, which has a large mirror, planning what I would need to fix on the jacket once I got home. You know I spent a long time because I wasn’t thirty minutes early to class! I did still get there before class started, so I wasn’t late. Last week I had started my halter top, because I finished my basic bodice drape early. My professor had us pin our basic bodices and skirts, which we had pinned together last week, to our dress forms so she could grade them. She explained how this week we would be making the cowl neckline, which looked really fun because it’s more creative. We had the choice of whether we wanted to do front or back, then deepness and thickness of folds. She showed us how to do the preparation for the draping. It was pretty simple- cut: block, press, find the thirty degree angle. By the time I finished, she had graded my drape so I got my dress form back. Then she showed us the first part of draping. I noticed that because we had already done the basic bodice, and this didn’t have any darts, it took her less time to explain. It took me a while to complete, though, as I played around with it. I chose to drape the back. I made the neckline pretty high up, considering back cowl necklines are usually deep. The bodice part was easy, pinning it and making it fit. i liked how everyone had drastically different drapes. the girl next to me had chosen to do a very low back drape, with only two or three folds, causing the drape to be small but full. My professor then informed me that someone would be taking pictures of my dress drape, because it was one of the two best ones in the class. Only one other girl and I had our drapes photographed, so I guess mine came out alright. My professor then showed us how to mark our drapes. Once again, this step was pretty easy. Before we could true, we had our break, I spent it planning out the collar for my vest. Right after I had finished pinning the collar on, the class started again. Truing was fun. We had draped a full piece, but only marked half; we would mark the other half using
tracing paper. This took me a while, as I tried not to rush truing my drape. I find that when I do rush, I make mistakes, as would be expected. By the time the class finished, I had draped, marked, trued, transferred, and cut my cowl neckline drape. It looked mighty fine, if I do say so myself. I will definitely be making it into a pattern and using it for myself. After I left my class I realized that while I was exhausted! I had just had more fun than I had had all week. I find it hard to be creative at home. I find myself sewing or drawing things I am unhappy with, but when I’m at FIT, I can make a fitted dinner jacket using stretchy lace and I like it! I can sketch in my head or in real life while eating lunch. I can drape something I would never drape at home, and get excited to use it in real life. I don’t think my ultimate dream is to be part of the high end world of fashion, I just can’t wait till all I do every day is sew, drape, sketch, and measure seam allowances!