Guys! I made Shorts!

I’ve been sewing for about a year now, and I’ve made a handful of button down shirts, some gym shorts, baby clothes for my niece, and a peacoat for my guy. But up until this weekend I hadn’t tackled… bottoms. That changed Saturday, when I traced out the Thread Theory Jedediah Pants pattern and set out to make a pair of shorts. About a month ago I found some beautiful navy corduroy; there were two yards left on the bolt, and I thought, ”shorts”. Having never made them, however, I wanted a practice round before using the “good” fabric. When I found this print corduroy in Stone Mountain & Daughters half price bin last week, I knew I had my practice material.

And they turned out great.

I’ve been making muslins for a while when I try a new pattern, and I have to say making my test garment out of “real” fabric is a lot more satisfying. I found myself less inclined to cut corners (“this is the test one; for the real one I’d actually set the lining”) and the process felt like more fun that chore. And that’s what this is supposed to be: fun.

Things I want to remember for next time:
* Flip the pocket stitching pattern so the pockets mirror one another
* Maybe experiment with a different pattern? Or no pattern at all?
* The inseam is way too long for my liking — whack off half from the start.
* Pay closer attention to the fly facings… it turned out fine, but it seems like I must have missed something.

? Old in Art School

( )

I finished reading “Old in Art School”, by Nell Painter, this afternoon on my commute home. I felt a little sad: grief that I had to come back to the “real world”; which I’ve learned is a sign I truly loved the book. It’s also a little funny, since “Old in Art School” is a memoir.

If I had to sum up the theme of Painter’s writing, I’d say “authenticity”. Stories of pursuing authenticity, personally and artistically, weave throughout the book. And Painter wrestles with questions of authenticity and whether she answers intrinsically or extrinsically. Painter stretches for something she wants, something just beyond (or sometimes well beyond) her current mastery, and when she finds success wrestles with questions on authenticity: “am I An Artist artist?”

That push/pull (or perhaps leap/fall) dynamic is something I’ve felt in my vocation and avocation.

I feel like I gained a better understanding of my own artistic practice by reading about the development of hers.