Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Gestation and some progress.

Recently I've been reading "A Blue Scarf" a sort of diary of thoughts and observations by Martin Gayford about sitting for a portrait by Lucien Freud.  It is fascinating.  I particularly liked the observations on completing work: "As with any creative project -- writing a book, for example is the same -- success is partly a matter of stamina, and also what LF likes to call 'morale': the confidence required simply to keep going."

And so to the collar. . .

Image 1: two versions of the collar, right and left

Image 2: fin-shaped pattern pieces
Quite some time ago I bought Vogue Pattern 1025, a very simple V-necked and straight, waisted dress which I fully intended to make, and may well do.  When I cut out the neck facings in calico I found they matched my cardigan neckline.  I pinned it on and used this calico base to pin on the collar components.  These I cut out of white tissue, which I felt would mimic quite nicely the behaviour of the organza planned for the finished article.

The collar is based on fin-shaped pieces, except for the centre one.  I used a 5" square, cut into a fin shape by eye initially and then in a try and modify dance between table and coat hanger gradually building up the right side of the collar.  Each piece on this side measures 3.5"" wide by 4 or 5 inches long depending on which side (straight or sloped) is measured.  The straight side is cut on the grain.  Each fin has a small pleat half-way across the width to add fullness and loft.

I wanted to create a ragged, sharp and irregular edge to the collar and hoped to achieve this by joining a short edge to a long one.  To add texture I propose leaving the seams on the outside of the collar.  Although I haven't yet practised seaming the fins together I overlapped them in Image 1 to take the seam allowance into consideration.

The two central pieces I have angled and re-angled in situ.  They each have a small pleat as with the other fins, and are attached to the smaller fins in the same way, however, they are too long and don't contribute well to the feel of the rest.

Modifications: Looking at the right side of Image 1 I felt that possibly the collar was too dramatic looking if the same sized fin was used all the way round.  I therefore cut a series of fins 4" and 3.5", cutting a strip from the top, and graduated the left hand side in this way.  In this way a smoother, more subtle collar shape was created, though much of the irregular edge was lost.  In comparison with the right side I originally thought the collar proportion was better, however, when I tried it on it seemed to have lost most of its drama.  Possibly the answer is to combine 4.5" and 4" fins.  Looking at the collar sideways on I find its three dimensional qualities work well.  I now need some feedback from Sian to know whether this is along the right lines and how next to proceed.  I have some more sharper angled fins prepared, should I proceed with these?