Creative Problem-Solving

Sometimes, even the most enjoyable creative projects can run into problems. For this week’s post, I’d like to share how I’m using creativity and logic to work around a couple of problems that I’ve run into recently. I’ll start with a writing-related problem and its solution, followed by a sewing-related problem and its solution.

Problem: On Saturday night, I reached the point in Season 1 of The Questors from Effpiem where the characters put on a play. In the original version of the serial, the play they put on was a re-enactment of a certain scene from a certain comedy movie that is very popular with geeks. (Hint: the characters chose that scene because one of their party members is a sapient rabbit.) However, I plan on releasing my new podcast, The Bardic Circle, under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which probably means the serial shouldn’t contain such a recognizable reference to copyrighted material.

Solution: In the revised, remastered version of the serial, instead of re-enacting that scene, the characters will re-enact the story of the founding of their country, Effpiem. This change actually solves two problems at the same time: the copyright problem, and the problem of accessibility and appeal to a broader audience. The original version of the serial was written to entertain a specific community, in a specific corner of the Internet, at a specific time. I’m still a part of that community and I hope my friends there like the new version, but I also want my podcast to reach a much wider circle of people. If things go the way I hope they will, there will be plenty of people in my audience who aren’t in on the many in-jokes in the old version of the serial, and who don’t know that “Effpiem” and “Podango” are references to entities that existed before the serial did. And that’s fine; listeners shouldn’t need to know that to enjoy the story. With this revised scene, I hope to give my fantasy world a better backstory that everyone will enjoy.

Problem: Most of my sewing projects start out with commercial Misses-sized sewing patterns. Most commercial Misses-sized sewing patterns assume that the wearer of the finished product has basically no belly fat. (No, I am not going to talk about beauty or body image in this post, I promise.) I’ve made a couple dresses that I’m less than completely happy with because I didn’t adjust the pattern correctly before I started, so they’re too tight in the waist and/or hips.

Solution: Recently, I finally sat down and thought about how I could solve this problem. Here’s my line of reasoning:

  • I need the bodice of this dress to be size X, and the rest of it to be size Y.
  • All the bodice pattern pieces have lines marked on them for both sizes X and Y.
  • There will be a seam where the bodice and skirt come together.
  • Therefore, on each bodice pattern piece, I need to draw a new line that connects the line for size X with the line for size Y. This line needs to start a little below the bust line and end at the bottom of the pattern piece.
  • That way, the bottom edge of the bodice will be the correct size to match up with the skirt, for which all the pieces will be cut out at size Y.

That last bullet is a hypothesis, and I’m currently conducting an experiment to see how accurate it is. I’m making a dress out of cotton I had left over from the pants I made for Pirate Fest last summer, using the above technique. If it works out, I will have a cute sundress that fits me perfectly, and if it doesn’t work out, I’ve only wasted leftover cotton, not my good costume fabric. I will take what I learn from that process and apply it to the dresses I’m planning to make out of said good fabric. I’ve got a long road ahead of me, but I’m pretty excited about it.

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