Some people are very particular about pattern matching. I'm not one of them. I do match occasionally but unless it's a stripe or a plaid, I prefer the pattern mixed up. What I'm very particular about is the distribution of color and the evenness of the layout - balance, rhythm, and repetition. This point of view - I think - is from my textile art days when pattern matching was rarely a consideration.
And it's a good thing with this blouse because there was barely enough of the floral fabric to cut the new sections and even then, I had to piece the center back panel with some of the black plaid. It's a narrow strip and works to trick the eye into believing that the floral continues underneath.
Just in case there is a problem area, I overlap the pieces to check before sewing them together. Again, I didn't have a lot of options but I'm pleased with how the pink moves around the piece and with how the plaid strip provides a resting place. It's a busy back.
Here it is seamed together on Millicent with the collar pinned in place. I think this is a huge improvement on yesterday's skunk option and I like how there is a main print and a little bit of the other two. Just enough to blend and not enough to overwhelm while meeting the challenge of using all three fabrics. I sewed in five minute increments crawling from the couch to the studio and back again yesterday. I had to. My curiosity just wanted to know how this would work out.
While "lounging" around, one of the things I thought about is the way in which I sew and the pace I sew at. Some Monday mornings when I'm reading blogs it seems like writer sewed an entire closet full of clothing over the weekend and I wonder why I can't finish a blouse a week. Ann just sewed this same blouse. She cut out the pieces on the 16th and is wearing the finished blouse on the 19th.
I cut this blouse out on the 18th, and spent two days figuring out the back which meant I cut it out again yesterday. But that final choice of what fabric goes where is now settled. The back is together, the front is mostly together, the sleeves, collar and collar band are ready to stitch in, and I can see the the finished look. There won't be any major changes at this point. I just need to finish stitching it together.
Now that I write it out, that's actually not that much different unless you add in the blouse before, the muslin. It took another week but it was a week worth taking in my opinion because now I have a pattern I can sew over and over - a T & T blank canvas. And THAT is the conclusion I always come back to when I'm reassessing the state of sewing.
These aren't new thoughts. I've reviewed them a few times and it seems that my preferable method is to first develop a muslin and then make a basic prototype and after that play with creative elements. And that's okay. I'm very finicky about fit and this is the path that works. It's just that sometimes I get stuck in the first two stages and sometimes I'm doing so much playing in the last stage that the garment never finishes or doesn't finish in a wearable way BUT...
... when I was cleaning up the images on my computer I noticed something. Growing confidence. I'm more sure of myself with fabric and pattern choices. I make fewer mistakes and when I do it's typically because I'm pushing the envelope which I see as good. I've narrowed the necessary pattern adjustments down to the few that really matter and they are working consistently garment to garment leading me to believe I have those choices correct. I've determined a base size to work from. I've learned to add in sufficient ease and back off on over-fitting. I've developed a flow and my hands are starting to move with ease which is the fabulous point at which my mind starts to bubble with creativity. This blouse illustrates that point. AND - most importantly - fashion sewing is becoming more fun and less paint by number.
On Monday, when I met with three other artists, I talked about where I'm going with fashion sewing. One thing I want to do is create art cloth. Not cloth so beautiful that I don't want to cut it up but beautiful cloth for fashion sewing. Focusing on stamping and screen printing at this summer's workshop will be a start and I've added studying with Jane Dunnewold to my wish list. She's more commonly a big name in textile art but the transfer of those techniques to clothing is entirely doable. What have you noticed with your sewing? What goals are you working on?
Right now, back to the couch.
Talk soon - Myrna
Grateful - a workable amount of the floral, a couch, incremental progress