For a long time now I have been working on writing a how-to manual forcostumers, always starting off with the idea that such a book had to be simple, straightforward, and instructional, like a cookbook, or a Chilton's guide to auto repair. Everytime, I fail. First, because my personality intrudes; second, because, (I've slowlyrealized) costuming, both design and construction, is an art, and can't be expressed inpurely mechanical terms. My writing becomes personal, I start to advise my prospectivereader like one of my students, and the whole thing passes into a different areaaltogether: the "self-help" book.
At length I've realized, this isn't so bad. After all, if there are selfhelp books for shy people, "co-dependent" people, dieters, children ofalcoholics, and every other group on earth, why not costumers? Why should we need any lesssupport and advice than other mortals? Particularly, since we are, by and large,underpaid, overworked, and a complete embarrassment to our families? We do something for aliving or hobby, that by any standards other than our own, is insane. M.Celestine G.Ranneysays it best: "I make clothes for imaginary people." Clearly, one way or anotherwe need psychological support, as well as the usual technical help, even if only to makebetter clothes for imaginary people.
However, I still think that to be useful for a costumer, this book needsa structure that is as compartmentalized as a cookbook. If I want advice on anything, Iwant it to the point, not buried under a mountain of theory. So here it is, chopped intobite-sized portions that are easy to digest. Don't read it all at once; it's not that kindof book.