The making of this suit has been a difficult learning curve. I have dedicated a lot of time to this project; however, the jacket is unfinished. After being advised in my tutorials I decided that it was more important to take my time with the making and produce unfinished work of better quality, rather than rush through it all purely to have a finished garment. I am very glad that I have followed this advice, for it has led me to work to the best of my ability at all times. I will complete the jacket after hand-in.
Overall I have enjoyed this project, for discovering all of the different methods and processes used in tailoring has been an incredibly interesting insight. I have challenged myself to work as neatly as possible, taking a more mature approach to making. This will be incredibly valuable in the future, in order to keep on producing higher quality work. Nonetheless, this has been one of the most difficult projects I have undertaken thus far. I particularly struggled with pattern drafting, one of my areas of weakness. I believe that this is down to my relative inexperience in pattern cutting and I plan to keep working on this in the future. The project has helped me in visualising three-dimensional form on a flat pattern, and I hope to keep developing this.
I chose a simpler suit style and cloth for at the outset of the project I was not at all confident in my tailoring abilities. Although I acknowledge that I still have much to learn, making the suit has definitely given me more confidence in my ability, and I hope to try and use a more complex cloth in the future. I also really enjoyed working with the heavier weight materials, and using cloth which was totally suitable for the purpose.
Difficulties were present at the fitting when the actor did not arrive, and I had to fit the suit to someone else. Despite this, doing the fitting has given me good experience in conducting a fitting professionally, and more confidence in doing one by myself. Additionally, talking to the actor at the fitting gave me a better understanding of the context in which the suit would be used, as he was a dancer and mentioned the importance of movement. This allowed me to better consider my patterns and make adjustments accordingly.
The fact that the suit was made for an external client presented me with a little pressure to create something to the best of my ability. This, as well as my own perfectionist nature, has helped me develop my skills throughout the project. However, working with an external client did pose difficulties, most notably relying on someone else for the fabrics. Their delayed arrival did hinder me a little, but I tried to use my time as best I could in order to achieve what was possible, for instance, practising samples. This has given me an idea of what to expect when working in the professional world, and how gauge approaching clients. Now that I am aware of the processes involved with making a suit, I will be able to set a fitting date earlier in advance. I also know to request all materials at the beginning.
Overall, the project has raised my confidence in many ways, notably in taking charge of my own work. It has given me a really good grounding in understanding how materials work and their relation to the body. Making the suit has really enhanced my personal development, particularly in my attitudes towards making. I have learnt the importance of self-motivation, which has not been stressed so much in past units, and the importance of learning from mistakes. I have accepted that this suit is merely the beginning of my tailoring work, and that it has imperfections. Though I have made mistakes, I want to channel this positively in order to better my work in the future. I will do this by making further items over the summer, so as to reinforce the correct working methods. I am really glad to have undertaken this project at this stage in my learning, for I feel that future projects in Level 6 will definitely reflect the heightened skills that I have been developing. I hope to make another suit in Level 6, as well as experiment in more complicated cut.