Sunday, January 8, 2012

And the worst blogger award goes to...

This girl!

Sorry folks for being MIA.  Last quarter was rough. It wasn't all that difficult.  Actually, I had relatively little work and very little to show.

I've been avoiding blogging because I've been too P.O.'ed about the Red Dress experience and have nothing to show except my sketch and some pictures of the half finished dress.  I was so angry the last day that I didn't even bring a camera to take pictures.  We were told there would be pictures taken of the dress though so I'll have to follow up on that.

I'll talk about my other classes briefly, then the Red Dress class. I only took 3 classes:

The Red Dress Special Project Class

Creative Design Analysis and Collection Development (CDACD)

Computer Pattern I

I enjoyed Computer Pattern making.  We use the Gerber Technology AccuMark pattern making software, and I think it is kind of fun.  The system is a little wonky and not intuitive at all. Nothing like Photoshop of Illustrator. I enjoy it though because to me it's like solving a puzzle.

CDACD was a fun class because we designed 2 bigger collections with little to no restrictions.  My teacher was very nice and informative if you asked the right questions.  I really wish there had been more structured and organized lectures.  The syllabus was not followed at all and I feel we lost a lot of valuable information.

Oh the Red Dress class.....I think I had a hard time this quarter blogging because the only thing I could really show you was my progress on the dress and I was not in love with my design, the fabrics, and most of all, the instructors.  I absolutely regret this class and wish I could get my money back and take Industry Pattern instead.  I can honestly say that I only learned 3 new things this entire quarter and all were explained to me in hindsight...after my dress was done.

1)  DRAPE AND FIT IN A FABRIC SIMILAR TO THE FINAL GARMENT! Yes, I know I've read this before and even fit my own garments this way, but my instructor insisted that draping, patterning, and fitting my bias skirt in muslin would not be a problem.  Only on week 10, the last week of the class, did she mention doing test fits in a similar fabric.  My dress didn't fit the form even though it fit in muslin.  

2) When cutting out bias pieces, hang the bias pieces unassembled overnight in the direction they will hang on the body.  Then place the pattern pieces over the "stretched" pieces and adjust the hem that undoubtedly became distorted.

3)  Sometimes, on a bias garment, the CB needs to be raised a bit to adjust and balance the side seams from swinging backward.

I should have dropped the class in week 4 like I intended, but I was assured the class would get better, and I would learn something.  All the demos were haphazardly planned it seemed, unorganized and usually postponed to following week...and the following week....and the following week until there was not enough time.  There were too many students and not enough working machines and work space was limited.  All the special feet were only available to us when the sewing machine repair man? was available to come in to class and bring them to us.  The first week he came, we hadn't even made our patterns yet.  He didn't come to every class so there was no way of knowing what equipment would be available to us.

I truly believe every student in the class felt the same way I did about the instruction and the way the class was run.  I know some students enjoyed the class because they believed in their design and liked making their dress, regardless of the lack of organization, space and instruction.  I am really glad that some people were able to make the best of the class.  

Okay, and now for some pictures, and what you've all been waiting for:

The first 3 sketches:

I chose sketch #1 because I thought it would be fun to flat pattern.  I ended up draping almost the entire dress...oh, well.  One day I will make sketch # 2.  I love this dress and would love to see it made up in silk velvet.

I first drafted a pattern and made a muslin (but don't have any pictures).  The skirt was way too Sleeping Beauty and the insets were so-so.  My instructors suggested I change the triangle insets to flaps.  I had to redraft the entire skirt portion, change it to princess seams, and I also changed the godets to inserted, inverted pleats.  (Say that 5x fast!)
Here is my second muslin with some fabric pinched out where it needs it:

  And delerious me "piecing" together my 3rd muslin.  I'm so glad I took a quilting class a few years ago because it saved my sanity making this dress:

Muslin # 3 on me.  Unfortunately, the dress was way too big for me:

The final sketch:

And some images of the almost final dress:  

I actually really liked the fabric in the end.  It was a heavy silk charmeuse.  The dress looks awful IMO though....

Back close-up:

I love the beading.  I ended up ripping out these beads and replacing them with darker narrow bugle beads.  They were much better.  I beaded the back collar and the triangle front flaps with scallops and evenly spaced the beads about 1/2" apart along the front of the neckline (not pictured).

Bodice close up:

Maybe one day I'll have better pictures....

Thanks to the followers that were concerned about my absence.  I'll try to keep up the blogging.  



  1. Wow you are learning so much, and from what I can see you're good at it.

  2. Sorry you had a bad class,but I think your dress did turn out nice :O).

    I wound up dropping the math class I was in. Me and almost everyone else. Last I knew there were 5 students left of the over 25 students in the class. Of those 5 a few had taken this class multiple times and not passed..they needed it to move on so were sticking it out again, I was very disappointed in the teacher, the school.

    1. That is too bad! I definitely know how you feel! I feel that many instructors know the subjects they are teaching very well, but do not know how to convey the information to the students. I've experienced this a lot at my current school and a couple times at my former university.

  3. I appreciate advise learned the hard way! you do so much hard work...I am so impressed!