Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The shirt begins

I began work on my tailored shirt today. There will be no more new lessons this semester. This shirt is my final project and I must have it finished by December 8. It seems like a lot of time, but I only get to work on it for a few hours each Tuesday. My pattern pieces are all cut out so there is nothing I do on this shirt at home. I may make a practice shirt or two at home though. I will not be able to submit those shirts for grading, but the experience will help me with the one I make in class.

I sewed four darts and attached the yoke to the back today. Darts are simple, the yoke was just a simple seam, and there is nothing particularly complicated about a tailored shirt, but this is the first semester of my first year as an apparel design student so cut me some slack. In a year or two a tailored shirt will be the sort of simple project I will make to pass time on a Sunday afternoon, but for now this is a big and exciting project.

The sewing was easy today, but there was a little excitement too. I thought I had cut all the pieces last week, but it turns out I missed a few. I began class by cutting out the remaining pieces. After I finished sewing he darts i realized that I was not sure if I used the large or medium pattern last week. I had sewn darts on one piece cut last week and two pieces cut today. I ran around the room collecting pattern pieces to check my sizes. If I used the wrong size pieces today I would have had to redo my work, but fortunately my pieces were all the same size. It was just good luck that I did not have to redo my the pieces, but I learned an important lesson from this: I must pay attention to what I do, and I must keep a record of what I have done for projects that take more than one day.

Despite my progress on the shirt and the happy ending to the day's excitement, class ended on a sad note. I asked my instructor when we would learn how to use the buttonholer, ans she told me that we will not. She explained that the machine is expensive, difficult to use, and easy to damage. She added that in the past students have caused the machine to require thousands of dollars of repairs. First semester students are no longer permitted to use the machine. After we finish our shirts our instructor will add the holes. I was looking forward to learning how to use the machine. I want to know how to use as many different machines as possible, but I have a second reason for wanting to know how to use this particular machine. I do not like making buttonholes on my home machine. Before the end of the semester I wanted to use the industrial buttonholer to make a few hundred holes to hake home with me so that any time I need a hole I would have one available. I still need to work out a few details of this plan, but I want to eventually complement my jar of buttons with a matching jar of holes.

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