Friday, 18 November 2011

Re-cutting the collar

The collar draft was completely wrong; this became obvious at the fitting for the fall did not lie close enough to the body. After the fitting I went away and compared my collar draft with that in my research, looking at the collar instruction in the Modern Tailor, Outfitter and Clothier (Whife, 1945). The way I had drafted the collar was not quite as the research:

 I resolved the issue by making the curve at the neckline greater, which would draw the whole thing closer into the body. I then re-cut the collar in calico, and put it on the stand in order to set the shape of the end of collar at the lapel.

This also had to be moved around, again in order to make it lie closer to the body. I did this on the stand, then applied the alteration to my paper pattern.

After doing this I consulted with the Designer to check that she was happy with the style lines, which she was.
The solution I came up with was to move the collar down on the lapel, so that the angle at the collar break line was greater. The calico collar still lies a little away from the body but I am confident that this will be resolved when I make the real collar, as it will be pad stitched and pressed.

Ideally I should have resolved the collar pattern on the stand prior to the fitting; however I did not complete the calico collar with enough time to do this. In any case, I now know what the collar draft should look like, and will not make this error again. This will save on time in the future.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Final fitting

This time the whole team were present for the fitting: The Director was there as well as Rebecca, and everyone else concerned.

John tried on the suit with the calico sleeves and calico collar on the jacket. A few changes had to be made to the trousers: taking in the waist at the back darts, and lengthening the trouser hems. The calico sleeve was too tight and we discussed letting it out by 1/4" at each seam.

The sleeve now sits better in the armhole, but is too tight around the upper arm in particular, due to the bulk of the shirtsleeves. The collar draft is incorrect; as you can see from this picture, it does not lie closely enough to the body.

The collar was incorrect and I will have to look at the draft again; however this can be done on the stand. The collar is sitting too far out from the body so I will need to change some lines to bring it in closer. I will re-cut the collar in calico on the stand until the pattern works.

The collar needs to be taken in by changing the curves on the pattern; this can be done on the stand

I will also slip stitch down the back vents by about an inch, as they are too long:

We talked about accessories such as buttons and a handkerchief. Unfortunately I had forgotten to bring the buttons that had initially been bought for the suit, which was careless of me. In the future I must be sure to remember to bring all elements of the costume to the fitting. I may write a checklist beforehand to remedy this.

The trousers looked good this time now that they had been shortened at the crutch, although I have to take them in a little more at the back darts. They also need to be lengthened at the bottom hems.

Trousers will be taken in more at the back

More period-correct shoes are necessary.

The length of the trousers is now good around the hips, but too short at the bottom hems.

 Overall I am pleased with how the fitting went. Although it is annoying that I have to alter the trouser waistband when I had already finished it off, it shouldn't actually take too long, and is a lesson in being completely sure of an accurate fit in a garment before finishing it off.

Once again, the Actor was really enthusiastic about the suit, as was the Director. This is extremely encouraging, for it motivates me in getting the suit completed as well as doing a really good job. I think it also shows that my interpretation of the costume according to the character (of the Narrator) was done well, for the Actor is so happy about his costume, and appears to get into character immediately upon putting it on!
The Actor is also readily verbal about the fit of the suit, immediately pointing out places where he feels uncomfortable. This is very helpful to me as it draws attention to parts of the suit which have to be altered. It also helps me understand the main areas in the suit which can cause discomfort, and where flexibility and movement must be considered. In the future I will know where to look for strain, as all actors may not always be as communicative as this one. 

Friday, 4 November 2011

Time management

Thus far, I have not kept to the initial work plan at all. Even though I now have an idea of what needs to be done in a suit and very rough timings for elements, I had not anticipated quite how long things would take now that I am matching all of the checks up. Things have therefore taken much longer than planned overall. Additionally, I really struggled with the pockets so this has proved quite a set-back. As the pockets were so frustrating, I varied my work by taking the trousers to completion. I feel that, once the initial problems with the trouser draft were overcome, the trousers have progressed very nicely. I struggled with various elements of the trousers on the 1890s suit I made for SDP, so feel that in this my standard of working has improved.

Even though I have not kept to the timing on my initial work plan, I don't feel worried for I do believe that I will get the suit finished by the deadline. I will re-visit the work plan in order to think about what I have still to get done, and when I can do this. Overall, though, I have been working very hard throughout the project so I don't feel as though I am behind.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Jacket - applying the pockets

The pockets are proving extremely challenging, and frustrating. I had learnt how to do jetted and welt pockets in SDP but decided to make up a sample of a flap pocket so that I could practice working with the checked cloth. Despite this I am finding matching the checks really difficult and have had to re-do stages many times over. I am determined to do a good job as I want the suit to look really sharp and excellent - as would befit the character of the Narrator. Additionally, the suit bears the extra, external context of going into the AUCB Costume Store, thus will have to match the standard of the other suits there, many of which are not made by students but are professionally done.

It has taken me a very long time to finish the pockets, and the checks mostly match. I have shown them to other people just to get a second opinion and the general consensus seems to be that the checks match up - when not subjected to critical scrutiny! At this stage, having re-done them so many times, I really feel that I must move on and progress with the rest of the jacket as if I keep on fussing with the pockets then I will fall behind schedule. Although I feel that the pockets could have been better, ultimately I can only get better with more practice; as I make more suits in the future, so will my pockets improve.