There is a method to the madness. At least, I think there is.
This is my dedicated creative space. As in the creative space that isn’t shared in my household - like the various bookshelves and supply closets. This is where I track my projects and house those projects that are in-between start and finish.
Surprisingly though, I don’t do much work here. I tend to do most of my hand sewing on the couch with music or tv on for background noise. I’ll spread out on the floor to look at reference books or set up my ironing board. The coffee table tends to see more action than the desk when I’m drawing or using Photoshop.
This has both helped and hindered my work. The flexing space keeps me from getting bored or feeling stuck, but as it’s part of the living room in my one bedroom apartment I can occasionally get distracted from the task at hand or miss important scenes during movie night while thinking about the next step of the plan.
(I advocate for separation of space whenever possible)
What does this have to do with Costumes or even Stop Motion? What do I have in my dedicated space that differs from, say a Character Designer or an Environment Artist? How am I grouping materials that I need most often together for ease of use?
Tool Tip: Pros-aide
Working on a stop-motion costume and need a durable/flexible adhesive that won’t bleed through your fabric? I was introduced to Pros-aide this year and it’s dramatically helped with my projects. Additional recommendation: Allow it to dry/become tacky before application to further decrease chances of bleed-through. Always do a test on a scrap piece before starting the real thing!
I have ordered from the following distributor and was pleased with the service and timeliness of shipping:
Frends Beauty Supply
5270 Laurel Canyon Blvd
N. Hollywood, CA 91607
ALT: Testing as Sketching
If sketching is how you improve your drawing skills,
how do you improve your fabrication skills?
A yard or so of fabric for testing, cut into sections of desired size
Keep one piece of fabric untouched - document where you purchased it, how much it cost, fiber content, etc. This is your control.
Start by dying one piece of fabric following the instructions on the bottle exactly. Label everything clearly. This is your second control.
Now, for each successive piece try something different. Change the temperature of the water. Change the duration of exposure. Mix in other dyes. Try a different brand of dye, but the same color.
After this test you’ll have leveled up your ability to color-match. You can also science with glues and paints.
Recommended: Reference photo of embroidery or stitch dictionary
Much like the idea of getting in pencil mileage, start stitching! Practice a Blind Stitch or several rows of any stitch you fancy. Can you maintain a line’s consistency or does it start to look sloppy after a while? Try to imitate a reference photo. Then try to do it again, only smaller. How small can you make the design while still being identifiable?
I used to watch my mother quilt with envy of her small, straight stitches so controlled you would have thought it was done by machine. But it’s all down to the hours she put into refining her skill. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll get there.
C. FIELD TRIP!!
Build your mental library (Or physical stash) by visiting a fabric store and identifying different fabrics - what is the fiber content? What makes one fabric stretchier than another? How does it drape? If you see a pattern you like, how might you re-create it on the correct scale? Will the fabric accept dyes?
Talk to someone who works there. You never know what valuable insight you can gain unless you ask.