Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sergers and sketching

Busy day yesterday. We covered a lot of new material. I have to admit that none of the stuff I made in either of my classes turned out too well, but what we were working on was quite difficult and my results were not too bad either, so I am pleased with what I did.

In sewing class we continued working with the overlock machines. We began work on our first piece of apparel, a baby t-shirt. The instructor began class by demonstrating how to make the shirt. It took her less than ten minutes, and her shirt was perfect. It took me more than one hour, and my shirt was far from perfect. The neck ribbing is not centered, there is a small hole in one of the seams, and the bottom hem is not straight. But none of that matters. This shirt was just practice; I will make another one next week and that one will be perfect. I learned a lot about sergers while working on the shirt. They are more difficult to use than I first thought, but not so difficult that I will not be able to master them. I have a lot of fun with the sergers and I look forward to spending more time with them. I was the only person in the class to finish a t-shirt, even a bad one. I know this is not a competition – Project Runway is many years away for me – but it still made me smile.

The sketching class is extremely difficult for me. I often become quite frustrated as I struggle to draw, but on those rare occasions when a drawing turns out well I am overjoyed. Last week in class we worked on faces. They are not easy, but that is OK. I am studying to be a designer, not a plastic surgeon. A good figure with a crudely drawn face or no face at all can be used to show clothing, but a great face without a good body does nothing for me. For now I will devote my attention to bodies.

At the end of class last week we watched a video about a fashion illustrator. I was amazed by how easy he made it look. Just a few swipes of a pen and he had a perfectly drawn figure in a beautiful dress on the paper. It was interesting to watch, but I found it intimidating and depressing. I know I will never be able to draw anywhere near that well. For a few days I worried about what I saw, but then I had a revelation. This man is a fashion illustrator, not a designer. Designers send him photos or rough sketches of what they made, and he produces the final sketches. I would like to see him try to make a t-shirt. Someday I will have an illustrator working for me.

My homework from last week was to find poses I like in fashion magazines and try to sketch them. I tried, and failed miserably. I was not looking forward to class. But as we started drawing all my fears melted away. Suddenly I was able to draw – not very well, but my work was good enough for now and it is a lot better that anything I could have done three weeks ago. Skills I do not posses while I try to draw at home suddenly manifest in the presence of the instructor.

We drew a couple figures and began to put clothing on them. The instructor designed the skirt on the left, and the outfit on the right is my own design. It is a very simple design and not very original, but it is all my own so I am very happy with it. I was thrilled that the instructor immediately recognized the skirt as a wrap around. Perhaps one day I will make this outfit.

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