Sunday, 30 March 2014

the wonky half stays, and a possible fix

I've no idea what my starting point was but I suspect it was the Simplicity version of the S&S short stays but modded already to be wrap around.

My mistake would be in not throwing that wretched mock up out!  My second mistake would be taking a pattern from it and only changing the back from wrap to lazy lacing per Sabine's blog and not evaluating what else was wrong with it.The cuppage was ok, but I thought I'd follow The Lady's Stratagem (TLS) and convert the 2 gussets to 3 (retaining the same extra volume as the 2 gussets).  I didn't use the rest of the information used by Sabine or in TLS of using stays that fit and cutting off below the bust/at waist.  I hate to say it but my waist isn't that far from my bust, the consequence of being short+short waisted+massive acreage of boobage.  I really should have done that, although I'm not sure where my pattern pieces were from the OHS stays.

Anyhoo I spent a Sunday afternoon assembling a new version of the half stays and they stank.  I finally noticed that the underarm was far too low, and compared it to the topline of my OHS stays and this was the difference (paper version of the OHS topline underneath the stinker).

To see if it's worth altering the pattern and doing a tidy final version, I've cut a large patch and am going to stitch it on (with 2 rows of stitching 6mm or quarter inch apart.

It did occur to me late one night that the stinker may not be a complete waste of time, in that I could add these gussets to the CHS stays pattern I got from Past Patterns #038.  Cos my beef with that pattern was that with the vast acreage it wasn't possible to follow their fitting instructions for the cup. I did LOL after I stopped going well, THAT won't work for me!

Sadly weight gain since my gallbladder surgery means my existing stays don't fit me, and therefore possibly some of my existing regency clothing won't either.  I've tried to reverse it but I may be doomed thanks to genetics. I think my lack of significant weight loss having under 1000cals per day from poached white fish+pickles+berries for 5 months kinda strongly implies I've a superpower for famine survival. (No suggestions please I don't think I could stand to hear it).

I'm having to make new stays too, taking my notes from making my corded OHS stays and I'm making them a little shorter, so they're the length for the wooden ruler I'm using as a busk.

Fingers crossed for decent stays if nothing else.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Hoping to Sew for Victory (2.0)

Last year I wasn't able to join in Sewing for Victory, because like many things early that year my former gallbladder was running my life. Although it came out in mid April an incision got infected so I was still useless until May.

So, I'm hoping to join in this year and Sew for Victory along with however I won't be joining a flickr group.

JAFA and Ironfest come between now and the end of April but here's hoping I can get something done.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Did I self draft half-stays?

*cough* years after making a wrap around half-stays mockup, today at lunchtime I got out the pattern pieces so that I could transfer the adjustments I marked on it a week ago onto the pattern pieces to make the real thing/mockup 2.

Only to discover that it's definitely not based on the Daffodown Dilly stays pattern I bought 2-3 years ago. This means that I've no idea what the starting point for this was - it's not any of the patterns I have, unless it was the Missouri Historical Society one on 19thUS - but nope it's not that either.

I really have no clue, but as it seems to be working well as it is, I'm going to just go for it. I'm making pattern pieces from the scribbled on mockup. I'm going to make 3 bust gussets however, rather than 2. Hopefully by this time tomorrow I'll have a photo to share. If I can find my camera that is. I moved it on Tuesday morning when I was shuffling things in the Shoebox cos my new bed base was being delivered.

is it middle age spread?

Well, I'm a little confused, because the brown linen/rayon skirt I made from a pattern I've used 3 times before just wouldn't do up over my hips/waist. The odd thing is that previously when I made this pattern I weighed more than I do now.

I have 3kg 4kg hormone bloat, but unless that is all concentrated on my belly then that doesn't explain it. I'm going to cut my losses and chop off @ 3" from the top of the skirt and reattach the waistband. Having a skirt I can wear is more important than vanity over sizing.

I've definitely got a PCOS belly, which is funny cos otherwise I don't have the visible markers that tend to go with it. Thanks to a hefty input from both sides of the gene pool. One grandparent's family came with a massive chest and another grandmother's family that came with the genetic androgen disorder - both got enthusiastically grabbed from the pool.

My current waist/hip is the reason there isn't a photo of me in the blue UFO skirt I finished a few weeks ago. It has the same issue, and for that skirt as it's a shorter skirt already I can't just lift it until it fits. So, well I'll insert a panel down one side to sort that out.

This may be TMI but I had the blood test to see if I was perimenopausal late last year after 5 months of crazy hormones, and sadly it's not. Surely I must be close though!

Monday, 17 March 2014

migraine averted, phew

Saturday at the sewing guild I realised that my numb brain was actually the beginning of a migraine.

I'd sat on the bus not even noticed that it had gone past my stop - how did I not see the bright pink facade of Remnant Warehouse?? I knew I needed an extra coffee, but even so I was more than a bit zombified and thankfully the migraine pill kicked in and I started to feel more human. However the pill stops the pain but leaves me a bit not-so-bright and it took me 2 hours to sew on the first waistband. I could have had both done in that time and moved on to the next thing I'd taken with me (ie regency things) but I continued to move at a glacial pace and shuffled home with 2 completed waistbands and a yoke-bodice partly cut out for the skirt of my short gown set. I couldn't risk sewing much else cos I wasn't smart enough to notice doing anything dodgy.

I'd had a flare up of a health problem during the week, and that plus far too early hormone-hell and the megrim means I've no idea where I put my wireless modem when I woke up from a "nap" on Saturday evening. I've one last section of my space to finish a clean up and it's likely there to be found.

I'm getting a new bed delivered tomorrow, and it was the motivation I needed to start my overdue decluttering. It was starting to slip past hoarder-lite to crazy. Dragging all my planned regency fabrics, patterns, shoes and then everything else out of storage at the same time was a ridiculous thing to do. Yes it sparked a creative & productive phase, but leaving it all out ends up sapping mental energy cos my home is too small for it.

I can post photos of my new skirts ... once I find that dang modem. Cos I can't upload my pics at work.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

progress on my short gown

Whee, almost all the hand sewing is done, other than the rolled hem on the bodice skirting.  I've already machine sewn the hem of the full length skirt. Not yet cut out the skirt bodice, but I've got plans to do that tomorrow night.

Having a hint of tennis elbow returning on my right arm, sooo I'm only hand sewing for 5 mins at a time, max.  Hopefully that stops a full on flare up. But gives me time to get through the rolled hem over the next couple of weeks.  Yay for making everything else by machine!

The fabric design is definitely one way only, and the shoulder straps will match the back but be upside down on the front. But they didn't care about that so much as effective use of fabric.

Soon I'll be inserting the sleeves ... easier now than when the skirt is attached. Depending on how long the sleeves are I'll be doing this, a double ruffle at the end of fashionably long sleeves ... (2012-08-25 Kent State - English printed cotton day dress, circa 1810)

Or a ruffle-cuff-ruffle as per a short gown in Costume in Detail and what could be on this dress in France (Les Arts Decoratifs, item Inv. 49-32 17.A.B ; c1818-20 cotton dress)

Fortunately having used this pattern before (though with the original length sleeves) I've already fixed any fit issues (unless it's too tight around the bodice!!)

Monday, 10 March 2014

Lots of cutting out over the past weekend

I had a long weekend away, looking after friend's dogs while my friends were out of town. I started with the discovery that I had brought both pairs of computer distance specs with me, and not 1 of them and my reading/sewing distance specs. That meant it would limit my ability to sew for much - eyestrain = headache = not working on anything.

So, I figured that I could start on my UFO bib-front regency day dress. the back shoulder strap should have been tapered just a little rather than straight, so I needed to unpick it, and cut a new one. Second packing fail: I didn't have any of the cotton fabric I'm using as lining for both that replacement piece and for lining the short-gown set.

Rather than drive home I went to the nearest fabric shop (The Remnant Warehouse) and got a lightweight cotton, with a small self pattern woven into it. It's nice and tight-woven so I might even get a smidge more for my lazy-lacing stays. I also grabbed a small sample of a red linen-cotton to use as lining my red wool cloak. I'm not going to use silk, for the hood lining. Just cos. My plan was to pre-shrink the fabric as soon as I got home, but I ended up crashing out on the sofa for 3 hours and woke up with 2 dogs snuggled up with me. If I'd pre-shrunk that dang fabric then it would ahve been dry already for me to start cutting out.

I had definitely been tempted to drive to Marrickville and look at my fave fabric shop there, but (1) it would not have helped my down-stashing target for the year and (2) I knew I needed a nap and extra driving was not smart.

Instead I made a head-sash thingy to go with my Wonder Woman inspired dress, but it looked ridiculous on me and I couldn't be bothered trying to experiment with length & width. I suspect a longer wider one would have been better, but not sure enough to cut another one out. If I'd been at home I'd have raided my mock up fabrics and just cut a strip out & tried it. Next time gadget!

Saturday I started cutting out my 2 piece short gown. I guestimated how long the skirt section should be on the bodice, and hope it's a flattering length. I also cut wrist length sleeves, and hope they're ok. Of not I can always shorten them.

Third packing fail: my mock up of the Daffodown Dilly wrap stays - that I'm going to do as parasseuse
. From my dipping in & out of The Lady's Strategem a ribbed dimity was one of the recommended fabric. The cotton I got isn't ribbed, but it's light & tightly woven. I'll see how it goes.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Hunting for a missing vintage pattern Anne Adams 2163

I haven't abandoned all hope of finding my missing vintage pattern (the Anne Adams dress).

So, I've bought a similar but different one to indicate what I think of that pattern going into hiding. As I sms-ed to a friend today "it's probably on a tropical island drinking cocktails without me".

One of the reasons I wanted to find it was not just to finally stop procrastinating but to enter the pattern review contest where you use a pattern brand new to you.  I've sewn enough years that I've used most of the ones I'm likely to. Though I do have Sewholic Renfrew to hand.

The other reason is that I want to make the dress!

Here's a pic of the new pattern winging it's way through the post to me, also Anne Adams #4483.

And it's my lucky day - I was looking for another ASG group ig could get to on the 2nd Saturday of the month, and Top Ryde meets then as well as on a Tuesday.  My motivation is that if I'm at a dedicated space then I get more done than at home where I might procrastinate doing housework (cos that is eternal) or trawling the internets. I know myself well enough that even allowing time for travel, going somewhere else is more productive for a whole day.  I'm happy to skip a sewing saturday if something better is on offer, but otherwise why not.  In fact I'd love to be able to go somewhere on a Sunday.  It comes from living in a bachelor flat ... I'm starting to find it cramped for sewing.


Saturday, 1 March 2014

Stashbusting report for my year so far

I'm at 821.6m ... "down" from 817m which is a bit of a shocker. The main culprit is my failure to add 2 fabrics to my spreadsheet from November last year. One is a 10m piece of plaid linen for a victorian dress, and a 2m piece of linen rayon skirt weight. So that should have been 829m. Eep.

So clearly I'm further away from my target of 750m by the end of the year. It works out to around 6.6m per month if I buy nothing. And I have added a couple of pieces to my collection.

I do have a summer dress cut out (4m) and my March MAGAM will be another 4.5m used. That helps me get back on target.

I have another skirt to make - a grey linen/rayon (sort of a herringbone) that I'm going to make in the Decades of Style 1930s shaped seam skirt again (#3004). I just love wearing the style and have the fabric for it.

I fully intend to make another oouple of regency dresses - and my red cape and silk check parasol will help.

So my target for the end of March is 809.2m or 12.4m used this month.

If I had a picture to share it would have been the look of horror when I realised my catalogue error of 12m.