Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Some Bumps in the Road

Well, these last couple of days have been a bit "trying". In the interests of sharing the ups and downs of the development of this business, I think I need to add this particular chapter as an example of little roadblocks that come up that have to be driven around. They're not gonna stop me, but it helps to share, get it out, and then thrust forward with even greater diligence toward the next steps.

First, one of my friends has decided it's just not financially feasible for her to continue to look for a studio space with me at this particular time. While I was terribly disappointed, I absolutely understand her predicament--the three of us that were looking for a space have a LOT of stuff to put into it. The amount of space we need simply isn't affordable, even splitting it three ways... Frankly, the prospect of moving my workspace into an actual studio that I pay rent for is daunting for me as well, as it's a leap of faith that I will generate enough items to sell to keep myself paying the rent... I can totally understand where she is coming from. And I have those fears myself. On top of that, she will be splitting her time between San Diego and Los Angeles, so the feasibility of paying rent for a space that one can only use for half the work week isn't exactly promising... Pricey, pricey, pricey for the half-benefit it can offer...

So my other friend and I are figuring out what to do next. I'll keep you posted on this.

Secondly, both of the projects that I am working on have resulted in utter failure... If you recall the preview of the "Autumn Relish" jacket I started... Well, I learned a BIG lesson: start with good materials! I thought that I could take some cheap cotton/poly velvet and dress it up, making it better. Argh, that was a mistake... Where was my brain?? Sometimes that can happen, but most of the time when you use cheap materials you get something that looks "dressed up cheap". The adage of "Cheap. Looks good. On time. Pick two," came back and bit me big time. I spent hours developing a nice leaf-motif and experimenting with the fabric paint to get what I wanted, but once the finished pieces were assembled, the fabric itself got the best of me. The grain of the fabric itself is so warped and so torqued that it bends the center front closure of the jacket beyond any fixable repair. It's not worth fixing, and honestly I don't think it can be.

The other screw up was with the grey velvet that I bought for the 50's coat. Again, the weave of the fabric itself created huge stripes that I thought were shadows but really weren't. I cut it out with the pile underneath, so I didn't realize the stripe existed until I had cut everything out and there was no fabric left... Again, another cheap piece of fabric I thought I could improve. And again, another day's work pretty much lost.

I have discovered that I really need two pieces of equipment that will help me a great deal: a walking foot and a velvet needle board. It's not work progressing on actual velvet if I can't sew it and press it correctly. I will have to downshift back to velour for my next project. I have a lightweight black velveteen that I will use to cut another coat of the same style and progress from there. The lining and faux fur cuffs I cut can still be used on the black.

So I had three setbacks that I have to work around, but they're not gonna stop me.

I am also going to experiment with some pieces of corduroy that I bought. The wale in the corduroy is pretty thick, but I think it's workable. I have to find the right project and painting technique to make it worth it. I am thinking that I will simply ignore the wale, and use very watered down paints to create an impressionistic effect, but we'll see how it works.

Okay, update soon! Live life with relish!

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