sewing, drafting patterns
Member Since: 01/11/2011
I love to draft patterns. It is relaxing and there is a great feeling of accomplishment. I usually draft for costumes and my favorite books are those by Mary Brooks Picken that she wrote for the Women's Domestic Institute home sewing courses in the early 1900's. These patterns still work for modern figures. It is good also that our fabrics are wider than in the past, because the pattern pieces drafted for our modern figures (especially the long skirts) are wider. I'm just sayin'.
What are the parts of the snap called? I have seen "flat part and pokey part" and "male and female". I prefer the the first names, but know that many people, teachers included, use the second. One of our male teachers gave an older stitcher a snap set to attach and specified that the female parts were to be sewn on the overlap side. She looked confused for a second, but looked at the 2 parts and then began to sew. When she was finished and gave him the garment, he said it was all wrong. Turns out that she would never have thought about "male and female" referring to sexual organs. The "pokey part" looked like a woman's breast and she began to sew. And that's why I always call them the pokey and flat parts.
I too loved Bert, let us older people show that we know a few things. Too often I have noticed that what some of the judges think is "edgy" is just ugly and not sewn well. I wish they would show us some closer close-ups of some of the detailing, especially when the designers are explaining their work to the judges. There could be some split-screen work with the super closeup on half the screen. Hopefully Tim will refrain from describing something as "too costumey". Huh? Does he know how many theatrical designers and technicians watch? Is he making fun of our work? He needs to explain exactly what he means when he says that. I'm looking forward to a fun show.
Our summer theatrical troupe (Shakespeare In The Streets) was setting up in one of the Minneapolis parks for a production of Hamlet. Someone had brought a small portable TV and set it up behind the stage on a tray on the grass as far as a cord would reach from our lighting equipment. We all wanted to watch it, but the play had to go on as well. We had a sizeable crowd and the play went forward, but the actors were running back whenever they were not onstage: "Has it happened yet?" The night sky was several shades of dark blue, the slight wind rustled the grass and leaves, and birds and squirrels did not understand why we were there. And then the men were walking on the moon. It was amazing, every book, movie, TV show coming to life, but better and more beautiful. The white/silver fuzziness of their suits made it seem magical. After the play, it was announced to the audience who cheered and applauded.
I have seen many of the old movies made before the actual event. The space suits are always interesting, but none of them have that essential element: velcro
William Ivey Long would be my choice. He is a great designer whose "Runway" is Broadway and who has a million fun stories. When he wanted to learn about designing for television, he designed the Miss Universe/USA/Teen Pageants. Lots of craziness and drama with beautiful women.
My Elna Supermatic from the 1960's is still my favorite. It was top of the line then, a portable, with buttonholes, edge embroidery and stretch stitches, and a knee control instead of a foot pedal. Best of all is that I can open up all the areas and keep it clean and oiled. Newer accessories will fit on it and parts are still available. The adjustable needle position coupled with a regular zipper foot enables me to install all types of zippers, even invisible ones. List the enjoyable and unenjoyable jobs you have to accomplish in your sewing life. Find the dealer with the machine that will keep the former and solve the problems with the latter. Be picky.
My best sewing tip is not to be stuck using just the tools found in the fabric store. Find good rulers at the office supply, university bookstore, and auto and architectural supply stores. Make sure the ruler has inches and metric and that the numbers begin at the same end so that you can convert if necessary. A flexible curve is useful to measure and draw the head. A proportional scale can convert a vintage pattern to a modern size. A ship's curve works great for the front areas on men's wear. Look around at the wonderful array of tools and think about how you could use them.
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