Central Saint Martins – Week 8 In Humiliation

This week we did collars in class. The above dummy is wearing a stand collar and a shawl collar. I made one of them. Just. This was another week where my brain was just so fried after a day at work. Definitely the biggest challenge of this course is that three hours of concentrating after eight hours in the office has sometimes been … taxing.

If my energy levels were ever low on my two dressmaking courses, I could quietly sit down at the sewing machine and go into zen mode. Not on this course – and most definitely not last night! It’s hard to be zen when your cheeks are burning with embarrassment.

We only have two weeks left, so the teacher asked if there was anything we particularly wanted to cover before the end of the course. All I really wanted to know was how to grade my industry size bodice block to Karen size. (And you know I’m not talking about grading down.)

My request duly noted, the teacher came over to me as students got on with their work. ‘I’ll help you,’ she said. ‘We’ll take your measurements together.’ She waved a hand at the voluminous jumper I was wearing. ‘You’ll need to take that off.’

What? What?! I was wearing a long-sleeved T-shirt beneath the jumper. You know, one of those really clingy ones. Tucked unflatteringly into the waistband of my jeans. I think a moan escaped me. I definitely croaked, ‘Oh god.’ I quickly adjusted the jeans over my stomach, then did the unthinkable – I took my jumper off in a roomful of people.

As the teacher whipped around me taking the measurements in professional super-fast speed, two thoughts reeled around my brain:

  • Thank GOD I’d had the wherewithall to put a cream bra on beneath my cream T-shirt. For once.
  • Thank GOD I was liberal with the deodorant this morning.

If Bridget Jones developed a sudden, passionate interest in sewing, she couldn’t make more of a fool of herself than I do. Let’s look on the bright side. I now have a custom-made bodice block. And no one saw me wearing a black bra beneath a cream T-shirt.

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34 Responses to Central Saint Martins – Week 8 In Humiliation

  1. Felicity from Down Under says:

    I laughed aloud at this post, thank you for the hilarity at the end of a very, very long day. Some people will tell you that, post childbirth, you don’t care about what’s on show. I don’t know whether that’s entirely the case, but it’s probably true that you reach a point of resignation about it all. So you not having got there via that route, to be bravely undressing – well, I’m full of admiration. And matching undies what’s more! Speechless, that’s me. Speechless. Our mornings are becoming cooler, so I’m in the middle of making a tracksuit top for my son. Off I go to do some adjustments on it. I can tell you, he certainly won’t have matching undies when I want to try it on him.

  2. Anne W says:

    Hehehe, funny! I have seen some strange things when taking people’s measurements, but it doesn’t phase me. Good luck with your custom block, looking forward to see what you make with it!

  3. Jane says:

    Very impressed you were wearing a matching bra under your cream top – though after the Judy Finnigan debacle years ago, I’ve never gone out without my bra matching! Can you imagine the horror if your bra had been black!! I like the sound of your custom made bodice block too. x

  4. Marie says:

    Oh Karen, you crack me up! I’m sure it wasn’t as bad as you think and what a snall sacrifice for your very own, custom-made bodice block! How cool is that?!?

  5. Roobeedoo says:

    I bet she’s seen worse! 😉
    No, but seriously, that half would not have bothered me in the least… just be grateful she didn’t want you to whip off your bottom half for a trouser block – to me that would be TRUE humiliation in the depths of winter before de-forestation…

  6. Vicki Kate says:

    Oh! At least it was a tight t and you didn’t have to go down to your bra?! Would your instructor have asked you do that?!?!? For one moment whilst reading I thought that was what you were going to say… I don’t think I have any matching underwear, although I do at least try and have a nude coloured bra under a white shirt, but that’s the limit of my underwear co-ordination… That block though will be worth it’s weight in gold though!

  7. PendleStitches says:

    Roobeedoo got there before me! It could have been so very much worse. And it’s definitely worth it.

  8. KristenMakes says:

    You always make me laugh! Well done you for braving it! And, wow, what a lovely teacher to take the time to help you out. Sounds like a class really worthwile.

  9. ah Karen,I know exactly the feeling… Happen to me and I had to be on my undies as my clothes were too bag and full of fabric and i thought thank good I’m wearing matching good ones… and from now one no matter what sewing class I will always think twice what I’m wearing ..

    these course seems good… maybe I will take it one day.

  10. Tamsin says:

    You make me laugh!!! I’m with Roobeedoo – deforestation is always an issue in winter…. Last term (just before Christmas) my tutor was helping me get the hem length right on my (summer) dress, so she had me standing on a table in my frock, winter socks and bog-brush legs – eewww!

  11. Siga says:

    Thank god you were at least wearing something underneath that jumper! I find myself in situations like that when I have only a bra underneath.

  12. Spikeabell says:

    hah, in my early twenties I was being ‘pincushion’ for one of my pattern making class mates, it was a strapless bodice. Our teacher points out..”did you know you have red scratch marks all over your back Spike?” me, all surprised..”why no, i had no idea!”. I was thinking mosquito bites the rest of the class plus teacher were thinking i had a good night in bed! Once I caught on I was a bit embarrassed…

  13. CGCouture says:

    So did she show you how to actually grade it, or did she just do it for you?

  14. LinB says:

    Oh, humiliation! I feel sure that the teacher did not even stop to think that you might be embarrassed. When you’re involved in measuring someone else, you’re too involved in the metrics to bother with even noticing if they have on clothing at all. Please tell me, though, that she simply jotted down the numbers on a piece of paper and did not shout them out to an assistant! Worst embarrassment I ever caused was when I reminded my costume design professor that we needed to measure the rise on a male ballet dancer, for the leotard we were custom-making. Dancer was more than relieved to learn that all we wanted to measure was how far his bum was from his waist while he was sitting down.

  15. Elizabeth says:

    I have learned, the hard way, to always wear your best undergarments to a sewing/fitting class. Welcome to the club Karen! 😉

  16. oonaballoona says:

    oh sweet lord how i wish i could take this class with you.

  17. It’s so nice to read these comments and realize we’ve all been there! Last week in class I realized I need to try on two sleeveless (one strapless) muslins while wearing my scummiest bra and not having shaved my armpits in a week. Man, have I ever let myself go!
    Don’t beat yourself up, Karen! I can’t imagine trying to learn collars in one class.

  18. silvia says:

    I kept waiting for the embarrassing part of the story. I think you’ve got a lovely figure and as I have little to no shame, wouldn’t mind stripping off in class. It was certainly worth it for a custom bodice block. Probably no one in class even noticed your striptease anyway so start patternmaking with that new block!

  19. We must all make a pact immediately to only wear good knickers in case we ever get run over by a bus. It’s a minefield out there, guys!

  20. Kristen says:

    That seems worth it! I’m taking my first little sewing class, and I’m astounded at the stupid mistakes I make when someone’s watching… don’t get me wrong, I make all sorts of mistakes when I’m sewing at home by myself. But the ones I’ve made in class, oh goodness. I think I’ll blame it on going to the class after a full day of work – you’re not alone in that! 🙂

  21. Joanne says:

    heheh when I did a sewing class a few years ago I HATED having to try on the dress I was making. It was awful and reminded me of when my mum used to make me try on clothes in the middle of C&A. No fun at all. Full marks for matching bra colour to t-shirt – something I often neglect myself 🙂

  22. ooobop! says:

    Oh how funny! You are such therapy Karen! Hats off for sticking with an after work course. That must take some doing! Gotta be worth it if only to get someone else to draft you a perfect block!

  23. nothy lane says:

    Great post. God! I thought I was the only one who found herself in humialiating circumstances like the one you did.

  24. Kalina says:

    Gosh Karen, how I understand you! I was feeling like I was there instead of you when I was reading your post. Funny that so many people say that’s how they’ve learned to wear nice/matching underwear to sewing classes 🙂

  25. dressesandme says:

    Haha you crack me up Karen! I love reading your blog!

  26. Sufiya says:

    Huh, at least you HAD a bra on! I showed up at my pattern drafting class WITHOUT one,(what an idiot) and so it was no use doing any fitting on me; everything would “change’ from the week before! It wasn’t a ‘real” class, just a little course offered locally by a local seamstress, so losing a day put me waaaay behind!

    I will remark that it is important to realize that “shape” and “size” changes from bra to bra (or NO bra) and so it is important not to fit something in one bra and then wear the item with another one and expect it to fit the same way! I have heard LOTS of complaints from commercial seamstresses who have clients who show up for fittings in a different bra every time!

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