Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Done... over and out


I'm done with the exam!! Thank God.
Now I can sleep longer than 5 am again *yay*

I'm so glad it's over, although I must admit I also had a bit fun doing it. I should work that straight through more often, although maybe not 5 days in a row. But now and then it could be cool *lol* And you really get something done, as you see...
A two piece lady's skirt suit including 8 hours embroidery in less than 40 hours working time.
I made it (accordingly to my timeplan results this afternoon) with 110 minutes to spare, although I hung the suit away only like 45 minutes before the official end... But I actually don't really care where those other 65 minutes have gone besides being used in a couple of potty breaks...
However I did get everything done in time and, if I may say so, I did a quite good job. I'm pleased with the outcome although of course there are a few spots that could have been better... as always. But as you have only limited time you'll have to live with imperfectness. And one has to keep in mind that we all are only humans and nobody is perfect (even one of the teachers said that one day during the exam to calm us a bit).

So after the embroidery went so well yesterday (I even did one cuff motiv in less than 90 minutes yesterday morning and surprised myself ^^) today I had to deal with a pulling lining in the front of the jacket. What a sh*t. I had to open one dart, let fabric out, sew it smaller towards the hem and attach it to the hemfacing again... by hand because I had to hold it tight so it wouldn't slip away again...You now see where the old dart stitch line was, but at least the lining isn't pulling anymore. I told the examination board about this in the interview and also that I had to make the whole pattern drafting by myself and tried to get the hem part in place already (and was very successful in the back with it).
At least the one board lady said my jacket was very nice :) I hope it'll show in the exam result. On Friday we get note if we passed or failed, but not the grade yet. :/
Otherwise I rocked the other examinees with my embroidery, they called me crazy to do an 8 hour embroidery, but I told them it hadn't been my idea to do the cuffs, too. Most of the others did welting as decoration, seems it is one fave deco of the board's head... *duh*
Anyway I'm happy that I got so many compliments on it and one girl (she's so cute^^) said I should get an A just because of the bad ass embroidery *woot*
I don't think I will, but still.
And I don't think I will fail either... I mean I did meet all requirements and finished both pieces in time... And my seams are straight and one can very well wear it without feeling ashamed. They rather not dare letting me fail...

So this afternoon I packed all my stuff and hauled it back home in a sauna like heat... I basically dropped it on my table and haven't found the motivation to pack it away etc. yet... I'll deal with it tomorrow after sleeping till 9 at least *muahaha*

What else to tell? Oh, I need a new sleeve board. I can't put mine up stable anymore and if I remember correctly I heard it falling down at one point yesterday. But oh well, a new one doesn't cost a fortune.

Okay, that's it I think.

Have a good night everyone and a great late week ;)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

2 days done... 3 to go

Hello my fellow readers!

So the panic subsided a little bit, although I still got enough adrenalin flowing through my body (But I guess that's good as it keeps me awake and alert during the day and now I can sleep again).

The night before the exam I hardly slept and when I dozed of the first time I dreamed pure shit ^^ (about the exam completely failing and the other examinees being total b*tches -- the typical fears of an unknown situation *g*).
Anyway, so far the exam is going quite well and I'm even a bit ahead of my timeplan. It's been a good thing to take my own machines, today I even took my iron and sleeve board with me, because the irons there are pure crap. I tried to get one steam ironing station on there, but failed pretty hard, so I took a simple steam iron, but it behaved not well and was all sticky on the interfacing. Also the seamallowances didn't really staye flat... so my precious pink iron it had to be with the genius 150g steam shot *lol*
The air function of the ironing board is just a sad excuse but better than nothing at all. (Like I said I was spoiled in fashion school ^^)
But the general space is not as bad as I was afraid it would be. It's not big, but okay. It would have been worse while cutting if the others had to cut their lining, too.
But appearently they were told to cut it already before the exam, while I was told to only do it in the exam... nice, huh? Took me about 90 minutes extra to cut it... along with my small pieces and their interfacing.
I still managed to get it done faster than I had thought (yay for rotary cutters) so I'm not mad or pissed. Yet I feel somewhat treated unfair by this.
Luckily the other girls agree on the unfairness and if I should run out of time in the end I'd go to the teachers and try to get an extra hour or so... we'll see, so far I'm good in time, so I'll leave it be for the moment.

However the other girls are pretty nice, which is good.
But as the exam goes on I feel like they work completely different than I do. It's really weird. Maybe it just seems like it does, but maybe it is really so... I guess my approach on sewing is more industrial. I only hope in the end the difference won't be overly noticable in the look of the pieces. (I'm aware that my pressing skills are not the best, but I hope otherwise there won't be a big difference.)

Anyway, the skirt is fully done and I'm one step closer to pass the exam. Monday I'll proceed with the welt pockets *ugh*, sleeves and other stuff of the jacket and if everything goes well I may even get the first motiv embroidered.

Okay, I'm going to bed now, getting up at 5 am is so not my thing ^^ Yesterday I lay in bed at 9:30 pm, I can't remember the last time I went to sleep that early...

Have a nice Sunday and stay tuned for more updates.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Waaaaahhh *panic*

Hey you!

Wow, I just can't believe how fast time flew by. It's only one day until the exam starts and I get really nervous now.
I can't help the feeling of having forgotten something important. (I guess one always has this feeling.)

Anyway, I should tell you what I did the last week. And I owe you notchies *yay*

So I got out everything I needed, including my piece list and started labeling and notching like crazy.
In the end I got two nice mountains of notchies, one from the notching itself and one from cutting out holes to hang up the pieces.

So here I got the mass of pattern pieces hanging under my bed in all their glory *lol*
I only hope the examination board will approve everything. Somehow I'm afraid that I could disqualified because I did something wrong... it's stupid as I had asked about quite many things and they told me just to do it like I learned it, but know?

Also last week I mentioned some embroidery testing, it actually was just to find the best looking way to make the stem stitch. I found a finnish instruction from my student exchange 6 years ago and it showed the stitching much better than my other books (I really don't know why I seem to learn needle crafts better in a foreign language *lol*)
But here is my sample piece... very unspectacular
Sunday I made some weltpocket samples. Well I only made the welts and left out the pocket bags (I haven't got to practise them ^^), I also stitched around the button holes for another sample piece.
Btw. my old machine now purrs like a kitten after being at the shop. It runs sooo smooth *woot*.

I should be fine now in the exam, if my timeplan works out like in theory, I should also be able to do a couple more on Sunday, as I won't start with them before Monday.
Same goes for the button holes, I made four yesterday. It's mocking me that I will probably will be the slowest buttonhole sewer among the examinees, but oh well. As long as they are buttonholes to button up the jacket, they (hopefully) won't let me fail. I just don't have the time and nerves to do 100 more button holes for practise.
You can actually see some progress from the right to the left. I hope they will work good in the exam, but I only need to worry about them next week ;)

Today I did some more embroidery. Time looks good with it. So I hope in the exam I'll also be fine and without bigger complications.
I really can't say how glad I am to have purchased the very small embroidery hoop. It lays much better in my hand than the big ones, although I have to change it's position more often, but the stitching works better.

Tonight I filled out the time list and in theory I've got about two hours to spare (but there are no extra potty breaks etc. included yet). So I shouldn't be afraid that I won't be able to manage it in time.
Another thing that has me nervous is the interview which is part of the exam (counts 20%). I have no clue what they could be asking me. On one hand it makes me feel better as I can go into it without giving it too much thoughts and just answer what comes to my mind. On the other hand, it makes me nervous that I will totally screw up with it.

Gah... it's making my itchy *lol*
I only have to make sure to not forget anything. I will order a cab for Friday morning after I'm done with this entry. I better to it tonight, so they have time to eventually call me back for questions or so...
The idea came from my mom (I'd never thought of that myself ^^) and she is right, it'll be much more relaxed to go there by cab than tram/bus and I can also take my serger with me ( I hope the cabdriver will be so nice to help me carry my machines). The extra money won't have me starving *lol* I saved so much by not having to go south for the exam that the cab should be no real luxury in this case.
Oh, I just remembered that I also need to get a week ticket for the tram tomorrow. *adds to list*

Okay, I guess that's all for today. I'm not sure if I will post tomorrow... probably not. I'll see you latest after the exam, I mean, I got to tell you how it went and all ;)

Okay so cross your fingers for me, but not think of me - I get hiccups then ^^

Have a great time

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Taming the cardboard...

Hello my fellow readers!

Just a little update on my progress.
As I mentioned in my last post, I spent the weekend dealing with huge card board sheets and plastic foil.
Against my plan last week, I finished the embroidery stencils first. I had gotten quite far until Saturday after work, so I decided to cut out the few missing pieces and get it done before putting the cutting mats away and getting out the cardboard.
But I'll better let pictures speak for my actions ;)

embroidery stencils

The card boards: Grey is for the fashion fabric and red for the lining... just like their respective fabric colors, so I can't mix them up ^^
These sheets are 100x70cm big (they almost cover my table).
I missed to take a pic of the sheet for the interfacing (blue), I was too fast on starting cutting the pieces out. Also I had to go and get another blue sheet as three pieces didn't fit on the first one. (But I only got a smaller sheet of 50x70cm^^) I then also got a green sheet to make some stitching stencils. The cuff pattern was too big to fit on the A4 sheets I have at home, so I had to get a bigger one.

So today I finished cutting the pieces out and got these mountains of cardboard pattern pieces
On the right edge of the pic you can also see the weights I made from 12 glass tealight holders and modelling compound. As they were too light for my taste, I simply glued two together to get 6 weights in total and they work fine so far (they better will do in the exam, too *lol*)

So tomorrow I have to label and notch the pieces. I even got a pattern notcher specially for this task. It wasn't exactly cheap, but I know it'll be worth it. Maybe I can win the "Miss Pretty Pattern Pieces" award then or so *muahaha* I'm really curious how the patterns of the other examinees will look.
Anyway I try and save all "notchies" and show you the mountain in a few days latest ;)
And I need to remember to check the pieces with my pattern list while labeling them, to make sure I really got all pieces.

Okay, I'm off to bed, gotta notch in the morning *lol*
Have a good night and a great day

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Hurry Kids, we've got no time...

Hey guys!

I know it's been a couple of weeks already since my last post, but there wasn't actually much to tell. Also I only got three new pics for you.

The other weekend I made another mock-up of the jacket body. I had dragged down the bust dart to 2cm below the actual bust point. I also gave some more ease into the upper part of the waist darts in order to further eliminate these stupid wrinkles. It did help a bit... the wrinkles are not as deep as they were before (like predicted they are quite half as big now), still not eliminated completely. I hope that I can iron them away in the wool fabric.
You don't see much difference to the last pictures, but I'll show you anyway ;)

During the week I continued drawing the missing pattern pieces and also made an attempt to cut a stencil for the cuff embroidery out of PP foil. Unfortunately the foil was quite thick so the cutter had a hard time to get through and the pieces didn't come out a nice as hoped.
Nonetheless I tested it and made an embroidery sample last Sunday morning. Also to test how the new design would work. It will indeed save me some time in the exam which is great.
Here's the sample (I still need to iron over it)
It's really hard to catch the true colors of it.

I used better embroidery thread this time, and the colors are quite close to the ones I'm gonna use in the exam. It's a different brand though, but I think they should behave similar. I'm gonna test some more in the remaining two weeks.
OMG, only two weeks left. At this time in two weeks I'm already done with day 1 and looking at the time I better be in bed then as I have to catch the tram at 6 am the Saturday morning (exam day 2).

Anyway this week I finished on the pattern pieces and cut a new cuff embroidery stencil out of thinner foil. It worked much better, but I need to test it still and see if the cut outs are big enough for my chalk pen. I also started on cutting out the collar embroidery stencil.
This weekend will be spend with transferring the pattern pieces onto card board. I hope to get it done until Sunday evening. It's kind of the biggest step of exam prepatations, as it means I'm quite ready for the exam. As soon as I'm then done with the last foil stencil I'm ready to go. The rest is practising and then of course cutting the main pieces of the jacket and skirt and interfacing and marking them in the days right before the exam.

I also managed to get some more information about the work room the exam will be done in. My ex-intern made a contact to an internal examinee from the theater she was at for probational work (she got the apprenticeship btw *woot*).
I called the girl this evening and asked her about the machines and such. Unfortunately she told me that they had only been in these rooms once or twice at the beginning of their education, so she couldn't remember everything well. But this also means that the other examinees don't have a big advantage in handling the machines there.
She also told me that there were two (quite small) rooms, one for cutting and pressing, one for sewing. Also the ironing boards are two standard and two with air function *yay*. (Now I hope those two also have a steam compressor- sorry I got spoiled in fashion school^^).
There are two sergers and we will be around 10 examinees *phew, could have been worse*, also she will bring her own serger, so we're down to nine people sharing the other two at least ^^ (I'd bring my own, too, but already hauling my sewing machine there and all the other stuff in the tram and bus will be horrible enough). However I think it'll be managable this way.
I also managed to finally get a hold of the teacher lady again to tell me where the sewing rooms are and their number. *lol*

Okay, I guess that's it so far. I need to go to bed, I almost fell asleep twice while writing this.

Have a great weekend