Saturday, March 20, 2010

The journey so far...

Hello my fellow readers!

I'm sorry it took me some time to make this post, but I have been busy with the exam's portfolio during these last weeks. But now I'm quite ahead and this leaves me having some time this evening to care for my little blog.

As I had promised I'm gonna tell you how far I've come on my way to the tailor's exam until now.

I already started contacting the local chamber of crafts in late 2007. At this time I was looking for a job after having graduated and not getting a chance anywhere without the tailor degree that I asked if I could do the exam as an external examinee. Back then they told my that I would need to work at least one more year in a tailoring or such before being approved to do the exam.

The problem they had was that they didn't know much about the designer training, as this kind of college isn't provided in the area. They sort of believed we just learned to draw clothing but not also make (as in sew) it.

So while I was looking for a tailoring or such to take me (even as an intern) I got the pattern making job in this underwear company in the area and the whole thing was off the table for more than a year.

Last spring I made another attempt to get them to approve me to do the exam, the twist was, that I didn't want to do the written exam again, as I already passed it when doing my designer's exams and even got a certificate about it. They were still very hesitant about it and I also contacted the chamber of crafts in the district of my old fashion school to maybe do the exam there if there wasn't any chance to do it here. They immediately allowed me to take part in the exam this summer and saved a space for me, too.
I showed the lady from the chamber here the letter from the other chamber and asked again, if there wasn't any way to let me do the exam. We had a personal meeting then and I wisely took my portfolio with me.
When we came to the topic of my sewing skills I showed her our exam's suit and the other stuff I made back in fashion school and the ladys reaction was "Oh, so you really learned to sew there..."
Uhm -.-... what the heck did I try to tell her for more than one year?

Anyway she told me that although she would have to ckeck with the examination board still, there was a quite good chance to let me do the exam without the written part and that I should apply for this year's exam. At this time I was also just getting the job in the costume shop and the chamber lady insisted that I still need to work in some kind of tailoring or sewing business.

Well, I then started working in the costume shop and everything was quiet for some time. In late fall, early winter last year I started contacting the chambers again (and also my former sewing teacher from fashion school) to get more information about how the exam would take part and when. I also started filling out the application form for being approved as an external examinee which was to be sent in until February 1st.
When I had called the other chamber they told me to call back in early 2010. So nothing new *hmpf*.
I sent in the application for approval and waited. In the meantime I got some more information from the other chamber, that my place was still available and that I would probably do the exam with the other designer graduates in spring (wow, that would be soon).

Okay, so the real story starts now...
About five weeks ago I suddenly had a letter from the local chamber in my mailbox, where they sent me information forms for the exam. As it was only a couple weeks after the application deadline and I hadn't gotten an approval yet I was confused. Also because the letter stated that I had gotten pre information in late January (how, as I only sent my application in late January) and that there had been a mistake which was now taken care of and this forms were the new valid ones and I should detroy the others.

Being confused to no end I went to the chamber the next morning to ask the lady who sent the letter what it all is about. She told me that there was no reason for me to worry and that it was some standard letter to all examinees and that I was in her list, too. So this meant I was most likely approved to do the exam.
For all further information I should contact a lady from the responsible vocational school in town, also to get everything with dates and all my questions regarding the exam answered.

So I called this teacher the next Monday and made an appointment right that Wednesday when she has to free periods. She offered me to also come somewhen later, but I wanted to know everything as soon as possible.

Which was a good thing of me to do... a very good thing.
Because... the design portfolio each examinee has to give in before the actuall exam is already due on March 29th.
So this left me with less than five weeks to find a design, make the portfolio (styled matching the design) and get already all neccessary material (fabric, notions, ...). Especially the last part was difficult, it's hard to find the perfect fabrics in just a couple weeks or so...
I had my vacation scheduled in this time, too, but I had the entrepreneur class to attend then.

However I managed to find the designs quite fast and also made up my mind about the portfolio styling.
I want to make a late victorian inspired skirt suit and style the portfolio like a vintage fashion magazine. I got the needed materials for that the first day of my vacation after the class. The next day I spent the afternoon getting all designs down on paper for the first time. Wednesday and Thursday I again went looking for fabric. Again, as I had been doing a quick look right after I had gotten the dead line and I also had ordered some fabric samples from a couple online stores. I found a nice wool fabric in a local designer fabric store and had it saved for me for a week as I planned to go to another store in another city the last Monday (when having a full day free, and yes we're getting to the very present right now). I didn't find nice fabric in said store, so I only got the lining and a couple pairs of shoulder pads as well as the emboridery thread for he required decorating element and went to get the wool fabric and buttons from the local store right this day. The other stuff and notions I ordered at our shop's whole saler and they arrived today *yay*

In the meantime I finally had gotten an official letter stating my approval for the exam, but only after I asked for it again while being at the chamber for my class anyway. Everything else I did before was being done without being completely sure about the approval.
And as it was said that with the approval I'd get a money order to pay the working fees for the application I wouldn't even have the thing yet, as I'm still waiting for the money order (they stated it was sent later in the approval).
So I'm not really sure how they would have handled it, if there hadn't been this mistake in the exam forms.
I wouldn't have known about my approval yet and about the deadline for the portfolio... leaving me with 8 days from today...
Quite impossible to manage creating the portfolio in less than a week.

Also my former teacher emailed me back that I would rather do the exam with the tailor examinees there in summer, too instead of the April designer exam. But after I got the approval here I cancelled my place there as the exam was now quite the same, around the same time, I had started with the portfolio here and I could now put the money I would have spent on travelling and staying there for the exam time on the fabric :D.

So in the last days I completed all drawings and designs for the portfolio. I put them together this morning and early afternoon (after work) and went to the copy shop to get it all printed on sepia colored paper. After this I treated the pages' edges with black tea and my blow dryer to have them looking even older.

Tomorrow I want to do an embroidery sample to put in the portfolio as well and cut the fabric swatches to glue them in. Then I just need to take a pic of my buttons, print it out, glue it in and color the emboidery design drawing. Then I should be done *wohoo*
I hope to give it to the teacher lady next Wednesday in her free periods. I know that it is about 5 days early, but I'm glad when it is off my table... because I know I'd start worrying about if it is good enough having it lying around here after being finished...

I'm still curious when the money order will arrive as I can take that day as the actual date when I would have gotten the approval... wanna take bets if it is before the due date of the porfolio or after?

Okay so this is the story about my journey to the tailor's exam so far.
I maybe post public pictures of my portfolio after the design has been approved after April 16th.
Stay tuned ;)

Thanks for reading

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