After the surprising success of my fitted, fully darted, seismic pencil skirt, (engineered after the infamous burning of the ugly pants) my DIY ego has been leading me in strange and exciting directions. And after hearing that the client was thrilled with the S&M hood and handcuffs sketchbook cover/tote I designed, I can’t help but look at my own life with the same new freedom – as a series of creative problems to be solved. It’s an attitude I remember as being intrinsic to my nature, but one I thought I had to give up in order to ‘grow up’. Never! But I’m still trapped rolling paper on the 6th floor, while the offices of Blank Canvas Living, with their Antarctic restroom, are only 4 floors above me – may as well be the moon.
With a long, depressingly bleak workday ahead, I turn to the most primal of motivators, sex, to help me survive the 8 ½ hour abyss that lies ahead. But my Vargas pin-up sexy secretary style proves sorely lacking. No amount of tucking and sucking in front of the office bathroom mirror will fix my waistline’s lack of Vargas worthy shaping. The shirt puffs, and the skirt hangs as straight as a 1930s school marm’s who’s given up on men for good. Not to be defeated (and having no ready access to a Spanx body shaper) I look to the resources at hand: geophysical seismic paper plots (think earthquake movies), tape, and scissors.
The first pattern fails miserably, and my DIY ego takes a major hit. But no matter, for my second attempt (checkmarked in illustration), I cut a new darting pattern and attach the sliced sections back together with clear packing tape. Note on darting: Straight vertical cuts for waist portion – size tightly to waist measurement. Triangle lower cuts create flare to give shape under skirt – size to desired hip flare. I laminate the ‘wrong’ side of the paper with more packing tape to give it substance and durability, but leave the seismic detailing bare, its printed squiggles conveniently matching my b/w outfit.
Back in the office bathroom, I tape the Spanx-effect waist shaper closed at the front, then spin it round so the seam is at the back. To make sure my knit skirt doesn’t slide around, I secure it with a few loops (like you’d use to stick a picture to a wall) of tape below the waistline – mission Vargasification accomplished. I experience an unexpected, but surprisingly delightful girdling effect. My posture instantly improves and my shape, if I do say so myself, would have made any pin up artist proud. I have to confess, I spend the rest of the day strutting around salaciously in my own private episode of Mad Men. But sadly, the office fellows seem more impressed with my use of their geophysical data than my seismically defined curves. Sigh… it’s a geophysicists’ world and I’m only working in it.