Monday, January 28, 2013

Strong Arming

Lord. This weekend will, no doubt, go down as a cross between Survivor and Project Runway and, seriously, my brain hurts.

Of its 48 hours, I spent a full 24, not crafting (as such), but working out the math that underpins the complicated garments I'm constructing. It was Kristin and geometry and crazy-ass angles from dawn till night.

In truth, it was Kristin and knitters from around the world and S from around the block. Did I mention that I could barely move my head this morning when I awoke to go to work? That I went for an emergency massage?

I wish I could immerse you in my consciousness for a few minutes - like those scenes in creepy sci-fi movies - so that you could feel the jolt of all the things I've learned (or been massively overwhelmed by). I can't begin to tell you all the tales, though I imagine they'll come out as they take word-form.

Briefly, I believe I figured out the sweater sleeve. It looks barely like a sleeve but it basted into the sweater armsyce's very nicely.

Have you ever seen a set in sleeve that looks like this??
I'm working on the second sleeve now. I've sewn the sweater shoulders and will insert the sleeves before sewing up the side seams - after ribbing the neck.

Ah, and then there is the tailored jacket muslin. I wouldn't have imagined that anything could test me more than that freakin' knit sleeve. But that's the beauty of complicated garment-making. There's always something exponentially harder around the corner.

All I can say is, thank the universe for S. Perhaps now is a good time to remind you - though I'm quite sure most PhDs out there couldn't begin to fit a tailored jacket - that she's so freakin' smart, she has a PhD. Honestly, I spent half of the 4 hours that it took to mark the 80 trillion muslin changes onto the paper pattern, simply trying to keep it together. I think it's safe to say that I am a fine fitting apprentice. When I'm not hysterical.

I came up against so many of my challenging qualities this weekend: impatience, hyperness, ignorance, the inability to stop thinking long enough to assimilate new learning. I really must step back before I write more about the jacket muslin experience. It was seminal.

I will tell you that it blew my mind. My shape is SO fascinating :-) and so unique. S has convinced me that next time I will need to make the size 10 (not the 14). I don't think I can wrap my head around anything smaller than the 12, but she's got a point: You can resize a waist and a bust in a snap. Reworking the armscye and sleeve is a fucking production. Really, arms and armsyces - for S and me - are like the leg and hip complexities that torment certain pants-makers. It's all "one tube, fitting into another", requiring maximal range of movement.

I wonder how I will possibly help S to the degree that she's helped me. I mean, I am learning a lot, but I'm learning about managing curves, not angles.

Last night I had a nightmare about how to reflect the jacket muslin changes on the paper pattern to the NUMEROUS underlining, interfacing and lining pieces (that we haven't even touched). Really, it's hard to grasp the wonder and novelty of draping. I'm always worried about the next thing.

Today's question: What's the coolest or hardest or most meaningful craft thing you've learned about recently? You can keep it high-level or dig in. I want to know!

22 comments:

  1. Um, I must confess I keep things simple and leave the challenges outside of the realm of crafting so I'm always amazed by your tenacity. Maybe I'm lazy, or maybe I just want my crafting to be easy fun. As for challenges, the toughest thing I've done recently has been trying to keep up with a Zumba class taught by a graceful woman 20 years younger than me. THAT was a challenge! Oh, and learning to spin yarn. On further thought maybe the whole hand eye coordination thing is my own personal challenge.

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    1. OK, keeping up with Zumba is beyond me. :-)

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  2. Ha! Freaking bias tape, addition and straight seams were causing brain cramps last weekend.

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    1. Yeah, I read about those curtains. Egad.

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  3. Well. I easily can't map your above pictured sleeve shape onto the shape I tried to understand this weekend, but I'm similarly obsessed, and for similar reasons.

    Your knit set-in piece is making me realize I'll never understand any of this the way I want to.

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    1. I know exactly what you mean when you say that, but I think we need to take a step back. Think of the decades during which you never even considered any of these things. You mind needs time to assimilate (so I tell myself). Once it does, you will begin to understand differently and in a way that's aligned with the complexities that currently elude you.

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  4. You don't do things by halves, do you!? Jeez K-Line... its enough to put a gal off! Only joking... tee hee

    You're determination is admirable mate, love reading about it....

    Bundana x

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    1. I'm sorry to put anyone off! I prefer to think of it as saving them :-)

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  5. Sorry I kind of ditched you - life got in the way the last couple days! Glad you got your sleeve cap sorted. It's the strangest one I've ever seen, but if it fits, I'd say go with it!

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    1. You didn't ditch me. You provided me with all the tools and the chance to assault you with emails outlining crazy, incomprehensible (and probably badly understood) math. I'm grateful and I promise to give you all of the credit if this thing works out. I mean, WHEN it works out.

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  6. Yeah that is an unusual looking sleeve. Cool that it fits. And it's great you've got someone like S helping you out. Trust me, nothing but good comes from these emotional roller coaster that crafting puts us on. Your perseverance will produce 2 great garments. Can' wait to see both final projects. As far as my recent learning---I've been trying to learn how to drape. It's been pretty challenging and an eye opener. I'm gonna give it a go. Hope to have a draped garment before the month of Feb is out!

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    1. I know. If I hadn't basted it, I'd never believe it. In fact, even having basted it, I'm concerned (which makes no sense, I realize).

      Draping is really challenging. What S and I are doing is a sort of draping on our forms. It is fun to slash fabric at pull lines, though.

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  7. As always, I'm in admiration of your perseverance. I'm also very envious of S. I just don't seem to be able to do in-depth fitting by myself. Maybe I'm just too lazy! The only craft challenges I have had lately are vicarious ones from you!

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    1. I'm sure you mean that you are envious of ME having access to S. :-) Fitting on yourself is almost impossible, as far as I can tell. And, as my dress form is basically a dolled up clothes hanger, I am very fortunate to have found a friend who likes to fit handmade clothes.

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  8. I just learned the fell stitch and I've got this giddy feeling like it's going to revolutionize my hand sewing. Also, I'm trying to learn to crochet (it's hurting my brain). I'm always amazed at how in depth you get with fitting and alterations.

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    1. Every hand stitch revolutionizes your sewing. That's why I love it! (Sure isn't the fussy work.) I mean, I'm seaming up my sweater now and I'm doing mattress stitch - which everyone seems to hate. Sure, it's a challenge to get it started and to stay focused, but the end result is beautiful.

      And, since you did make a freakin' gorgeous leather jacket, I don't think you should be amazed by how into this I get :-)

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  9. I'm learning how to knit. So from nothing to a little bit of lace in a couple of weeks. That whole making fabric from yarn thing, pretty mind blowing.

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  10. Same as Rachel - think learning how to read charts and knitting a lace fronted top was pretty well the hardest, but most satisfyin thing I have done in the last while...well along with learning to knit!

    ;-)

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    1. I'm surprised it's not the colour work. Surprised, but happy because I'm soon to try colour work...

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  11. Oh my...it makes MY head hurt just thinking about the maths you're doing! I suspect I need to up my game a lot.

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    1. I'm sure you know everything so intuitively that it comes out without your even realizing it!

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