Friday, January 29, 2010

The first week of school

The first week of the semester is over. We are still just getting started, but I think I have seen enough to have a good notion of what the coming few month hold in store for me. My goal for the semester is a 4.0 average, so I will be spending a lot of time studying. Studying and doing homework is a break from my earlier college strategy of doing just the bare minimum to get by, but looking at how earlier attempts at college turned out I think a new strategy is necessary.

I will not be learning about apparel design or the fashion industry in my sociology and packaging classes, but the classes are still interesting. While they are not about apparel/fashion, I expect that some of the lessons learned will prove to be useful in my eventual career.

I will not be using industrial sewing machines for class this semester, but I hope to be able to spend some time on them in open lab to retain my skills. In class I will use an Elna 3210 mechanical lockstitch and a Juki 4-thread serger. Some computerized lockstitch machines are also available. I will spend some time learning how to use them, but I plan to do most of my work on the mechanical machines. So far I have just sewn a few lines on muslin in order to learn the machine, but I think I like it a lot.

I will not be working with any knit fabrics this semester; the serger will be used for seam finishes on woven fabrics. I will spend a lot of time sewing on muslin rectangles, but I also have four projects to make. Next week I start work on the first project, a tote bag. The other three projects are a pair of pants, a skirt, and a shirt. The pants and shirt will be for me; I do not know who the skirt will be for.

This semester’s sewing class is an introductory class as was the class I took last semester, but I will learn a lot more this time. Last semester was mostly about using industrial machines. I learned how to use the machines and how to follow a pattern to make shirts. My class this semester will go into much more detail. Not only will I learn how to make items, I will learn how to modify the patterns in order to fit the items to a specific body.

The textiles class will probably be my most difficult class this semester. There is so much I need to memorize. In textile lab today I looked at canvas swatch under a stereoscopic microscope. I knew it was a woven fabric, but I had no idea how much detail I would find. The threads on the lengthwise grain were made of three pieces of yarn laid parallel to each other, while the crosswise grain thread was made of one larger piece of yarn. I had no idea fabrics were so complicated, and this is a comparatively simple fabric. It was exciting, but also daunting to realize how little I know and how much I have to learn.

My fashion industry class has only met once. We were supposed to meet yesterday, but another class was using our classroom. This should be sorted out by next week. The class seems interesting, but I do not have much to go on yet. I already have an idea for what my final project will be, but I will keep that to myself until I start working on it.

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