Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Dining Room Garment District

I haven't had much time for anything for the past few days, as Karsten decided to tenaciously hang on to whatever illness he's got. Poor kid. He's on the pink stuff (amoxil), so he should be better soon.

The blouse is coming along. It's got a collar and facing and is sewn up at all the major seams. I just need to do sleeves and all the major components will be there (aside from buttonholes and buttons).

Do you know what my least favorite part of sewing is? And it's the thing that prevents about five of my projects from being truly complete as I type...hemming. There's a dress hanging in my wardrobe right now that is ready to wear except from the hem. Already I am dreading finishing the edge of the shirt! I really am the world's most impatient sewer. I want things to be done in an hour. And done perfectly, too. Ha! Anyone who sews knows that this is pretty much an impossibility when doing dresses. I'm reading this right now in order to help me relax and enjoy the process of sewing. I suppose I could continue to want to rush it all, or I could just take my time and focus on the detail of the work. The latter pairs well with my perfectionist tendencies, at least.

The funny thing about that last observation is that no one would ever guess that I even have that characteristic if they looked at my work, because it is such an ever loving MESS. Threads hanging out all over, seam allowances going every which way... needless to say, I need to take everything this book talks about to heart and apply it to my sewing philosophy STAT!

By the way, the book is truly fascinating. The author does an excellent job of talking about how couture houses function, emphasising the fine hand work that sets couture apart from pret a porter. The process of garment construction is interesting to me, and so this book is great for that, as well. The author discusses the entire process, starting from the moment a client walks through the door until the very last fitting.

My favorite parts are the pictures of 40s and 50s couture suits and gowns, not only from the outside, but from the inside, too, in order to see how they were designed and contructed. Divine! As a girl whose favorite show as a preteen was CNN's "Style" with Elsa Klench (and who used to read Seventeen and then draw clothing designs based on the latest Isaac Mizrahi collection...I distinctly remember drawing some hideous black and white geometric shirt with black leggings after seeing one of his collections from 89-90! LOLZ), this book is a fun read.

Anyway, here's the shirt, coming along slowly but surely:

I seriously need to get a dress form, for soooo many reasons. It's on my Christmas list. One of the reasons is that I get tired of hanging halfway-completed garments on a plastic hanger in my bay window in the dining room and taking snaps of them. The other is just the more practical reason of "hey, it would be nice to fit this properly to myself."

What kind of dress forms do you guys use? There's some that are made to order to your size, and then there's others that have wee dials so you can change the measurements if need be (very useful for those of us who tend to gain 7 lbs. during winter time, ahem). Thoughts?

Speaking of gaining 7 lbs., the sugar war is back on. I was a good girl yesterday and ate well. I even dug out all of the info that my dietician gave me eons ago when I was seeing him for pre-diabetic issues, read it, and followed the recommendations for portion size and servings. Now I just have to get my butt moving a bit more. Perhaps today it is off to the park with the boys again for squirrel stalking.


MadeByAmanda said...

I've read a little about couture sewing, I've got a book on it, though a bit dated (its from the early 90s I think). I incorporate a few (very few) of the techniques and tips, but I just don't have the patience for it. I like the idea of being so perfect and constructing everything so well, but I just don't care enough to do it all.

Have you looked into making a dressform of yourself with duct tape? I did that, and it works pretty well, definitely better than nothing. And costs a good deal less than the ones with dials. Google "Duct tape dress form" or some such.

fiona said...

a dress form is my opshopping must find item, i know i'll find one oneday.maybe i'll try amandas 'duct tape' version!good luck with you hemming!!

fiona said...

oh i forgot...your tagged!if you want to join in pop over!!