I'm having one of those weeks where I'm being pulled in several directions and I just can't focus. I've got a project for one class and although I think its going to be easier than last week's project, I just can't bring myself to focus on it for more than an hour or so. I'm just too tired to focus, and yet I can't seem to get myself into bed at a decent hour and Alex gets up at the same time every morning. That means that I function on an average of 5-6 hours of sleep a day until I finally drop and sleep for five hours. I'm a girl who burns the candle at both ends (I always have been), and when I'm not wrapped up in some show on Netflix and knitting some project, I'm working till 1am on a homework assignment. It's not unusual for me to do homework until about 11pm-12am, and then put it down and pick up my knitting for an hour so I can turn my brain off.
Right now, I can't focus because of the creative tear that I'm on. Every few months I get a flood of project ideas and I'm usually too busy to work on them so they go into the sketch pad until I get time for them. I don't usually get time for them and when I do have time for a design of my own, I'm usually dealing with one of the new ideas that popped into my brain. My latest challenge (designing specifically for tall women) has really turned into a challenge. There aren't any standard sizes out there for tall women, and when I say tall I mean 5' 10' and over. I have to be clear on this because the Simplicity sewing pattern company seems to feel that 'tall' is anyone over 5' 6", and understandably when one considers that average height for a woman is only 5' 4". So anyone who's 6' (as I am) is freakishly tall for a woman...because 6' is technically over average height for a man! Now, I know that there must be some set of standard measurements out there, because I buy tall shirts and pants from Gap, Old Navy, and NY&Co. I've even been to a website run by an organization that supports the fashion industry, and they offer these standards for sale, but they aren't for tall women...they're for average women. That being said, I spent a good amount of my afternoon (that should have been filled with homework), figuring out the percentages of armhole depth compared to the total length of a garment, and the total length of a sleeve compared to the total length of a garment (an average length top). Turns out that there are such numbers, and now that I have them I can measure a few of my own tall tops to see if these percentages hold true or if there is an entirely different set of numbers. If the percentages are exactly the same and they just add some length to the torso, then I can just use myself as the middle size and grade my patterns out from there. If these tops have their own percentage, I can do the same thing, again using myself as an average size but I'll just have to do a little math. Once I work this all out, I'll be compiling my info and I'll have my own set of standard measurements for tall women!
Now, once all the complicated stuff is out of the way, I get to tackle actual design work. I've got several fantastic reference books and I read some reviews for a few more good ones that I've got to go order. After that, I start knitting! I might have a little yarn support to help me on my way too. I contacted the wonderful people at Cascade Yarns, and they responded to my email and sent me information on submitting patterns and getting published by them if they approve my designs. I'll even get paid if they like what I do! This might actually happen. I wonder if this is the way it went down for Wendy Bernard when she started, or for Cookie A, or Spilly Jane?