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  • Andromeda Williams
    Greetings and Salutations,     I am here to learn. I am looking for both a mentor and friends/associates that are into costume as much as I am. I tried to
    Message 1 of 30 , Jan 8, 2012
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      Greetings and Salutations,
          I am here to learn. I am looking for both a mentor and friends/associates that are into costume as much as I am. I tried to take fashion design classes at my university but it was too much fashion and little to no costuming. Perfect for fashion design majors not so good for costumers. I have been greatly inspired by the literature that has appealed to m y heart from the Secret Garden to Pride and Prejudice, Little Women to Wuthering Heights. I  agreed with Virginia Woolf in that the clothing a woman wore had a lot to do with the shaping or her actions and thoughts. I love history and in that the richness of women's clothing seems to have ended 20 years or so before my birth. Not saying that I feel all women should be corseted again or that showing a little leg should once again be taboo, just saying that variety in both modesty and sensuality should be returned in way that are not the Academy Awards red carpet affairs. Now the name of the
      designer means little in that the quality of the garment is trash.  Cheap fabrics, poor construction and available mass produced at Walmart. I would like to see the return of handmade and made at home with superior quality, style and design. Even if it dooms me to have only Sew Beautiful and Martha Pullen as my examples I refuse to give in to the cheap ad disposable clothing of my time. What happened to the trousseau and garments being intended to be handed down? I am not the only one that feels this way am I? More about me other than my clothing issues, I love to read, miss history, dislike the present and pray earnestly for a better future. I am into dolls, book, dancing, swimming, and writing/penmanship. I have many beautiful dolls that need to be dressed and a Civil War ball to go to in December that requires a civil war gown. I want to make it myself as well as know how to behave in it. Anything else you want to know feel free to ask me. I lok
      forward to my time among you all. 

      Andromeda

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    • Mary Logan
      Hello Andromeda, Your post inspires me to reply, as I was once where you are, and always find I feel a duty to encourage younger people coming into the field.
      Message 2 of 30 , Jan 8, 2012
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        Hello Andromeda,

        Your post inspires me to reply, as I was once where you are, and always find
        I feel a duty to encourage younger people coming into the field.

        After 30+ years in the business, I consider myself a master of the craft,
        from design interpretation, to custom-patterning, through
        sewing/construction and the finest of finishing. My interest began very
        early in life, and purely by happenstance, I ended up doing what I love most
        for a living. It's my view too, that there is a lot to be said for quality
        and style such as we've seen in examples from the past, and even more for
        personal taste and selection in terms of choice suited to occasion.

        If it's costuming, and costume construction that interests you, I would
        venture to say that opportunities are becoming few and far between - that is
        if you want to make a living at it. Technology and industry have combined
        by now to a point where many of the things we used to rely on hands for, are
        executable by machinery, in a much shorter amount of time, hence at a lower
        cost. Add to that the tendency for business to exploit for labour less
        fortunate people in other nations, and it's easy to see that fashion and
        trends are prone to change at a rate much speedier than in times when
        construction spent more time in human hands.

        Just the same, there is nothing to stop you in achieving construction
        skills, though be prepared - in many ways it is a lifetime of learning.
        There are many theatres where interning opportunities exist, as well as
        regional and amateur theatres where they're only too happy to have
        volunteers. Throughout, strive to learn, and begin a book collection. Art
        books contain the most faithful of period clothing representations.
        Reference material is also important - books, magazines....wherever you see
        it, photograph it, copy it, read it, buy it if you can. Pattern-making
        books from all sorts of sources are important as well - as you gain insight
        with experience, you will find your way to your own methods through trial
        and error and comparison - I don't believe there is a single pattern book
        that will contain all that you encounter. Technical books on styling are
        helpful, as well as books that TALK about style and choice of style. One
        of my biggest inspirations (which is what your post reminded me of) was a
        book titled Harmony in Dress, by Mary Brooks Picken.

        Aside from that, if you intend to do work on your own, strive to (over time)
        have proper space, tools and machinery, lighting, storage etc., so that you
        can work properly. Nothing will kill your inspiration as quickly as
        frustration. If you have access, also learn from older people - whether
        it's embroidery, smocking, knitting, crochet, to mention a few - all will be
        useful sometime later., perhaps even a central feature in a project.

        And remember, if at any point you are tempted to assert that now you know
        all you need to know - keep in mind, if you continue in the field, that a
        year, two years, twenty years later, you will know that much more - hence,
        you DON'T know all there is to know, ever, really.

        Regardless of what you see around you, how you personally dress is still
        your choice. If you have a style that is your own, be it classic or trendy,
        IT will be the inspiration you use when working for others - don't be afraid
        of developing it fully, but also respect that not everyone's tastes are the
        same. In judging each of your final products, regardless of whether the
        person or organization you're servicing is happy and overjoyed, use your own
        judgement in establishing your standard. If YOU are happy with it, you will
        know, not hope, that your product is one of quality and will be worn with
        pride.

        So I've gone on a bit, I know, but I hope you, and perhaps others, find it
        helpful. Wishing you all the best in however you choose to express your
        interests.

        Zed




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      • E
        Greetings, Andromeda!
        Message 3 of 30 , Jan 8, 2012
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          Greetings, Andromeda!
        • PlaidCrafter
          Today at http://craftside.typepad.com/ there is a fun tutorial from Pluckyfluff s new book Hand Spun on how to spin extreme tail yarn and you can enter to win
          Message 4 of 30 , Jan 18, 2012
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            Today at http://craftside.typepad.com/ there is a fun tutorial from Pluckyfluff's new book Hand Spun on how to spin extreme tail yarn and you can enter to win a copy of her book!
            Fiber-fabulous!
            Stef
            http://thecardalbum.blogspot.com/
            http://sweatersurgery.blogspot.com/
            http://recycledcrafts.craftgossip.com/
            Facebook facebook.com/StefanieL.Girard
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          • IOM315@AOL.com
            I ve read your post and as well as the post from Zed . I could not agree more with Zed . I have been designing and producing presentation gowns for Mardi
            Message 5 of 30 , Apr 3 8:33 AM
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              I've read your post and as well as the post from "Zed". I could not agree
              more with "Zed". I have been designing and producing presentation gowns
              for Mardi Gras over the past 30+ years. This has led me down a very twisted
              path, but I can say after just finishing up work on my 24th Ball for the
              same organization, it is with pride that I look back on how my work has
              evolved.

              From my early endeavors until now I have had to change with the
              marketplace. Beautiful fabrics and trims have either vanished or become so expensive
              they are out of my budget. I have found that being flexible, always
              inquisitive, and not settling for with the first idea has brought my work to its
              current level.

              The most profound change for my work was born because I hate to have my
              work compromised by what is available in the textile industry. Therefore I
              developed a process to emboss my artwork on textiles. While refining the
              process I had the opportunity to create a collection of presentation gowns
              based on Faberge's Easter Eggs. The combination was a true turning point.

              You just never know where the path will lead when faced with challenges.
              My best advice is to approach the challenges of our industry as
              opportunities for growth in spite of the growing pains!

              Best wishes and welcome to this "crazy" world.
              D.L. Dixon
              Ides of March Design Group, Ltd.

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