Alrighty then, I have made more progress and learning since the last post than I have throughout the course of the project! I kept trying to meet up with my mentor to no avail, so I decided to learn from the people who were available to me.
Over the break I was given a package of fabric and instructions to sew a Silly Girl dress. When I came back from my vacation, I was all but bed-ridden (with frequent trips to the restroom) so I was very worried about how I was going to get this done. I read over the instructions until I thought I understood them, and when I was feeling up to it, I opened up the fabric and laid it out on my bed. I took one look at the fabric before me, and cried. I was just so overwhelmed and worried I would mess it up for the costume department that I just collapsed in tears. When I managed to return from my brief hysteria, I decided to take a leap of faith and message Emily van der Velden, who had given me the package. She was super nice about it, offering to help me through it, but in the end I decided it had been a bit much to start with. So when I got back to school, she took the package and promised some aprons to be sewn that would be much easier.
Last Thursday I got six aprons to sew. SIX! I must admit I was a little anxious, but knowing Emily was just a message away really helped. I did the first one on Sunday, and with some back and forth clarifications on the instructions, I am proud to say I have completed two since then! It’s quite the crash course in Costume Making, but it’s perfect for me to learn the basics. One of my favorite components of making theatre costumes is that because they’re only seen from a distance, your sewing doesn’t have to be nit-picky or perfect at all. It really boosted my confidence with the machine knowing that as long as it vaguely resembled the shape they were looking for, it would be fine.
I also visited Fabricana to buy the fabric and odds and ends for the bodice of my Black Parade dress. As always, they blew my mind with all the information they packed in while I was there, but I always learn something. According to them, the piece I chose to make is a little tricky, and that I’m welcome to come back if I have any further questions. Can’t wait to get started!
So as my mentor is MIA, I’ll try to complete the questions to the best of my ability.
1. What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?
Well not many for my “official mentor”, but Emily has provided some really great learning opportunities and I see many more in my future. I really hope to be a part of the sewing process for the cutlery!
2. What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?
Well using the lingo and the skills I’m learning by making the same piece six times in a row, I can then go back to the pattern for my costumes and decode it. When it comes time to sew my costume myself, I’ll have some extra confidence with the machine to boot.
3. What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?
Well I think reading up on the subject might help, as well as perhaps watching more YouTube videos from theatre production costume design. I’ve been following Disney costume designers on Instagram just to swoon over their amazing work and to learn from certain techniques they use.
4. When you get together what do you talk about?
Again, I’m sad to say that I haven’t seen my mentor much! However, I have been speaking with my sewing neighbour about my projects and she thinks I’m absolutely mad… As well as talking with the people at Fabricana and Emily about specific details of my different projects.
5. What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?
Well, having met new people who can help me, and trusting them enough to ask questions when I need to has helped strengthen my determination for my entire project!
6. What are you learning about one another?
I think the people I’ve spoken to about my projects have learned I’m crazy determined when I decide on a task, and I’ve learned that most people won’t bite your head off if you need clarification! I was really scared to message Emily for the first time, but after that you realise that if you don’t ask and you do it wrong, it’s way worse than simply asking a question and doing it right the first time.
Feel free to check out my blog for pictures of my aprons!