Block 718: July 12, 2015


I just realized, since we’re 12 days into July, August is 19 days away. Suddenly, “I have the entire summer to get my shop ready” is no longer a calming statement to make.

We’re back and sewing in 22 days… YIKES.

Date: July 12, 2015

Crane: 718

Days Spent on Project: 873

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to: Janice F.

In the costume shop at that Arkansas Summer Theater Festival, besides a costume shop manager who remained hands off, not really touching the clothes or attending fittings or buying supplies or organizing the work, we had one draper to work with. Janice was that draper. She and Tiffany, the shop manager, knew each other from grad school and seemed incredibly tight knit.

Working on Pippin, I had asked the university shop manager to approve my builds- since she knew the staff she hired and could gauge the summer workload since she had theoretically looked at the entire season’s designs- before I left New York. I wanted to build the three principal women’s clothes- one skirt/bodice for Berthe, one dress and bustier for Fastrada, and one dress and one bustier for Catherine. That’s 6 pieces. In four weeks. In a shop. The University shop manager agreed. But then she also agreed to build 6-8 pieces for the three other shows, for a total of almost 30 items during the same four weeks with one draper, one first hand, and four interns. Yikes.

All the designers kinda readjusted their plans as much as possible.

Janice, for her part, kept up with the work as best she could. She’s a young draper with a lot of confidence, so it will be interesting to see if I run across her again in the future.

But, heads up, when you say a skirt should be a turn of the century, 7-gored fluted skirt with an asymmetrical hem and a side front placket and a draper delivers a 4-gored A-line skirt that ends at the knees… well…

Music I listened to while sewing: Not really sure what this playlist is this morning, but there’s a lot of jazz and big band and I like it!

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: I need some deadlines. I need some more structure.

With the start of the season less than away, maybe that was the kick in the pants I needed to finally finish reading the final three plays I’ve been avoiding and starting their paperwork. I really need to finish my shop’s season calendar. And figure out the over hire situation. And price out the first show.

And, regarding The California Project, it’s all fine and well to say “work on it as you can” but I need something specific to aim for. Another rough draft in a month? Finding collaborators by the Fall? Sketching out the direction in two weeks? Understanding budget needs by Christmas? Apply for grants monthly? Phone meetings weekly?

So much to tackle and my head is spinning. But, it IS the good kind of spinning.

Like I said before, suddenly going to work and working seems like a hopeful thing after last week’s news. After last week’s two day working vacation, suddenly The California Project seems like *mine* to steer and *my* hunt for collaborators who want to work WITH me.

Also, it’s kind of great and freeing to admit I may have strong opinions about all this work, but I don’t know everything and I can’t know everything. I want other people on board with their own strengths and creativity and skills who can help make this happen and help me take what I think and make it better.

So much to do and it’s Sunday!

Off to the races, ladies and gentlemen.

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