Just another summer workday

I work in a student-centered office. We’re basically here to serve them (to a certain extent…I’m not their maid, and I’ve told some of them as much in the past) with a variety of programs. However, since most students tend to skip off to wherever they call home or travel to vacation spots over the summer, the campus is very much dead when June rolls around. Since my building houses mostly various University Life offices – said offices serving the same almost non-existent student population – my building is remarkably quiet most of the summer. Well, for June, at least. July signals the beginning of the STEP summer program. After July 5th I can expect things to get pretty raucous around here.

Not now, though. Some days it’s actually possible to go through an entire shift without seeing a single soul in the hallway that leads to my office. Sometimes I like those days. It’s nice to get a break from having to deal with people.

Most of the time, though, I just sit at the front desk, bored out of my skull. I usually have a book with me so I’ll usually end up reading for a while. Or surfing the internet. I actually do a lot of my costume research while I’m at work during the summer. Sometimes I remember to bring something to work on. Those are the most interesting days – surfing the web or reading both engage your brain (at least, the way I surf) but I tend to get restless at the desk. I feel the need to be doing something.

Today that “something” entailed downloading and tracing a free pattern from burdastyle.com – actually traced it on the computer…the computer screen, that is. I used the screen as a kind of make-shift lightbox. I then proceeded to piece together the pages and cut out a pattern for a high-waisted eight piece skirt. (www.burdastyle.com/patterns/show/3965) It’s similar in some ways to the pants I made for my steampunk costume. The pants ended up not working out as well as I would have liked, so I’ve decided to make up a skirt and see how I like the new look.

And yes, in case it wasn’t exactly clear in that last paragraph, I was paid to sit in the middle of my office’s lobby floor and piece a hand-traced skirt pattern together with Scotch tape. Loads and loads of Scotch tape.

Some people steal office supplies, I create random clothing & craft-related chaos.

This is my first time really utilizing the Burda Style website. I discovered it a couple months ago (there was an ad for it in Threads Magazine. One of the incredibly interesting things about it is the wide selection of FREE patterns you can find. The site is basically an online gathering place for people who love to sew. In addition to “How-To” advice and a section that showcases contributors’ creations, there is a whole section of the site devoted to the patterns created by your fellow community members. The patterns range from simple hand puppets to complicated gowns requiring knowledge of and experience with advanced couture techniques. Each pattern is rated, both by the person who drafted it (saying whether they think it is an easy-to-construct pattern or not) and by other community members who have used it.

Most of the patterns here are free (both copyright-free and price-wise) and available for printing at home. That’s where I ran into my problem, though. The pdf file shows the lines for the pattern going to the very edge of the paper, but it doesn’t print out this way. Hence the tracing from the computer screen. I’m not sure whether the pattern came out the right size, but I intend to make a muslin in the coming week.

Regardless of how this pattern turns out, I encourage you to take a look around the Burda Style website. You do need to register, but registration is free and fairly easy. It’s also a good idea to write down what your measurements are in centimeters, instead of the usual inches that Americans go by. In case you’ve ever looked inside the Burda catalog at your local fabric and pattern supplier, you might have noticed that Burda uses the metric system for their measurements. That’s because Burda is a European-based pattern company.

It’s just about time for me to clock out here at the front desk. My pattern is neatly taped and not so neatly folded (the roll of tape holding the various pages together makes it feel much like laminated paper), waiting to be tucked into my bag and taken home.

I’m way too happy about goofing off this way at work.

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