Monday, September 28, 2015

Refashioning: Is It Worth It?

This blog is helping me to make sense of why I sometimes follow through on an idea that won't work:
the sheer curiosity of writing a song/making a dress/a human experiment that in all probability and reason won't work out at all:  the allure of the unusual; and the possibility of finding a rare pearl.

Returning to the blog's recyling spirit, I'm going to discuss why I made a top with a slash down the middle when I knew deep down that I wouldn't wear it.  Ever.

It started with a challenge.  I asked my tutor at the Grafton Academy of Fashion Design to randomly pick out a design that I could practice pattern drafting from scratch with.  Not being content leaving it at a pattern, I decided to make it up as well.

Being just an experiment, I decided to cut up an old dress.  I knew I wouldn't have enough fabric for the skirt section but that was okay because the main challenge was in the bodice.  This is the old dress I cut up.

When you are working with an old fabric, often you must negotiate around stains, small snags and tears.  You must be flexible in your design goals in case some of the fabric is unworkable or you must patch sections of fabric together.  You might have to allow more time then working from a 'fresh' piece of cloth.  You will feel virtuous but time poor.  You will learn a lot.

This is the final item:  a t-shirt with a slash down the middle of the bodice.  The seams had to be all reinforced with bias tape and there was much hand stitching that is not visible from the out side.  This added in hours of extra work.  It took me a total of 3 hours drafting, 10 hours machine sewing and 3 hours hand finishing.  16 hours labour!

In fact, I got a slip and a top out of the dress.  Learning and experience 10/10.  Quality of finished item 7 1/2 /10.  Wearability (unless on a beach) 3/10.

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