The Cloth-of-gold Lining

There comes a point in every persons life where things just fall apart. Maybe you get your car repossessed. Maybe you lose that amazing job that came with a skyline view from your office and season tickets (what ever that means…). Maybe you go to the salon to have your hair dyed and it all falls out. Regardless of what it actually is that makes you stomp your feet and throw a tantrum, to you, it’s the biggest deal in the world. And no amount of people telling you that “this too shall pass” is going to make you feel immediately better. So you go out in search of your silver lining. Or, in the case of fabric, your cloth-of-gold lining (I know, I know, it’s a really corny joke. Forgive me).

For me, this “the sky is falling the SKY is FALLING!!!!” moment came today when I opened my mailbox. Today I found out that I have been rejected from every single fashion school I applied to.  I’m a student with no school, a designer with no training, and, even if it’s not REALLY true, I am at this moment convinced that it’s just possible that I might not be as awesome as I thought. FIT (a state school) said no. the Art Institute said No. And now Parsons has said No.

Faced with this depressing reality, I searched for my brighter lining. Well, heck, now I’m going to have a WHOLE lot more time to work on the VPLL Sewing Project, I told myself. So I printed out all of the patterns they’ve sent me, and am currently on break from assembling them. I don’t care if they are covering my living room floor… I’m getting SOMETHING done.

And if those schools don’t want me right now, really, that’s fine. I’ve got all the pattern drafting and draping text books sitting up in my bedroom (I bought them early so I’d be prepared for class in the fall…=S). So, since I’ve got the books and I will now have the time, I might as well get started on the exercises in the text books. Then I’ll be SUPER ready for when I’m finally in school.

And somehow, knowing that I could accomplish things, even something as simple as taping pieces of paper together to make a slip pattern, has made my rejection letters sting a little less. it’s made the sky a little brighter. And it’s made me smile ever so slightly,on what I am currently calling the crappiest day of my life. I’ll be fine.

The moral of the story is this: Although shit does happen, these events leave you with three options- One, you can hide under a rock and say “maybe if I close my eyes it’ll go away”- two, you can get dragged down by the feelings of failure, depression, resent etc. – or, three, you can take a deep breath, cry if you have to and then do something. do ANYTHING. Make a hard boiled egg. Vacuum your couch. Vacuum your dog. Paint your nails. Do anything at all that you want to do. And when your done, you say to yourself; “hey, I can do that. I wonder what else I can do.” And before you know it, you’ll be up and running, trying just a little bit harder.

Trust the Tutorial

Yesterday I finally downloaded my PatternMaker software I cracked my knuckles, rubbed my hands together, and got ready to draft the most amazing dress the world has ever seen. I had my models measurements. I had a sketch of what I wanted the dress to be when I was done. I was ready to go!

Unfortunately, when I opened the program up, what I got was like the Geometrist’s Paint Program. Circles, Rectangles, Lines, POLYGONS??? What was I supposed to do with this? I tried to draw a line, and it didn’t work. I got the rectangle, after 10 failed attempts, but then couldn’t erase it. I begged my computer. I implored, I wheedled, and then after 4 hours of FAILURE, I cursed my computer and started yelling. It was time to go the the Help Topics and surrender my pride.

But even the Help Topics didn’t tell me what I was doing wrong. All the pages just kept telling me to do the Tutorials. And where the heck were they?! Another hour of cursing ensued before I found the tutorials on the website.

In two hours I ran through the first 5 tutorials and had a fully functioning back sloper. Piece of cake.

Today I booted up my computer and, with a fresh cup of coffee and some sleep, decided to explore the files in the PatternMaker. I found the Tutorials, on my hard drive, conveniently labeled “Tutorial” (had I bother to check yesterday? No. I’d just gotten really inventive with my insults directed to my computer).

This morning I cracked my knuckles, rubbed my hands together, and, like a much more logical person, I opened up the tutorials and settled down to learn more about the program. My computer and I have since made up and are back on speaking terms.

The moral of this story is that, regardless of how sure you are that you KNOW what you’re doing, running through 12 short tutorials really won’t hurt you. And it may save you HOURS of frustration. Food for thought.

I’m now off to try and scale a pattern. With more coffee, of course!

In the beginning…

Welcome to my blog!
Here I will be recounting my exploits with the VLLP1912 Project, and also my adventures in creating my first full mini-collection of dresses, the Vices & Virtues: Lenore Series.

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Mack, and I am a costume designer for the Delaware County Community College theater. I am also an aspiring fashion designer, except that I REALLY struggle on focusing on things for extended periods of time (maybe updating this blog will help me?). I love period clothing, especially from the Civil War (mid 1800’s) right on up to the 50’s. I also adore subculture fashions: gothic, lolita, punk, cyber, fetish… I love it all. The colors, the textures, the style lines ::sigh::

I think that’s it. Oh! And I have a dog that thinks he’s a cat and a parrot that thinks he’s a dog, and also has an unfortunate sense of humor. Sometimes they help me sew (I use the term “help” very loosely…)

Please be patient with me, since I’m not ENTIRELY sure how this blogging thing works!