Looking for something to wear to my final personal block class, I thought this dress was a standout, lots of problems needing to be fixed in this Butterick block. I hesitated though, because If I wore this lined, wool/spandex, optimistically darted dress and heels, what would it say about me? To me, approachable is preferable to aloof, I like to appear friendly and humorous. This is a dress I would wear to sign documents with the lawyers ‘n’ stuff, could I get away with wearing to a patternmaking class without feeling ‘try hard’?
As it happened the ‘optimistically darted wool/spandex dress’ and heels didn’t attract the derision I was afraid of – phew!
Note to self: When making pattern changes, make sure to clearly mark the newest change otherwise you could have darts that point directly toward the youthful apex of a 16yo and they will be unfixable, requiring you to wear a cardi at all times to disguise the mistake!
Real life tailors are almost always pictured wearing their beautifully tailored clothes even though they’re hanging around in a workroom, our local italian tailors do the same. Those guys don’t wait for a wedding or a funeral to break out their dapper suits – they dress like they want to make a style statement every day. Makes me wonder if they wear a smoking suit and velvet slippers in their down time?
More often than not I’m disgruntled with the clothes I make myself. Bad fit, inappropriate fabric, wrong style, I hope to one day get it right! According to Simon Crompton, a menswear journo, all tailoring is a work in progress, being tweaked at every step. I like his thinking,
“The thing about bespoke is that it takes a long time to get it right and that’s extremely expensive. It’s great fun getting it right but there’s always going to be things that you want to change six months later because suddenly you’ve become a creative person and before you were just a recipient. There are always going to be things you get wrong and you have to accept that. Some people have their first bespoke suit made and think that, because they can change everything, it will be perfect. But actually you don’t necessarily know how to change everything – your tailor will always have to make some assumptions about what kind of thing you’d like. But accept that’s going to happen because it creates an interesting process. I’ve had a dozen bespoke suits made and there are still things that I think I’ve never got quite right.”
Spot on Simon, he continues
“Good craft should be like that: you should look at it and it should just look better, it should just feel better.”
Ooh, yes please, I’m looking forward to getting it more right!
Next time I draft this type of dress, I’ll use my new improved ‘Studio Faro’ torso block. I will bite the bullet and add much more oomph to the draped side tucks because these current ones look a wee bit apologetic. Anita suggests the drape should start higher, closer to the waistline or above. I’ll probably go with a rounded neckline, this V has never sat well despite many attempts at remediation. But I’m quite taken with the little inserted CB gore that saved me from a lined vent effort! The wool twill fabric with 2% elastane may not be what Saville Row would order, but I love it – 10/10.
I think Kate recently commented – “sometimes we dress for the spectacle”, I like that.
What influences how you dress? How do you prefer to appear to others? Whats your priority in clothing – style or comfort?