Monday, December 27, 2010

Group project #2 – design elements

The theme for my intro to apparel design’s second group project was design elements. Each group had to make a presentation to the class about design element. Some groups were assigned different types of garments such as woven tops, swimwear, and pants. Other groups gave presentations about garment features such as sleeves and necklines. I was in the collar group.

The groups delivered PowerPoint presentations. Pictures were required, but we did not need to bring in any samples. My group’s presentation included flats and photos. Sewing a few collars would have been fun, but if I had been in the jackets group I would have been a lot happier about not needing to make samples.

There were eight people in my group. We each had a few collar types to research. Mine were bertha, mock, cape, and portrait. The bertha collar is a round flat piece of fabric that extends over the shoulders. A mock collar is a neck facing that extends over a top’s neck opening so that it appears to be a collar. A cape collar appears like a small cape worn over the shoulders. A portrait collar is made with two broad pieces extending from the neckline that lie flat against the body and overlap at center front.
The PowerPoint presentations had to be loaded onto the instructor’s computer to use in class. I uploaded my group’s file, which gave me an opportunity to add one extra slide. It is not apparel, but the design process is the same. Many Stout apparel design graduates go to work for Kimberly-Clark designing diapers and incontinence pads, so I figured a cervical collar would be OK. But mostly I inserted it for comedic value. The class thought it was funny, and the instructor appreciated it too.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Festivus

I try to keep my blog positive, but not today. Today is Festivus when we air our grievances.

Intro to apparel design: It often seemed that the purpose of this class was to make us want to change majors. The instructor spent a lot of time explaining that the major is too difficult for us and that we will never achieve our dreams of fame and glory. I want support from my instructors; I do not want them to try to get rid of me.

Home sewing: Most of the construction classes at Stout focus on home sewing techniques. I should be learning industrial sewing techniques. Minneapolis Community and Technical College has industrial sewing machines only. Unless I go to work for a company that makes home sewing patterns I will need to know industrial sewing techniques.

Cut and sew knits: I love sewing. This class should have been fun, but it was not. Pattern making was not one of the prerequisites for this class, but the professor thought it was. I had to design all my own patterns, and I was graded on my pattern making. The class should have focused on construction techniques rather than pattern making and design techniques. I am also annoyed that there was no mention of coverstitch machines in the class. Stout has one industrial coverstitch, but this class used only home sewing machines.

Wisconsin: It is too damn cold, and I hate snow. Land’s End and American Girl are here, and Target is next door in Minnesota, but we do not have fashion. I will need to spend some time in New York.

That is it for now. Thank you for listening, and please feel free to use the comments section to air your own grievances. I hope you have a happy and joyous Festivus, and I wish you luck as you engage in your feats of strength.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Group project #1 - color boards

This semester I worked on three group projects in my Intro to Apparel Design class. The first two projects are long since finished, and the third one is due on Monday. Project number one was a color board.
The department keeps all the boards. They are currently on display in our conference room. Mine is the charcoal gray one sandwiched between the browns. At the start of this project my class was shown the boards from last year’s intro class. Next year’s freshmen will get to see mine. I hope mine is shown to them as an example of what to do rather than what to avoid.

The purpose of this project was to learn about colors so we will understand how to use them in our designs. I am not sure what I learned. I found lots of gray fabric and gray items, and some of that stuff made it onto my final board in what I hope is an attractive layout, but what does that have to do with apparel design? I used to own a charcoal gray suit, I currently have a few pieces of gray apparel, and I have a few yards of gray fabrics, but I do not think there is anything I can do with that apparel and fabric now that I could not have done at the start of the semester.

Is this type of color boards used in industry? I have seen trend boards, color swatches, and fabric swatches, but outside of this class I have never seen three dimensional color boards like these. I think my group did a good job, but I do not find these boards inspiring or even aesthetically pleasing. As I look at the boards all I see is a lot of monochromatic stuff thrown together haphazardly.

While this project taught me nothing about colors it did provide a good lesson about group projects. Each group had eight members. That struck me as a large number for a project like this. I think a group of three or four would have been more than sufficient. The vast majority of my group’s work was done by four of us. The remaining four members showed up to some of our meetings, watched us work, and made an occasional comment or suggestion, but ultimately I feel they contributed nothing to the project. The other two projects had similar size groups with similar problems. Three or four of us do all the work, and everyone gets the credit. OK, I know I sound a little bitter there, but the past week I have been spending a few hours every day working on a group project while a few of the people in my group have done nearly nothing. Grrr. Two more weeks to break.
This is fashion?