Wednesday, 24 January 2018

2017 - year in review and planning til mid 2018

Last year was a mixed year personally. It started with me having just being diagnosed the hard way (unplanned trip to hospital emergency) that I have a new chronic health condition. Not curable but manageable and so so far I've managed it pretty well.  I had also recently moved home after 19.5 years in the previous place and although I love where I live now and it's so much better in many ways (more space, close to where my friends now live) it was enormously stressful.  About half way through the year I realised that I had low level depression. That's a sneaky sucker and recognising it has helped me structure things so that it doesn't get worse. It's slowly lifting but not completely gone.

I'd decided earlyish in the year that I wouldn't make any new costumes but concentrate on sewing real life clothing. That's not been entirely productive, but I'll get there.

I finished my lobster print dress - though I don't like the fit of it - and the skeleton cat+fishbowl dress which I love wearing. Both these dresses get compliments whenever I wear them, although the lobster gets a little side-eye as well.

I'm not beating myself up for what I haven't achieved - that would only enable the depression.

I do have grander plans for 2018, which are mostly costume based.  Mainly because I'm going to the Jane Austen Festival in Kentucky and Costume College in LA, both in July.

The reaction when I say I'm going to Kentucky, Cincinatti and Detroit before Los Angeles has most people confused.  Unless they're a costumer or understand how much I love making and wearing historical costumes. Then JAFK makes perfect sense as does CoCo.

I'm trying to set up new habits for sewing, so that I'm productive. If I wake up early, I'm going to do half an hour sewing before heading into work. I'm planning to do 30 minutes of something/anything sewing as soon as I've eaten after getting home.   I'm going to focus on underpinnings first. The less exciting side of things being a corded petticoat for 1830s wear. I have the cotton organdy, and piping cord and pattern/instructions. First I need to find the organdy.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

replacing my laundry hamper lining

The lining on my laundry hamper got shabbier than I'd like, so it was time to make a replacment.  This time not from unbleached calico but a yellow and white stripe cotton twill.  I originally got a different fabric but realised that I was procrastinating because I just didn't like it as much.  I'd gone to Spotlight with a friend who was looking for Grinch fabric (which ended up out of stock) and realised that they had a sale so grabbed the stripe as well as some bargain blockout lining that I need. $14 down to $4, yes please I'll take 6 metres of lining at that price.

The hamper lining is very simple. A tube to fit the widest part of the tapered basket, gathered onto a circle slightly larger than the base inside.  The previous one I made had an elastic casing under the outside lip to stop it from slipping inside but that wasn't as effective as I'd hoped.  So this one has tape n each side that ties through the handles to help prevent the liner from getting dragged down inside. There's also a ridiculously long edge so that it doesn't slip inside at one point and drag the entire liner inside ... which happened a few times with the old one.

I covered the lid also - a circle with an elastic bias tape casing on the edge.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Non-garment sewing wishlist for the xmas hols

I realised this morning that the list I posted yesterday was short, because the non-clothing items were missing.

I bought a folding frame knitting bag at an op shop and have fabric to replace the bag.  I got a quilted cotton bedcover (king size) to make a fitted cover for my chaise. I might need to sew that one on my treadle. I need to make a pattern and play pattern tetris with the cover. It's currently draped over the chaise and fitted cover would work so much better.

Make block out curtains for the lounge - or add block out lining to the existing curtains.

Hem the sheer cotton lawn so that I can hang it in my bedroom window and not worry about the neighbours in the next building watching me from their lounge/balcony.

AND one of my friends made me a loom bead bracelet that I love wearing but as it's a wonder woman one it doesn't go with everything. So despite my strong dislike of hand sewing I've ordered a bead loom, have the delica beads and am going to make myself a strawberry bracelet to wear with my strawberry dress. I want to make more bracelets too, but we'll see how the first one goes.

Even when I wasn't overweight, women's watch bands and bracelets didn't fit me - hence a self description of "shetland pony in human form" due to my short & stocky frame. I love bracelets, and delicate ones don't suit me. So the beaded cuff works really well.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Overly ambititious sewing plans for the xmas break

The office I where I work closes for 2 weeks every Xmas. It's not usually my idea of a fun time to go away - hot + school hols. Unless I'm going somewhere they're unlikely to be.

I had come up with grand ideas to sew all.the.things. La Nina was predicted so yes it would rain, but it would be cooler.

Ahem, xmas eve is due to be the fourth 40C or higher in 9 days before xmas. Saturday hit 43.7C, tomorrow is forecast to be 43C and Wednesday 42C Ugh. If it continues over the break I may invite myself to friends' with air-con or up the cooler mountains.

Planned are to finish the November dress, start/finish the December dress. Make a full slip*; anti-chafe wide stretch lace thigh garters to see if they work for me (inspired by Bandalettes but without involving international post); an unwired sports bra to use as a sleep bra; actually two different ones, using MakeBra Ulla as the bodice of a dress-length clone of a nightie that's too short to wear outside (to the clothesline not shopping nor socially). Plus whip up a dress for January.

So yes, ambitious if the weather is favourable, and that now seems to be unlikely.

* from either of these two patterns

Monday, 11 December 2017

December dress plan

I'm not sure why I'm twitching to sew the rayon print, but I have been.  Black in summer - what's wrong with my brain.

So this is the combination I'm going for, though I shall change the sleeves cos my upper arms are the thing I always try to cover/hide.

Friday, 17 November 2017

November dress plan

I'm flip flopping between making the vintage aqua cotton or the rayon print of blue flowers on black.

I'm leaning towards the cotton, so the next decision is the pattern. I'm tempted to wait for #4936 to arrive but instead will frankenpattern #9039 bodice, with 3/4 sleeves. As soon as I've finished the mermaid (July) dress then I can franken pattern and cut out my November dress.

Monday, 6 November 2017

January (Lost at Sea) dress revisited and getting closed to finished. Again.

This dress seemed to have limped along until I finished it at a sewing retreat in May - when I was very disappointed that it just didn't fit. I don't have a photo to share or I would, of the first version where I look like I'm a child playing dress ups cos it's a size too big everywhere, and after I tried to take in the bodice enough for me to be happy.  Not only was it still too large, with the neckline not a clear V shape to suit me but the sleeves were too long, and the underarm too low.

I ended up completely recutting the bodice after buying more fabric. I did unpick the sleeves and recut them - the finished edge of the old sleeve is the new cutting line, along with the header showing how the armscye was too low for me.

The yoke placement that I took so much care over got completely omitted, and the collar is from 9137 instead without the bows at centre front.  In fact the finished dress will look like this if it was button through to the hem (though the skirt is fake buttons).

Tonight I'm hoping to cut/fuse interfacing to the facings and under collar, and finish assembling the bodice.  I didn't unpick the waist seam on the badly fitting dress, instead simply cut the seam off forgetting to rescue the loop for my security pass. So I also need to make another loop, and If I get the bodice done quickly, then for the 3rd and final time I can repleat the skirt to the bodice and insert the zip.

Friday, 3 November 2017

Insomnia resulting in etsy searches and another chance for half size pattern 4936

In May last year I was so disappointed when an Etsy seller contacted me to say the pattern I'd ordered was missing and refunded my purchase.

The last couple of days my brain has woken me at 5:30 am (horrible, foolish brain) and yesterday I used the extra time to start folding laundry and clearing up my sewing mess on the table/sofa so that it's neat & tidy before starting sewing again.

Today I wasn't as productive and instead got my tablet out and looked up vintage mail order patterns on Etsy again.  I found another copy of 4936 and made myself think hard about buying it.  Yes, I did.