Saturday, 23 April 2011

Another late one - Breeches feedback.

Just as a reflective note: I need to keep on top of my blog and up to date!

When I submitted my breeches to my tutor Dexter he had the following points to make for the quality of my breeches improve:

- Button hole stitch underneath the arrow heads of the front fastening to stop any fraying. I completly re-did these arrow heads as they were uneven to begin with and I was able to improve this area.
- Re-sew along the bottom of the cash pocket to conceal any stitching when the pocket is used.
- Get into a habit of trimming any loose threads once you have finished sewing a line.
- To neaten the cash pocket remove my prick stitching, iron under the pocket on the main body of the breeches to reduce bruising then iron the pocket mouth, pin it in place and prick stitch again.
- To neaten the welt pocket baste down the welt, unpick the uprights, straighten them out more and re-sew them.
- For the crotch I needed to unpick the stitching and re-sew it to make sure that the seams are sewn all the way to the edges so that when they are pressed flat they will lay as flat as possible and will be comfortable to wear. Dexter also noted that the sign of a good maker was that the seams for the crotch crossed perfectly, so I aimed to do this as best as I could.
- A point that must be maintained the next time I make a pair of breeches is that the waistband and kneebands must run smoothly and evenly to show professional craftsmanship.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Waistcoat - Research.

The waistcoat at this time has a distinct military look to it - it appears to be tight fitting and formal. It is buttoned all the way up the centre front with a pocket on either side, and is tightened round the back using lacing. The waistcoat in the 18th Century was generally mid-thigh length but eventually shortened to the waist at the beginning of the 19th Century.

Augustus John The Third Of Briston by Thomas Gainsborugh, 1968.
George Lord Vernon by Thomas Gainsborough, 1967.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Time is catching up!

It dawned on me this morning that it is quite unlikely that I will be able to finish all of my garments in time for my hand in. A bit of a downer really!
By Easter I had hoped to have my waistcoat and breeches completly finished and my material for my shirt and chemise cut ready for me to use after Easter. In the first week back I had planned to get as much of my shirt completed as possible, then over my week of work experience I would make my chemise in the mornings before heading off to the Queen's Theatre for 1. After my work experience that would leave me a week to tidy up any loose ends before handing in on the 16th.
I suspect that I am behind with my waistcoat due to a couple of studio days I took off for personal reasons, I would probably be more on target if I hadn't. I will no longer be able to work on my chemise over my week of work experience as the only way I can now to get to my accommodation is by train and I dare not risk taking my mum's aging sewing machine on a trip for a couple of hours!
I am awaiting a little piece of advice from my tutor before I start losing my head over this. My only worry is if I get penalised too much for not completing all of my pieces - I have alot to pick up from my last result from Candide.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Blog Tutorial and PoP!

...and so, I was given feedback on my bloggy blog!
Ideally I am supposed to post daily and to give a weekly reflection. I need to refer to my original time plan and learning agreement, focusing on what I have been learning through my sewing skills and any improvements I have made. I need to do much more research (and yes, reflect on it!). I need to be critical of my work or lack of, recognise these issues and address them.

Another fun addition to my mountain of work was the final decision on my Perceptions of Performance essay. I'll be writing about Alice in Wonderland, and how the story has been adapted to suit a variety of audiences. My initial idea came from the idea of the transition from book to screen to stage with the likes of Phantom of the Opera, but I think my enthusiasm for my last minute idea won my tutor over! One of my points will hopefully look at how the sinisterness of the original illustrations (Tenniel) ranges in its adaptations to a more child-friendly look (Disney) back to a more modern look, but still slightly unnerving (American Mgee). I shall be diving into the world of silent movies, ballet and possibly even porn!
Down the rabbit hole I go...

Sunday, 3 April 2011


Once again this post comes slightly late, but besides any small tweaks that need to be made to them my breeches are complete! They were an interesting item to begin making as I had never made a pair of breeches before. In order to make the breeches as professional and neat as possible I used the National Theatre's example pair as a reference. The opening for the breeches consisted of a button opening and a front flap to conceal the opening. A cash pocket was on the left side of the breeches and a small welt pocket on the right. Putting the breeches together was relativly straight forward. By avoiding putting any seams together the material was kept as clean and crisp as possible. So as not to spoil my fabric I created a sample for the welt pocket before applying it to my breeches, allowing me to refresh myself on the construction of a pocket and perfect my pocket making skills. This method prooved to be successful, giving me a happy looking pocket! The uprights for the completed pocket need to be straightened and sharpened slightly, which will be completed as part of my 'to tidy' list. The cash pocket seemed to be a simpler make so I went to apply this directly on to the breeches and after a considerable amount of fiddling it was finally completed. The pocket does not lay directly flat on the breeches, another fault that will be rectified at a later date.
Hopefully the breeches should be completly finished tomorrow, allowing an evaluation complete with pretty pictures! Huzzah!