I’ve been distracted by my job search lately and haven’t given Red Violet the attention it needs to grow. In fact, when I had coffee with another designer on Saturday, she had to convince me that there are women out there who need my shirts.

One reason I’ve lost sight of my goal is that it’s taking so long to create the first shirt. At my original patternmaker’s studio for the second fitting last week, Andrea looked like she was wearing a big box that she’d grabbed from a man’s closet. It needed so many corrections that I can’t use it for costing with sewing contractors yet, which makes me wonder if I can meet the April 1st deadline for the Queens business plan competition that I had planned to enter.

On the other hand, our meeting with Tina, my second patternmaker, was encouraging. It’s only a block, but Andrea looked amazing in it. A block, by the way, is a very basic pattern without any of the ultimate design details. Tina will use this block as the foundation for the styles I design later, with different necklines, collars or sleeve lengths or the placement of darts. As amazing as the block looked, it still requires changes, the biggest having to do with the need for more fabric in front and less in back—just the issue that most of us face when we shop for button-front woven shirts.

We return for follow-up fittings tomorrow. Here’s hoping my shirts are closer to a reality.