Sunday, June 12, 2016

patternmaking class: an update

I mentioned in my last post that I've been taking a patternmaking class. Since it's been consuming so much of my free time, I thought I'd share how that's been going. tl;dr: very well!!

I'm taking the class at Apparel Arts in Oakland, across the bay from my home in SF. I'm in their most intense class - the 2.5 year(ish) course in patternmaking and design. It meets once a week for three hours, and there's homework on top of that. I leave work early on Thursdays and usually make it home from class around 9pm, and I spend a decent chunk of my weekend doing homework (usually sewing rough muslins of the exercises I drafted in class).

There are several large units that cover specific areas of patternmaking - skirts, bodices, pants, sleeves, etc. I'm almost done with the skirts section: I've drafted 34 separate components and sewn up 26 of those, often combining a few into one skirt where it makes sense. All that's left in this unit is to design, draft, and sew two final skirts (wearable, not just out of muslin - hooray!) and take a written test.

The design portion is the part I've been the most nervous about from the beginning. I was the kid who dreamed of being an artist for years, and then switched from AP Art to AP Calc my senior year because I was too afraid of having to be creative. I've always missed that creative side of me (this blog has been a place to share the ways I let it come out a bit)... but I feel really out of practice and honestly scared to put my creative endeavors on display for the world (or even just to my classmates and teacher).

That said, I'm finally realizing it's worth pushing myself, so I'm going to try to my best to create things that I'm excited about and proud of. I've started sketching fashion ideas from time to time, reminding myself that putting something down on paper is infinitely better than waiting until I think I have the perfect idea. I also bought The Artist's Way at the recommendation of my therapist. It seems like it could be a great resource and push for me, but I'm pretty nervous about the commitment involved (for starters, having to get up 30 minutes early every. single. day. to journal for half an hour, no excuses).

I think my sketching has been paying off, as I have two skirt ideas that I'm excited to draft and try out in real fabric. It's been fun seeing my original ideas evolve into something I like way more.

Stay tuned - hopefully in a few weeks I'll have some real, self-designed, self-drafted skirts to share! In the meantime, here are some shots from class and of my homework (all taken with my phone, usually in bad incandescent lighting - sorry not sorry, I rarely have the pleasure of working in nice natural daylight!).

so much drafting in class!

some early muslins

asymmetrical skirt back. I definitely want to make something colorblocked using this seam technique someday.

drafting at home.

accordion pleats (these were fun!)

my last skirt assignment - a pencil skirt with a straight waistband, a kick pleat, and a jump pleat lining. phew!

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