Saturday, July 31, 2010

Robe done!

One down!  And, wow, I need to retake that in daylight.  But, still, done is done!  I tried out some slightly new techniques and only had so much trouble with my serger which is a bit of a record for our relationship.  The Lady Lovely Locks doll came today so I'll start in on that bit of fun tomorrow morning.  

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Robe nearly done...

Sadly lost some time when I sized the pattern UP instead of down.  I realized at that point that it was two in the afternoon and I'd only had coffee as nourishment.  That really doesn't give the brain enough for that sort of thing.  After a lunch break things went far better.  This poor room is a total disaster, I've only half unpacked, things are stacked everywhere, and I cannot, for the life of me, find my three clear rulers which is making everything just that much more difficult.  The two school rulers I've found aren't really cutting it. Sigh.

If I can make good time tomorrow I might just take another job that's been offered.  It would be a fun one - I'll have to share pics if I do try it.  And it would be a dress to show off (in a geeky sort of way).  Anyway, we'll see.

Sorry, I should be happier with where I am.  But, along with the missing rulers and chaotic room my serger continues it's disagreement with me about the definition of "working."  Namely, it thinks it shouldn't.  The upper looper tension is just not working, it's far too loose even at the highest setting, and that's annoying.  I wound up partially disassembling the machine and pulling out that tension bit (all of which was, admittedly, far easier than expected, just three screws and you're there) and discovering that, unlike my sewing machines' various tension assemblies, this one can't be adjusted without more tools and spare bits than I have.  Drat.  I'll have to break down and either get it to a pro or, preferably, just replace it with one that won't fight me from the very first day and decide in just what way to most cathartically dispose of this one.  I LIKE that option!

So on that cheery note, I'll go back to a little more sewing before calling it a night.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

From bored to overwhelmed

So in the last week I've gone from sad and bored and unemployed to overwhelmingly deluged with creative projects.  It started with rebooting my poor, neglected Etsy store (Cherry Lime) and deciding to try out the Alchemy section of the site, just for kicks.  It's a neat feature where potential clients put forth ideas of what they want and artisans bid to make them.  Fun idea.  Of course most shoppers think you can make miracles on walmart prices but those ideas are easily overlooked.  There are, however, the occasional gems.

My first accepted bid was to make a pattern for a loose, single shoulder summer dress for another seamstress.  Fun!

I sketched up some options to see what, exactly she wanted and, in the process, realized I really need to work on my sketching skills.  Oh, well, it at least conveyed the IDEA of what I was going for.
My client went with the wider strap, elastic waist, and full skirt.  We were off!

I decided to try draping.  After all, the Project Runway designers seem to prefer that so it can't be too hard, right?  Apparently my mind doesn't work that way.  After fiddling for too long with it, I gave up and went back to the way I know works - flat pattern drafting from measurements.  I determined how much room I wanted in the bodice, how wide the hem should be, and drew up a tall trapazoid from that. I added a single arm cyc using a mix of a curve of my own body (client and I had very similar measurements) and my already drafted (and 100% mine) jacket pattern.  Extend the shoulder seam the correct amount, add a gentle curve to connect inner shoulder to left side seam, check it all by pinning it up on Elanor (my dress form) and the basic pattern was done! All that was left was the addition of seam and hem allowances, the sewing line for the waist elastic, and basic written instructions.  The pattern was finished in time and hopefully soon I'll get to see how the client interprets it in fabric form.  Can't wait!

I wanted to test it out myself but the style is horrible on me and, frankly, the client wasn't paying nearly enough to do that much work.  Fortunately she knew that and chose to accept the risk.  And I have a new pattern of my very own!

And that was just the start ...

I'm currently sourcing fabric for a second client to make a custom robe and, at the same time, working with a third client to make ten adorable little outfits for her Lady Lovely Locks dolls.  I'm especially excited about that one as those were some of my favorite dolls as a child and I adore making small, beautiful dresses.  That will probably be my largest challenge these coming weeks because small clothes are hard (teensy seams!!) but so, so fun.  The client is giving me a lot of freedom in the design department so it's almost like doing this for my own enjoyment only I get paid.  And I don't get to keep the results - but that's ok.  My favorite part is creating, the finished product is just a nice byproduct.  I'd actually rather have the check.  So what a perfect arrangement!

And, of course, loving the actual INCOME after a summer of fruitless job searching.  This so beats sitting behind a desk!