My Story

Part 6: Outsourcing

To a Dressmaker for HELP! So… this was my thinking….. Although I was determined to understand why block making instructions didn’t end up fitting me when I used my measurements, this might take me some time. Maybe a few more years. In the meantime, I sure would like to have a Bodice Block set that fitted perfectly (or as perfectly as possible) so I could finally put my patternmaking knowledge into action, and make some clothes! So surely I could find someone….. like a dressmaker… to make me a block. Such a good idea!!

Even more disappointment

Yep. No. Didn’t work. I paid $100 or $120 – I can’t remember exactly, in was late 2007 or early 2008.  I phoned a few dressmakers asking if they could make me a Bodice Block set.  A couple said yes, I chose one fairly near work and home.  Went to her and got measured.  She made a toile and I went back for a fitting. The toile (before she pinned it) was way, way out. (As had been the case with all the blocks made for my figure with the block making directions I had used).  But she seemed confident, she did the pinning and said she’d make the changes to the block.  She’d call me when it was ready. (No second fitting/toile). She called me and said the Bodice Block was finished, come and pick it up.  I went to pick up the block – it made from dot/cross paper – and it consisted of just Front & Back, no sleeve – but that is what I asked for.  It had sleeve allowance (which I then cut off), but I was surprised it had no dart in the back sleeve.  You can see the block compared to mine in the image below.  My block is in white, the dressmaker’s block in pink. The first image is the actual block she made, with one dart. In the second image, I have pivoted most of the waist dart and made the waist level to more easily compare with my two-dart block. I placed the blocks on top of each other the way I have because this shows how it would sit on my body: it has to sit on my shoulders. Excitement had yet again turned into disappointment. Why didn’t I go back?  At the time I was having the toile fitted I was a having a bit of a flare-up of my auto-immune condition,  (I was sick both late 2007 and early 2008, can’t remember which one of those times I visited the dressmaker), and shortly afterwards I was back in hospital for a while.  Straight after a flare-up, I had no energy or brain-space for thing like patternmaking – I concentrated on getting well again.  It was a few months (maybe five or six) before I got around to making a toile from that block.  Then I felt it was too late to go back to the dressmaker and complain. Note: I was a couple of kilograms lighter than usual when this block was made, which was why it is a bit narrower.  However, while I may have been a bit smaller in the bust than usual, this block doesn’t have any large bust adjustment at all.

Where from here?

So.. onward and onward.  Two steps forward, one step backwards.  Sometimes one step forward, two steps back.  Not necessarily upwards.  Whatever.  Onward and onward.  Can’t give up now.  Did I say ten-year plan? Yep, I sure was going to need those ten years. Then I had a light bulb moment. I remembered… Michelle had done a ten week Community College Course where they made their own block set – including pants (I hadn’t yet bothered with pants, I thought if I couldn’t get the Bodice Block to work, I’d have no chance in hell with Pants!). Yep, back to being excited! What a good idea! So I signed up for a Community Collegr course, which is the next part of the story.

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