Theoretical Sewing

Fantasy jacket, side view

If I may steal a phrase from Elizabeth.

My goal this weekend is to see if I can, somehow, catch up on my much-neglected NaNoWriMo novel (if you scroll down to the bottom of my sidebar, you will see on my widget that I am sorely behind, while the month is nearly done. I blame this squarely on sewing. In my non-sewing (or at least, non-sewing-obsessively-except-when-thinking-about-sewing-obsessively) days I had no trouble pumping out my 2k words a day. This year, it’s been a struggle. Grr. Not helped by the fact that my main character has two small kids and over the course of the story so far has acquired a third, and getting your character to do anything with three kids under the age of five is almost as hard as actually doing anything yourself with that many small children. Who knew? Anyway. So I’m trying to not sew this weekend. Despite that, my brain is fluttering with things I’d like to make. In particular, this jacket-cum-sweater thing. I’ve been thinking that I love the idea of a blazer for everyday wear, but in practice I find them restrictive and end up reaching for my bunnyhug (hoodie to those of you who don’t hail from central Saskatchewan). It’s the bastard lovechild of the Lady Grey and the Kimono-Style Bunnyhug on Burdastyle. In particular, I want to make it out of sweatshirt-material,

front view

with a shawl collar. Which will require—yes, you guessed it—drafting. Ulp. So naturaly, I spent a chunk of time yesterday when I should’ve been writing, looking up how to draft shawl collars. And then working up these sketches. And now, when I should be writing, I’m making a blog post. *headdesk*

I’ll get to it right away, I promise. No tea until I start writing. Ok, no more tea.

Also, my sketching is sooo out of practice. Not surprising—I’ve done very little figure drawing, none of it life-drawing, since Tyo was born—but painful, still. The side view above is decent but the front view is indifferent at best. Bleh. I always did like profiles (you don’t have to get both sides symmetrical! ;) ). I’ve done scientific illustrations out the wazoo the last several years, but those don’t really use the same skill-set. I love drawing fabric, though. I love drawing clothes. I always have. My main annoyance with most of the figure-drawing I did in early Uni was that it was all nudes. Which are interesting in their own way—once you add clothes you are no longer drawing “a person” but drawing a particular kind of person; the figure acquires layers of connotation that were absent from the nude—but I wanted to practice drawing clothes as they fit around a person.

Anyway, I’m obviously stalling. Off to write!

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19 Comments

Filed under Sewing

19 responses to “Theoretical Sewing

  1. I wish I could draft! Unfortunately, my drawing skills stopped developing when I was 8 or so…
    I love your mash-up. Very Obi-like!

    • Well, I’m not at all sure I can draft either… I guess we’ll find out ;). I will also have to decide whether the “obi” can be all one piece or if it needs some seaming/shaping in the back.

  2. Honey, it doesn’t sound like you are stalled at all! And your drawings are terrific!

  3. PetitePear

    Those are lovely, lovely sketches. I would be so thrilled if I were able to sketch like that. I love, love, love, love your fantasy jacket idea. Forget writing, make the jacket (with an extensive tutorial) so I can knock it off! ;->

  4. Your drawings are great! Not bleh at all. Interesting about clothing adding layers of connotation… I did tons of figure drawing throughout college and graduate school. Now, though, I’m completely intimidated about drawing clothing on a figure.
    I always tell my students that drawing is a muscle, you have to use it and build it up– in other words, the more you practice the better you get. I should be taking my own advice :)

  5. Sewista Fashionista

    I like your drawing. The jacket would be neat.

  6. The inspiration gods are telling you what you should be working on in the clearest way possible. I put off nanowrimo to Feb, I can’t possibly take it on this year with all the sewing I’m supposed to be doing. And you know what? Making myself sew is *really hard work* right now, I’m sure I should just be writing.

    • LOL.

      Sadly, the inspiration gods are fickle things. If I listen to them, I never finish ANYTHING. Although, the nice thing about sewing projects is they’re mostly quick enough to bang out before I’m obsessing about something else.

      Quilts, now, those would be hard.

  7. Hoodies are great, I’m wearing one right now! This is an excellent idea and I was able to come to that conclusion by looking at your drawings. Can’t wait to see it!

  8. I also think your sketches are great! I only wish I could draw like that.

    About the jacket: you say it’s based on a kimono-sleeve hoodie (and Lady Grey) but you’ve draw normal, set-in sleeves. Both could work well, but it’s something you have to decide on early in the process of making the pattern. And that collar… shawl and notched collars are, in fact, the most technically involved necklines to draft. However, there are ‘shortcut versions’ and sweatshirt fabric is forgiving… (I wanted to add a link to something on http://www.vintagesewing.info but none of the sawl collar instructions on there are particularly easy to understand and do)

    P.S. I’m getting curious about that NaNoWriMo novel…

    • Actually, neither of the inspirations garments have kimono-style sleeves. The “kimono-style bunnyhug” is based on the Lydia; the kimono styling is in the front crossover and the wide obi-esque belt. So yeah, I’m not thinking of kimono sleeves (though I do like them)

      Yeah, I was looking at the Modern Pattern Design shawl-collar instructions… clear as mud at least at first glance. I did find some cut-on shawl collar instructions via google that looked simpler, although I think I want a separate collar so I’m not sure if that will give me the look I want. It doesn’t need to be an especially crisp, neat fold. Alternatively I can really go with my kimono inspiration and just use a straight rectangle for the collar.

  9. Corinne

    It seems to me that your artistic talents are likely more developed than you think! One of the most difficult concepts to illustrate is dimension. This little sketch actually does that quite well. I lean to the stick figure myself. NO talent. That said, I think you have planted a seed that could grow into another skill set. Always enjoy your ideas and how they grow, thanks for sharing.

  10. CGCouture

    Well, I’m hoping that you post a very detailed tutorial on this when you finish so that I can make it too! The idea is just too cool! BTW, you think your drawings are bad? I occasionally mess up making stick people! :-P

  11. Thanks for the shout out! I too would like to hear about the novel. I wish I could draw, but alas did not get that gene. I like your sketches!

  12. Thanks, everyone! Writing and drawing are two of the hobbies I cheat on by sewing (if you read my little blurb below my photo on the sidebar). Bellydance is the third, although I don’t think I’ll be able to get back to that one until I sort out some personal/motivational/financial issues. Other minor obsessions come and go, though I try to avoid them. Yes, all this while parenting and pursuing grad school. You can see why stuff gets neglected ;).

    I have a feeling if I could ever truly focus on one thing, I could be really awesome at it. As it is… well, mostly I’m all over the place.

  13. I bet that almost everyone reading your blog can relate to the last subject – there’s something about the visual/creative/technical skills needed to sew that probably translate well to a bunch of other interests… so we cycle through different applications of the skills.

    I personally go between writing, sewing, knitting, OBSESSIVE INTERIOR DESIGN (seriously, when I get the bug to change a room it’s quite the event! There are wet saws involved!) and just plain old reading. When I’m in a reading phase i can hardly set down my ipod (hello kindle) to do anything else.

    And my na-no has also been sadly neglected. I wasn’t feeling it, and more importantly, have been working this month on pulling together ideas for an etsy-like line of things, so that’s taken up a lion’s share of time!

    I wish I could draw like you! I always wished I could sing like Aretha and draw like someone other than a five year old…

    • Hee hee. I steer clear of interior design. I tell myself it’s too much work. Plus, if I really got into it, my hubby and I would probably kill each other. Seriously, we had the most huge screaming fights over how to arrange our first apartment. Now I just keep my head down and try to contain my mess. I’m actually dreading the day we buy a house and have to agree on paint colours.

  14. Wow, I love your sketches! I can barely manage stick figures. My few attempts at technical line drawing type things are truly, truly pathetic. Hats off!

    I stopped doing NaNo when I got back into sewing, so I sympathize!

  15. Well, I think your sketching is pretty good, and your proposed design is going to be gorgeous! I hope it becomes more than just a theoretical garment soon…

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