Block 262: November 22, 2013



This morning, I realized I have 738 of these blocks left to make. And then I got a bit overwhelmed.

Date: November 22, 2013

Crane: 262

Days Spent on Project: 279

Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC

Person I would have sent it to: Caroline

I don’t even remember Caroline’s last name, how bad is that? (She was always just… Caroline, you know?)

Caroline was another one of the permanent, life-time, devoted Drapers who worked in the Actors Theatre of Louisville costume shop.

I think it’s important to note, when I graduated from Kenyon, the only other costume shop I had worked in (at that time) was the Northwestern University shop. At the age of 22, I had only ever experienced fittings, storage, designers, shop managers, costume builds, etc. through the eyes of a college/university setting. As far as I was knew, there were things that you could do and things that you couldn’t when it came to design. At Kenyon, I was euphoric when I learned you could rent costumes for productions; for my senior thesis- designing a production of Arcadia for the Drama Department, I had to rent the menswear from a Hollywood costume studio (it wasn’t Western). It seemed amazing and like I was given a special opportunity not available to everyone. I now rent costumes from all over the country; my old enthusiasm has worn down a bit. It’s now commonplace.

So, when I started working at Actors Theatre and our first show of the season was Floyd Collins, imagine my surprise when Caroline was asked, and accepted!, the task of building the menswear. Caroline’s specialty was tailoring men’s clothing, and I was lucky enough to watch her in the work room and during costume fittings. She knew how to build a men’s suit. She knew the difference between periods- how clothes should fit, how the lapels should look, the details that make menswear so specific- and could realize them. That actors always looked good in her work (well, appropriately good for the character) was always great.

I learned about pad-stitching, the superiority of NON-fusible inner facing† in suits, how a lapel roll tells you a suit was made well. She taught me a lot.

A southern grandmother to the extreme, she had a very dry and sharp sense of humor that seemed to come out of nowhere. The ladies in that shop were fun.

Music I listened to while sewing: Today, Spotify suggested I listen to Suburban Dream since I “listened to Fort Fairfield” recently. Good suggestion. Needed something new to change things up.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Yesterday, I actually built TWELVE dresses, like I hoped.

Today, I need to build 4 sleeveless shirts. I think I can do that.

This weekend, I need to shop 16 outfits (13 women, 3 men) for another dance piece… I think I need the clothes by Monday. I’m not sure. This production company hasn’t told me when tech rehearsal is… just that it could be the 25th or the 26th.

On a physical note, I’m sick… again. I think it’s the seesawing weather; I’ve had a headache for two days, a sore throat, some congestion, and my back hurts. I cannot be getting a fever in the next four days. I cannot. How was I sitting on a beach and feeling great only six days ago?

Vitamins to the rescue!

Coffee in the meantime!

6 thoughts on “Block 262: November 22, 2013

  1. I find your blocks and comments so invigorating, that I have a file full of each one you have made. I have thought of printing them out and pinning them to MY wall. I don’t know what’s up with wordpress either, but I knew if I left it alone long enough, things would work themselves out. I don’t like to overdo the comments, just know I’m here appreciating every stitch, ever word with a daily smile! I even try to guess the colors before I click on the link. I’ve only been right a few times!

    • I’ll admit I have no plan when it comes to color scheme right now. I wake up in the morning, see what’s in my pile of “newer” fabrics, and go with my gut-impulse for a pairing. Some days I push myself towards contrast, other days I want the colors to blend a bit. I have no idea what this is turning into; I’m choosing to embrace it.

      Another reason I don’t pin the blocks up: I live in a New York apartment. While bigger than most, wall space is still a commodity!

      Thanks for following along… It means a lot.

      • With you every day. My comments were blocked for a while, so I stopped writing. I am constantly amazed by your combinations of fabrics! I was also wondering if you have the cranes pinned to your walls in the apartment, or if they’re in a stack by the sewing machine!?

        • Comments were blocked? Wonder what that is about… Although I’m fairly certain something was up with WordPress, because things have been wonky on this end too.

          The Cranes are in a stack on my desk… which is getting quite tall! It’s fun to think how tall the stack will be when I get closer to 1000.

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