Sunday, 8 May 2011

National Theatre Blouse Final Evaluation

Final garment complete. I could find a large enough mannequin to fit the blouse properly so it looks a little large and baggy here.
I was very pleases with the profile of the blouse, the sleeve shape is elegant with its small amount of gathering.

Again due to the small mannequin the shirt can not be seen to fit in as nice a manner as I would like to present but I took photos anyway to demonstrate its general shape.

The production of the blouse for the National Theatre hire department turned out to be more of a challenge than I had anticipated.  I had to work out in what order the construction process would be in, with some referral help from our guiding technician. I found the process interesting as I was having to add more finishing details to the garment than there were on the prototype. This took more time to complete than would have done if I were to copy the blouse stitch for stitch.

It was interesting to work under the 'workroom' environment, being given a prototype and pattern and also working with supervisors. I enjoyed the experience and found it useful, although it was a little stressful. My main drive for doing a piece for the National Theatre Project was to gain this taster experience but to also have the prestige of creating a piece for the National Theatre hire department on my CV. 

It is one of the first times I have used someone else's pattern to create a garment and I am not sure I found the process enjoyable. As I was using thicker and more rigid fabric for my blouse than that of the prototype, and the pattern for the knife pleats for the cuff and collar was too short, so the piece of fabric I had cut for them was too small. However I only discovered this as I was pleating it and then had to spend time correcting this and extending the length of the fabric so I had enough pleats to fit all the way round these areas. This set me back a lot of time and was one of the main reasons I was so behind on my time schedule.

The nature of my fabric made the pleats very hard to press into shape of their own so I had to tack them individually into place, the whole length of the pleat, to make sure they remained neat and fresh for when they were inserted into the blouse. This process I was happy to do to achieve the right finish however it was again a time factor that I had not planned for and so set me back again.

Due to being so behind on my schedule I am under alot of pressure to complete the last part of my project which is my full toile, I had hoped to have at least a week and a half however this has been reduced to only a week. I shall do my best to complete it in the time frame although I am nervous it may not be finished to a standard I am happy with

The lace provided by our supervisors was slightly thinner than that of the middle piece for the blouse so I had to extend the pattern by 4mm each side where the front joins the side panel. This allowed me to keep the same shape on the front where the extra fabric would have been too noticeable being at the centre front. I think this was an elegant solution as it is not noticeable at all and did not have a knock-on effect to any other part of the blouse

I felt I have developed my finishing skills on this section of the project, having to pay close attention to my stitching working, on the decoration with just top fabric. Also working with a white garment I learnt a lot about keeping it clean, and pristine looking, for the hand in, constantly washing my hands and keeping it on the hanger in a cover bag when it was not being worked on. This technique of hanging my fabric pieces, rather than folding them, was invaluable in keeping the item looking fresh and new rather than over-handled. As a whole I found creating the blouse quite stressful, due to the nature of the project and having to do processes numerous times to achieve the perfect result, when being confined to a short time frame. However I am pleased with my finished garment and am happy for it to be presented to the theatre. Despite it setting me back quite badly on my time frame, the result I achieved was worth it and the blouse I feel will be a good asset to my portfolio.

Here is the garment with its sister blouse on the project, created by my good friend Emily Manning. I created a size 14 while hers was a 12.

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