Six hours of hard labor yesterday produced this draped muslin:
I would have taken a shot of the whole thing, but unfortunately I made a mistake early on in the skirt pattern, so the skirt and the bodice wound up on different sides of the form! I will correct that when I redo the muslin, partly for practice and partly to get a full mockup, so I can establish the correct fitting lines on my dress form. We took a guess, but I’m pretty certain we didn’t hit it exactly.
Anyway, in six hours we managed to cover the basic bodice and skirt. I’ll then take about a month to practice draping the basic bodice and skirt, dart variations, etc. before meeting up with Sharon again in mid-March. I may, if ambitious enough, also try draping a pattern for this cape-vest combination, which I am still planning to use for the Celtic braid fabric:
Which leads into Linda’s comment (on my last post) about learning:
Your gem ties into the work of Carol Dweck, which I just started reading about last night. She investigates the effect of ‘mindset’ on learning in a variety of situations. When a person perceives ability to be a fixed attribute, the goal they pursue is others’ positive regard of their current skill level. This leads to low risk-taking (which might disclose low skill level), low effort (effort is a symbol of low skill), and low learning. When ability is perceived to be changeable, the goal is learning. Effort is then an indication of improvement and risk-taking in the service of learning is favored. The result is a higher eventual skill level.
Since most crafters are hobbyists and are working for sheer enjoyment, the possible goals may be a little different. Or not. I’m interested in your thoughts.
I’m curious where you read about this, because I read about this recently as well, in Josh Waitzkin’s The Art of Learning. You have probably heard about Josh already – he was the chess whiz kid on whom the book/movie Searching for Bobby Fischer was based, now grown up and World Champion in Tai Chi. (And also still a pretty darn good chess player.) He wrote:
Developmental psychologists have done extensive research on the effects of a student’s approach on his or her ability to learn and ultimately master material. Dr. Carol Dweck, a leading researcher in the field of developmental psychology, makes the distinction between entity and incremental theories of intelligence. Children who are “entity theorists”—that is, kids who have been influenced by their parents and teachers to think in this manner—are prone to use language like “I am smart at this” and to attribute their success or failure to an ingrained and unalterable level of ability. They see their overall intelligence or skill level at a certain discipline to be a fixed entity , a thing that cannot evolve. Incremental theorists, who have picked up a different modality of learning—let’s call them learning theorists —are more prone to describe their results with sentences like “I got it because I worked very hard at it” or “I should have tried harder.” A child with a learning theory of intelligence tends to sense that with hard work, difficult material can be grasped—step by step,incrementally , the novice can become the master.
Dweck’s research has shown that when challenged by difficult material, learning theorists are far more likely to rise to the level of the game, while entity theorists are more brittle and prone to quit. Children who associate success with hard work tend to have a “mastery-oriented response” to challenging situations, while children who see themselves as just plain “smart” or “dumb,” or “good” or “bad” at something, have a “learned helplessness orientation.”
…What is compelling about this is that the results have nothing to do with intelligence level. Very smart kids with entity theories tend to be far more brittle when challenged than kids with learning theories who would be considered not quite as sharp. In fact, some of the brightest kids prove to be the most vulnerable to becoming helpless, because they feel the need to live up to and maintain a perfectionist image that is easily and inevitably shattered. As an observer of countless talented young chess players, I can vouch for the accuracy of this point—some of the most gifted players are the worst under pressure, and have the hardest time rebounding from defeat.
(The Art of Learning, incidentally, is a darn good book. I bought the Kindle edition while traveling, and read through it in a single day – I couldn’t put it down! Considering how little “just for fun” reading I do these days, that’s amazing.)
Anyway, I’ve definitely seen both modes in crafters. In particular, I see a lot of novices try something, fail to do it perfectly, get discouraged, and quit. And teachers often complain about novices walking into their classroom and wanting the teacher to hold their hand while they tackle something far beyond their skill. To me this is another form of entity learning – “please help me do something impossibly difficult so I can feel like a success”. One of the reasons I emphasize so heavily that you will be bad at the outset (because you haven’t developed skills) is precisely to address entity learners: one of Dweck’s other findings was that you can temporarily reprogram entity learners into learning theorists by specifically setting expectations about learning. I’m hoping the book will help people shift approaches, though I gather it is fairly difficult to do so after reaching adulthood.
Speaking of the book, I better go off and write!