I feel that I have learnt so much throughout this unit – I have not only learnt how to construct three garments that I had never made before and the final piece in a style and method that I had not practised before, but I have also been taught the vitality of maintaining a high standard of work by avoiding handling the material too much and taking time and care when working. By trying to maintain a workroom attitude I have been given a glimpse into working in such a way in the industry, which has given me a more professional outlook and goal for my work when completing a project.
The two garments I struggled with least were the waistcoat and the chemise. With the waistcoat I only had one issue when I had sewn the back pieces to the front pieces – once I had bagged them out I had realised that the drawstring tabs were on the inside of the back piece rather than the front. This situation was easily resolved by unpicking these and transferring them on to the back of the waistcoat, as this was quicker than unpicking the entire waistcoat to flip the back pieces round. In future I will need to carefully consider how the waistcoat will turn out in this situation before anything is sewn permanently. The only small issue I had with the chemise was the material – it was so fine that any chalk lines were easily seen and any pins and stitch lines badly bruised the fabric. I countered this by using white chalk, using as few pins as possible and carefully sewing each piece together so as not to make any mistakes. This was a valuable lesson in assessing the material before working on it and taking the best steps towards creating a beautifully made piece of clothing.
I struggled more with the breeches and shirt. The breeches were the first piece of clothing I made for this project and I felt slightly overwhelmed as I had never made a pair before. I had made a few mistakes in the construction of the garment, such as the waistbands and kneebands being slightly uneven and the arrowheads on my front flap opening fraying. The majority of the time these issues just needed to be unpicked and re-sewn with more care, or otherwise completely removed and re-made. Thanks to the feedback from my tutor and help from my peers I was able to overcome any issues that arose and any queries that I had. With the shirt I felt more pressured to complete the garment in time due to only having a week to complete it. This was down to my poorer judgement of my time, which I should have resolved with my time plan and constantly referring to it. I believe that this is a vital point I need to keep in mind in the future. Due to this pressure I feel that I have not taken as much care with this piece as I should have. It did not help that nearing the completion of my collar I had issues with three different sewing machines that refused to work. Once again I will need to allow myself more time to complete a garment like this for the first time in order to ensure that I do not make any mistakes. It comes as some relief that I will be able to go back to these pieces after I have handed them in to improve their quality, which urged me on to completing the garments as opposed to simply leaving them partially finished.
I feel that I have personally developed as a maker during this project – I have learnt the necessity of keeping costumes as crisp as possible in their quality, how to improve the quality of my sewing and that time planning is the most crucial part of a project when a fixed deadline looms on the horizon. I can honestly say that I will take these experiences away with me on to my future projects and that I hope the quality of my work will drastically improve thanks to this project.