Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wrapup: Part 3, Overall Experience

Okay, so here's what y'all have been waiting for:

An old friend and I at SteamConII - thanks, Karen, for snapping the photo!
This picture is pretty much the only one I wound up with of my completed outfit. I've added it to the Gallery.

Overall I think my costume came out very well, but lacked accessories - which are pretty critical to the Steampunk look!  I would have done well to have found gunbelts, and some jewelry.  The boots and hat are great, and the handbag was fine; you can't see the star on the front flap, but it's a remnant from another project that has stuck around because it's just plain good.

The convention was a great time.  It was totally worth all the effort.

I started out with a time-boxing experiment... that fell quickly to the wayside.  Why?  Because Pomodoro takes itself too seriously, and isn't as well suited to every task as its creator claims.  It would be useless for customer service (where you cannot control your interruptions) but also turns out to be useless for time spent in creative thought processes, as entering "right brain" space can take most of a time unit and the breaks bust you out of it with very little time spent in that thought mode.  When actually sewing, a 25 minute time box with a 5 minute break did not work well either; working at the cutting table or the machines is much more physical than a desk type job and trying to use the "official" pomodoro time made for aching backs, physical exhaustion, and not enough of a refresher.

Also, learning the skills taught by the technique takes more practice than I managed to give it.  That's right, practice.  So I will make another stab at it, but will bring what I learned to the table.  When drawing, I'll use a longer time block and also a longer break; when sewing I'll use a somewhat shorter time block with a bit longer break.  But I will continue to try to master the technique and fine tune it to my use, because I did also find it advantageous in a lot of ways.

When I was doing it, the task lists did make me think about the complexity and method of my work, and it did also teach me a lot about how much time it really takes to get work done.  Making the lists made me prioritize and think ahead about how to work efficiently.  Additionally, some of the skills given in the Pomodoro Technique book for avoiding distraction are very effective, whether or not you are using time-boxing.  With practice and adjustment, I expect the technique will become an even more valuable tool.

What's next?  Well, I'm already dabbling on a couple of projects.  I need to set a priority on them and pick one to complete.  I am working on drafting some slopers, and would like to complete the shirtfront and hat wrap up the green Victorian gown pictured in the Gallery.  I am already considering what to produce for SteamCon III; it's "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea" theme is very appealing and I've got a lot of concepts rattling around waiting development.

And there's this blog.  I found that I needed to post after EVERY work session or it got to be onerous; I hate catch-up work, and it's tough to remember what exactly I did if I wait.  However, right now I am back at the beginning stages of the creative process as opposed to in full-swing on a workroom project, so I will probably post a little less.  I am aiming for once a week and have set aside some time on my calendar on Fridays to come and go through what I've been working on during the previous week.

See you Friday!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Wrapup: Part 2B, the Jacket (continued) and Skirt

When my mother came by one more time to fit the jacket sleeve, we discovered that it was too long.  Also, the attempt to make a placket at the midline seam was a fail.  We folded it up and I decided to scrap the placket altogether.  We also adjusted the length of the jacket.

The sleeve with fail placket.
After adjusting the length of both sleeve and jacket body.
With the fit finalized, it was time to start preparing the denim and putting the parts together.

More behind the cut....

Wrapup: Part 2, the Jacket

I made a short post about cutting the muslin for the jacket and showed a pic or two of it... but never really wrote it up.  The process for it was MUCH less involved than the corset; it was built on a commercial pattern and only the sleeve took serious alteration.  The collar and body are as is, except for a major crop job and the addition of a yoke, which replaced the back neck facing.

I started by making up the jacket in my size - the largest in the package - and sewing it sans facings and with only one sleeve.  I invited my mother over help check its fit, and found it to be quite satisfactory with just a very minor adjustment to the armhole at the shoulder.  Mom kept saying it looked like a lab coat, and wouldn't accept  the idea that it was just because it was made out of white muslin.  That changed when I cropped the jacket by hacking it off with shears just below the lengthen/shorten line.

Simplicity 2344 mocked up in muslin, cropped
More behind the cut....

Monday, January 3, 2011

Wrapup: Part 1, the Corset

I can see now that it'll be worth it to split the remaining blog work on this project into two parts.  The previous entries have ALL been about the corset, so I will finish it.  I"ll write up the jacket in a separate entry; it was easier as it didn't take such elaborate fitting, and was built on a commercial pattern.  I'll also write a post summing up the experience and looking forward.  It's a new year, with much to be done.

I had to go back and look at what the last post was.  It's been ages - for which I apologize, gentle readers.  (I'll go into what went wrong with that in the wrap post.)  Last I left you, I had constructed the back panels and joined all the pieces.  What I didn't have for you was the pictures, or the critique of that work.  Well, better late than never!

The front looks good.....
More behind the cut....