I was seriously worried I’d majorly fail in this first week. I mean, I sew, sure—but I don’t work at anything close to a professional level of tailoring. Luckily I am a person who, as a kid and to this day, reads sewing books for fun. I collect vintage examples of the damn things (and housekeeping books). My theory is that I must have absorbed the how-tos over time. So this first entry is not bad at all, even though I’ve never lined a skirt or made pleats.
Although I love crazy shoulder treatments and wanted to reference that in this look, I didn’t want it to be—frankly and slangly—too ‘label-y’ for “who I am as a designer”. So I went with starched epaulettes whose weight was balanced by the gauzy fabric, brought together with soft pleats.
The skirt back is something I’ve wanted to do for over a decade, since I saw it in a sewing book from 1952 that I grew up with and have read about a million times. I under-estimated seam allowance, meaning I couldn’t go about the buttons the normal way. However, my choice to do tabbed buttonholes works, I think, in bringing the look together by reflecting shape of the epaulettes.
It was a bit of a choice to expose the camisole straps, because it is commonly considered tacky. This look is supposed to show who I am, and I think it works. Anyway, they help the lines, echoing the straight skirt. Here’s a snap of the fabrics I used.
Problems with this look:
- Should have ironed the skirt again. Dumb.
- Should have added skirt weights (or some rigged semblance thereof) to the back corners of the skirt, so it would hang better.
- The camisole is crappily made, particularly around the top.
Time to make, from prelim drafting to finished pieces—8:20.
So! First challenge down. Previews for tomorrow’s episode indicate that contestants will be working with burlap/potato sacks. The only burlap I have on hand is from a small bag of Basmati rice, so I’ll be running to Joanns to grab a couple yards in time for the blog roundups Saturday morning.