I admit that I'm a typical uni-lingual Australian. However thanks to the magic of books, YouTube, books, travel and more books I can count to ten in Japanese and have a few other location-specific-but-otherwise-relatively-useless-everyday language skills. My collection of travel and language guides can only be described as Lonely Planet Fangirl.
Not surprisingly I also have a growing collection of sewing books, of which one of my favourites is Couture Sewing Techniques by Claire Shaeffer. (Find it here at The Book Depository).
So finally we have gotten to the point of this post. In Couture Sewing Claire talks about the couture workroom, or (in French) atelier: in the atelier, or workroom, of a couture house, fabric patterns are sometimes cut apart, rearranged, and sewn back together to create special effects for a particular design.
Every sewer has an atelier. You might have a whole room that is a dedicated workshop, or it might be a corner in your bedroom. You might be creating haute couture or fixing your kids' holey t-shirts. In my atelier (the dining room) patterns are cut out, material draped, seams unpicked, toiles and in-progress projects modelled and finished with joy. There are always threads and bits of material on the floorboards. The sewing machine and over locker have prides of place at the table and my dog Bruce is forever getting himself tangled in the power cords.
Your atelier is your place for learning and refining. We all make Attenborough-esque discoveries as well as mistakes worthy of a Homer's "d'oh!" whilst sewing. When I was making this Dick and Jane dress I was so focused on making sure that the words were absolutely horizontal that I failed to notice that I had pinned the pattern on the material the wrong way and cut the entire dress out upside down.
|The Dress Made Out of Sentences.|
Vogue V7848 made using Dick & Jane 'Sentence Structure' 100% cotton.
Kind of handy if I wanted to read the sentences whilst I had the dress on, but not so useful for anyone else. Luckily, Gardams had just enough left on the bolt so that I could remake it. I'm not sure how I managed such a comprehensive attention to detail win and fail simultaneously, but it's a mistake that won't be made again!
That's what your atelier is for - innovation and creativity, science and art, frustration and success, and lots of learning. Possibly also a glass of wine or two!