Things have slowed down a bit in the patternmaking world lately. At first I thought it was all post fashion week fatigue, but the lack of work has dragged on past the normal month or so. I think people are really assessing things, determining where to go next in this environment, and taking their time thinking about it. The result for me however, has been monstrously long "weekends" and 2 or 3 days of work a week. This week I didn't work at all. Now this could be fun -- for instance, my roommate Lillian and I are planning on spending the entire day working on our summer wardrobes (this involves lots of bleach, distressing, and black dye). But it also means I need some work on the side.
Which is a lead-up to say that Lillian and I have been working on a project that involves germ filtering tents for baby car seats. A fun technical problem, but not something either of us are going to be excited about putting on our resume. This led to a couple conversations with friends about what our worst or most ridiculous job related to our field has been. Lillian made patterns for a woman who was creating "designer scrubs." Another friend, an artist, made a backdrop for a Marlboro ad and felt like she was selling her soul the whole time. And my friend Julia, a videographer, worked for a year at a company who's main client was Popeye's Chicken. And she's vegan.
My most absurd career related job was a freelance gig I took a couple summers ago for a wealthy young man who wanted costumes for Burning Man. I agreed to sew him three v-neck t-shirts and two pairs of pants, all made of animal print spandex, much of with a metallic finish. He wanted them all VERY tight, to the point that when I was taking measurements he mentioned that I should take a little extra off the pants measurements because he doesn't wear underwear out at Burning Man.
I had successfully completed the t-shirts and started on the pants when my sewing machine stopped working. Completely stopped, full of loopy bobbin mess and weird thumping sounds, unable to proceed. Oddly (and fortunately), it worked fine on every other type of fabric. So I pawned the pants project off on a friend. She told me later that he had insisted on doing the fitting for the pants without his underwear on. Jesus. I haven't taken a freelance sewing job since.
I want to hear everyone else's stories of skill and talent used for odd and/or soul sucking jobs. Post yours!