Spring 2012 – the end of it.


Late. very late. I know. But there is a time when the dedication to the work has to override the desire to show your progress to the world. Nonetheless, here is a little bit Spring of 2012.

This last semester I took 4 classes: Ballet, Italian, Pattern Making (again) and Draping.

Ballet was the most wonderful experience. I decided to take it because I found myself all hunched over and with a lot of back pain from working on a very low table while making patterns. What I discovered was that not only my body loves ballet – it responded quickly and transformed itself in a matter of a couples of weeks – my mind loves ballet too. With a great instructor that made great connections between the ability to move my body and keep a good posture with the walk of life, I learned much more than just how to do a plie.

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Italian is a language that I’ve always wanted to learn. I think it sounds beautiful. Besides, that’s where most of ancestors are from. It was a fun and easy class to take. It has lots in common with my first language, Portuguese, which made all the difference.

As for pattern making I had to take it again. I failed it the first time for reasons that don’t exactly matter. In the industry, your reasons don’t really matter. If you’re not dead, don’t be late, don’t forget, don’t complain. Business is business and as for the first time I took pattern making I was fired. But that was actually a blessing. I would never know I didn’t know pattern making if I hadn’t really learned it. The second time was the charm. The instructor was not only much better than the previous one, she has also won awards for costume design. She understood my need to express myself through fabric and garments and did not spend one second of her life trying to get me to do “wearable” garments. She taught me what she taught everyone else and allowed each and every one of us the freedom to use this or that collar as we felt the need to. More often than not we learned from our own mistakes. Some fabric just doesn’t listen. Fabric talks and WE, the designers, MUST listen. All worth it.

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I made a dress with Tyvek. I found Tyvek while studying for my business class on the Spring of 2011. DuPont was very kind and sent me some that I could do some crazy testing on.

The draping class was somewhat a disaster. The teacher was very unorganized and lack the most important: the ability to pass he infinite knowledge. Don’t get me wrong. The man knows his stuff. He just can’t relay the information. Hopefully, Draping II will be with the same second pattern making instructor.

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Spring of 2012


After a much needed rest during the winter when I go to meet my father-in-law, his wife and the snow in Colorado, here I am back to work, eager to learn. I know it’s already late in the semester, but hey, at least I’ve got some awesome things to show for already.

I am now taking Fashion Draping, Pattern Making (again, and thank God, again…), Italian and Ballet.

Fashion Draping is dragging. It’s a 6+ hour class and I tell you it’s not exactly easy.

Here are just a couple images of what I’ve done correctly:

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Front Bodice Drape 2-dart

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Back Bodice Drape.

Pattern Making class – we’ve done way far more than what had been done by this point in last semester class. (I like this version of a professor much better.) We’ve gone through one-dart series, two-dart series, balancing blocks, shirt collars, button/buttonhole extension, different necklines, asymmetrical darts, peter pan collars, capes, and most recently, sleeve, besides the fact that this whole time we’ve been already working on out final project. My sketch for the final project is almost all complete. The professor said that we might want to change somethings as we learn more and more and geeeee, she is right.

The most amazing thing is how perfect she is for me. Also a costume designer, I am thrilled to have her teach me the basics. Next week we’ll have a little talk about my future as I’m about to transfer soon. 😀 Could not ask for more. Everyday I feel more and more grateful.

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Two-Dart Series muslin sample.

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Asymmetrical darts.

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Asymmetrical darts.

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Sailor Collar notes and muslin sample.

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Sailor Collar notes and muslin sample.

 

Ballet is turning out to be a very interesting personal  journey.

I decided to take ballet because I came across a situation where I would have to work with fabric that has some stretch to it, did some research and… you know the internet… one article here, one video there and somehow, after a couple hours in front of the computer I saw myself watching ballet videos on youtube. And… as a consequence to that, my mind went off into the world of creativity, expression, how to show my feelings, “I want to create a performance, but I don’t know how to dance…”, “How can I make clothes that will represent what I want and allow room for lots of movements…” and on and on and on…. And that’s just my brain when I’m almost asleep.

SO…. going back to the ballet, I signed up. I’m stiff as hell, but I have to tell you, when I walked into that room and that woman with those funny looking clothes and braided hair started to tell to feel the floor, to feel our bodies, to feel each bone and each muscle stretching up to the sky…. Oh… I was in love. Ballet has brought me such joy. It is painful at times, but to be able to sit up straight and stretch my body after hours hunched over a sewing table is absolutely priceless. Of course it helps much to have an instructor that shares a vision very similar to mine. Ballet has become my meditative moment. After that hot shower, before I go to bed, a couple plies and some port de corps, cambre and grand battement are just freaking great.

Now, as for the Italian class… I’m in love, I’m happy with it and I can’t wait to go to Italy to practice it because no one around me knows how to speak Italian. Dang! And my nonno hasn’t been with us for almost 20 years now.

Soon I will post some images of the latest opera production I worked on with LAM Opera.

 

Much love to all.