Sunday, October 24, 2010

The DressCoat Incident

So the other day I was cleaning out my old computer and I came across this little piece of embarrassing past memories: an essay I wrote back in the day when I was applying for a job with Teach for America. I didn’t get the job (probably because I seriously question the programs effectiveness) but this essay did land me an interview and I wrote about sewing. Go figure. 

What you are about to read is mostly true and only slightly dramatized for entertainment purposes.

      “Nnnnooooooo!” my high pitched shriek echoed through the apartment. I was two days away from the due date of a coat project I had spent several weeks working on for one of my design classes, and I had just inadvertently sabotaged the front section of my coat. The assignment had been an easy one: I was to create a coat to demonstrate mastery of basic and intermediate sewing skills. The project had been going well until I lost control of my scissors hand and accidentally slashed through my fabric leaving a three-inch gash in the center front of the coat. I was doomed. I was unlikely to hide a hole the size of the Grand Canyon from my professor and submitting the coat in the current condition was inexcusable. To make matters worse, my solutions seemed limited and impossible. With enough fabric I could have cut out a new front section and completed the project. But I did not have enough fabric, and I had purchased the fabric at a store two hours away; there was no time for a mini road trip. Alternatively, I could buy new fabric and start the coat over, but two days was not enough to create an entire coat. I seemed to be stuck.

       I am not the type to give up, however, and I was determined to find a solution. I took a few yoga breaths to remain calm and it hit me; I would make the hole look as if I had put it there intentionally. I grabbed my favorite sewing book and started flipping through it. I opened to a section on pockets and the headline for welt pockets caught my eye. The welt pocket is a technique commonly found in high quality garments. It is an advanced method; one I had read about but had never attempted because one step involves slashing the fabric. I wondered if I could build the pocket around the preexisting slash. I believed I could, and I was up for the challenge. My hands were trembling as I took my fist stitches and my body forgot to breath. This had to work.

     It took me several hours to produce the pocket, but the effort was worth it because I had created a flawless ( I might have fibbed a bit about this) single welt pocket, solved my tragedy and completed the project by the due date. Blagh blagh blagh. This is where the essay starts to get mushy as I try to make it clear that I would be a good employee and I’m not going to bore you with that.

But here is a picture of the infamous coat and not quite flawless welt pocket.

 And for the record, I now make a mean welt pocket.

 That is why they call me the




The Weltinator Dun dun dun!

Happy reminiscing
~Melisa & Cordelia

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