I have taken on the Victorian tailoring project for Arts Educational Schools’ professional wardrobe department. I will complete a three-piece suit of a jacket, waistcoat and trousers that will be fitted to one of their acting students. I will complete the suit using theatrical tailoring methods, as the costume will be going into a store and therefore will be altered in the future. This is therefore a period style suit made to fit a modern body type. There will be one fitting.
I became interested in tailoring after completing the Tailored Waistcoat workshop in November. I wanted to learn more about the practice, which previously had been practically unknown to me.
This project involves making a suit which stylistically seems fairly simple, yet encompasses a myriad of techniques which I currently do not have within my skill set. I am therefore seeing this project as a platform to learn specialist tailoring techniques, which I can then apply in the future to create more complex and innovative garments. An in-depth understanding of construction has definitely improved my approach to costume design and interpretation. Thus the opportunity to learn about tailoring will be very helpful to me, as it is an area in which I am weak.
Tailoring requires a lot of concentration, and stress is placed very much on accuracy, as there is so little margin for error. I am hoping that after completing the suit, my level of skill in making garments will have greatly improved. I will then be able to transfer this ability to my future work in Level 6. As I have progressed through the course, it has become more and more evident that the ability to work precisely and accurately is very important in costume making work, and especially in keeping this in mind throughout a whole project. This is something that I have struggled with in the past, sometimes losing concentration and being unable to rectify mistakes afterwards. Due to the nature of the working methods, tailoring seems like a good opportunity to work on developing this.
I am concerned about the amount of time available, and am a little apprehensive about being able to complete a full suit given the time frame. I will therefore work on the waistcoat as independently as possible, given that I have already completed one similar. I aim to use tutorials as fully as possible, in order to learn the things I currently have no knowledge of.
To draft the suit blocks, I will research the style lines of the era (1890s) and investigate tailor’s systems. In order to complete the suit, I must first do a lot of research into the tailoring techniques, in order to be able to comprehend how to go about constructing a tailored garment. I will accumulate all of this information in to a research file, and will document my progress working on the project in an evaluative manner on a reflective blog online.