The NCSA you see above would now be UNCSA, or the University North Carolina School of the Arts, but it didn’t officially have its U back when I was a student, although it was part of the University of North Carolina system at that time.
Last century you guys. Why do I still have these? Well, honestly because they’re small. Easier to keep on keeping them than to open them up and make a decision. Plus there was so much effort involved in these damned jackets. I guess it took sixteen years to feel secure that I really truly will never want these again.
Let’s look inside.
Wow, ok so October 4, 1999. That would’ve been fall of my senior year of school, which sounds about right, tailoring not being something you throw at the freshmen. Jason M. would’ve been an a opera student who they knew would have a role in the spring opera. His role wouldn’t have been assigned yet, but his teachers would’ve known he would be in it, so a costume tech student (me) could make him a suit, with fabric that the costume design student had bought in New York for the upcoming opera.
It was all very symbiotic. Later, closer to the production, roles would be assigned, costumes for the ladies would be made, but for the men’s tailoring we had a whole semester of lead time to, you know, learn and then do tailoring.
And this is the sack coat, for some dude named Andrew, who would’ve been a drama student with an unassigned role in an upcoming play. Looks like I worked on this one in December of 1999. Oh, man, all that business around the welt and the roll line. I want to text my past self some encouraging emojis or something. Kitten dangling from a tree branch, thumbs up, heart heart heart.
My handwriting has changed. So rounded back then. Also, why did I write “corrected” in such a quiet yellow? Seems like I would’ve been shouting it from the rooftops.
Ok so obviously these two patterns are a Throw It. I would never try and work from these now. I mean, for one thing, let’s get real snobby here: I don’t work with brown paper, not since my student days. White pattern-paper, printed with a grid for me please, brown paper is for Crafts and Theater. It’s not that I’m too fancy for brown paper anymore, grid paper is just easier.
Looking at these patterns though, makes me think of sugar cookies:
Those were long days at school. Thursday’s in particular.
Academic classes from 8am-12, then I think I had Costume History, and then a life-drawing lab for three hours, then my work/study job, then crew from 7pm to 11pm. Crew meant building costumes for upcoming productions, but not including class work like tailoring. We had 20 hours of mandatory scheduled crew per week, show up a minute late and you were dropped a full letter grade, and we were in charge of teams of freshman stitchers.
After all that my friend Tara and I would drive to the 24 hour grocery to stock up for the week. Neither of us lived on campus so we were in charge of feeding ourselves. The bakery section of this particular grocery store had a box with a sign saying Please Enjoy A Cookie, and inside would be these big flat sugar cookies, with rough edges and soft centers and crystals of sugar on top. It sometimes amazed me that there were any left in the box at 11:30 at night. I wonder now if someone had caught on to our schedule and was making sure a few were in there for us. I remember those free cookies as, like, a moment of kindness.