elegentry: (Default)
( Jun. 8th, 2009 11:18 am)
I just tried my newly collared, as yet armless coat on. It promises nice things for eventually, but, bother! the baggy back shoulder that I thought might need fixing...does. I saw this in the toile but wondered if I was imagining things. NO. The thing is, I need a bigger size due to bust and bum, not because of overall fat/breadth. So I need to reduce the bulk factor. Ah, here comes unpicking. At least I had not put the sleeves in yet.

See- this is one of the reasons I have been resisting commercial patterns- they just don't fit! I went with this one because I wasn't sure I could make the collar work by myself.

So, next to unpick and another round of fit adjustment before any more construction. This is taking longer than I though.

I have been into town (to look at 'Austen' frocks with doushkasmum), a pleasant time was had.

I think I have found solutions to the horrid back fit. However, I will rest the garment now in case I have more ideas later, also because I can't SEE it. I don't have full length mirror with bright enough light to see how a matt black coat is sitting without good daylight. It's just about dark outside now . Sadly I won't have good light again while I am home until next Sat :-(

I shall have to fiddle with the armhole again too as a result of these changes, ah well. No point in putting this much effort in unless I end up with a garment that fits.
elegentry: (Default)
( Jun. 7th, 2009 04:23 pm)
whew. I have just finished making 3 pockets in the black coat. It is a long time since I had done a welt pocket and I got scared of them. Actually, they weren't that hard. They are not perfect but you can hide a lot in black fuzzy fabric! Now I can proceed to worry about seaming the velvet to shiny things- eek. I shall resort to handsewing if necessary. Actually, my main problem with this whole coat process is the commercial pattern I think. I haven't worked with one for so long. I am used to having made all my own cut and construction decisions. Effectively, I have usually 'made' the garment in my head before I start. With a commercial pattern one has to take more on trust,  I feel sort of like I'm running blind.

I didn't make bash- obviously if you were there. I was pocket focussed and feeling insular.  Bonus for staying home was a fun visit from [livejournal.com profile] feralcheryl  and family including walk to park, swings, cafe coffee and cake and small mr taking great delight in gratuitous doorbell ringing. Oh, and I was gifted some homebrew by G, lovely.... which I am now drinking some of as a reward for pocketting. It's a brown ale and has to be drunk soon, what a shame.

tonight I shall feed erudito after failing to attract his attention to help eat the pork casserole last night. Something different tonight- a form of puttanesca I think. I do love a weekend with two 'Saturday' nights!

elegentry: (Default)
( Jun. 6th, 2009 10:24 pm)
well. I have managed to make myself start this coat.

-lining body is assembled, still to do sleeves
-wool back is assembled.
-Good wool coating is a joy to work with I must say. Soft to handle, sews, eases easily and presses like a dream.
-Silk satin in the overlocker? not so much. There was thread pulling and uncontrolled lack of ease, followed by unpicking, changing of needles and re-seaming on the regular machine. Whew.

Tomorrow I shall perhaps attempt more complex items like... pocketses!

Note to self- adding cream to pork casserole was overkill.
The casserole was otherwise great- for future reference =
two enormous pork chops, like slices of pork leg roast. some ham, white beans, potato, celery, zucchini, sage, thyme, parsley, vermouth, lemon juice, water, seasoning. 3hrs in slowish oven.

P+P is still good. First half down. Likely to go visit the Austen fashion exhibition on Monday.
elegentry: (Default)
( Jun. 6th, 2009 02:26 pm)

Well romance is absent so to cheer myself up I have been working on another sort of bed.

I have been thinking about this for weeks/months. So in the last couple of hours I pulled out the french lavender that refused to flower, the yellow daisy that also didn't flower enough for my liking and was occupying the place that I mean to plant a morello cherry. Also gone is the pink flowered south african thing that had gone a bit manky and the old english lavender that was slowly rotting away.

What is left? the french lavender that DOES flower and is happily on the end next to the path, the ornamental flowering plum that is settling in, this is it's 3rd winter. Also the massive old rosemary bush and an italian lavender peeking out from behind the rosemary.

I walked down the street and brought back a bag of cow manure on my trolley. Now the exposed earth has most of a bag of manure and a bag of cheap potting mix dug through it. If we are fortunate, the sky will water it all in for me.  I'll let that settle, then go buy a few plants in a week or so, yippee. If even more fortune (or possibly sun) shines on the right bit of garden bed- some queen fabiola bulbs might come up next summer.

Gardening seems to be my most reliable antidepressant these days. Besides, now I am Warm! The two side beds are languishing unworked. I STILL haven't called up fencing people. I so must.  Though it is not such a bad idea to do this in stages. I have done enough digging for one day.

Now to decide what I will put in the oven for dinner. Maybe slow bake lamb thing?  I must do groceries. I am sitting here drinking black coffee 'cause I am completely out of milk. Hopefully I will find some enthusiasm to work on my coat. I'd much rather lay out and piece the heart quilt that is waiting in the cupboard. Fickle enthusiasms? The black coat was always more of wanting the garment than wanting to make it though.

elegentry: (Default)
( May. 31st, 2009 12:13 pm)
-Orange Durer is now recombobulated! Thank in part to [livejournal.com profile] doushkasmum  and [profile] sacred_chao  for feeding me dinner and keeping company through all that handsewing. For those that have seen it, this is the portrait frock.

-Black coat is cut out! except the pockets which I am making up.

-clothes from yesterday's laundry stupidity have been re-washed

-I have started learning the new piece of music for Coronation. Hmm, I should have started this before this morning hey? It's not that hard but I need more time- am still working at slow speed. I have to get it roughly in my head and up to speed before this afternoon, eek.

There is a month until coronation. Do I...
- make up a pink Cranach gown to reuse the pearled gold silk stomacher from my purple gown (from first coronation)?
- make my black coat?
- make [livejournal.com profile] erudito 's coat?

#3 won't take a month but I don't have the fabric yet
#2 is ready to go but I can't do that and a gown in time
#1 I am keen on but do I really have time to get it done?

elegentry: (Default)
( May. 23rd, 2009 12:19 pm)
I have been refashioning again.
turning this into this )

it's after midday and I am only just having morning tea. I have managed to copy and add seams to the coat pattern. Now I could sleep. I wish there was a party to go to tonight- I want to go to one- except I would be too tired so it's just as well there isn't a party I have to miss I suppose.

elegentry: (Default)
( May. 2nd, 2009 04:48 pm)
Thanks [livejournal.com profile] mrsbrown , Anne's delivered. Good black wool/cashmere for $25/m. Brunswick fabrics has lots of coating but lesser quality, some interesting colours and cheaper. There was a fabulous bright, large check which I thought about but resisted. Sadly no emerald green for [livejournal.com profile] erudito . Anne's had really heavy dense green wool but I think it is meant for billiard tables. You could make hats out of it but not garments I think. She had a green of a nice colour but very poor quality- it's a bad sign when it is pilled already on the roll. For those interested- she had nice mid weight white linen for $15/m. Good stuff but not cheap,cheap.

Now I need to either buy a coat pattern, take one off my brown coat with alterations, or draft from scratch. Probably the second option. That requires my morning brain, so not now. Need to make style decisions, trim, buttons, lining etc. I have lots of lining fabric but no pieces big enough to line a long coat. Would have been good to have patterned before buying fabric but these places are not open Sundays and I don't mind having a bit extra black wool cashmere in the house.

I'm having an upside down day. Dressed up for fancy birthday breakfast for [livejournal.com profile] giddyaunt  this morning. Lovely fun. Then at noon I had my 6mthly haircut. I was distressed that my hairdresser near work seemed to have closed. Turns out they are refurbishing and will reopen, whew. I tracked my man down at their city store and went there after our (looong) breakfast. Hair man was most cute as usual and seemed pleased I had followed him. He even got a second chap to work on my hair with him for a bit. "Goodness, two of you at once!" I said. The retort was "Yes" (pause) "you'll have to go to church after". Much fun and I even got a nice haircut.

So very social start but quiet finish. I'm vaguely annoyed I didn't manage to set anything up for tonight. Generally I only have the emotional energy to ask twice. If I get turned down by two lots of people, I end up spending the evening alone. Never mind. I shall experiment with stuffing some home grown capsicums for dinner.

elegentry: (Default)
( May. 1st, 2009 08:13 pm)
Well, survived another week and a cold one. Suddenly my need for a black winter coat has become urgent. Who has seen good black wool coating recently for a reasonable price? [livejournal.com profile] mrsbrown - where did you see that wool cashmere you showed us before festi? I know Clegs has it (or did a couple of weeks ago) for around $50/m. I want a long coat so I will need several metres. I suppose I'll get the Clegs stuff if I don't find anything else.

Oh, and thank the upstairs one for another weekend, whew.

elegentry: (Default)
( Mar. 1st, 2009 09:34 pm)
I have had a lovely weekend. Am now trying to persuade myself not to be out of sorts 'cause it is nearly done. Next week will be busy at work and every night is committed too with Port Fairy at the end. All good but I am in a mood to not be pressured. Just got to deal.

I had a lovely time at Circa last night. Good company and most inspiring. I want to make and make and make, oh and wear.  I was sadly really too tired to enjoy it to the full. My own silly fault for working so hard during the day.

I am often amused by the collection of often unrelated things that one sees fit to purchase on a shopping trip. Today's haul:
- a pair of swimming trunks- black boy-leg bather bottoms -courtesy of a gift voucher from work
-a reel of thread (oh- L-craft really has gone down hill. My list was longer than this but they didn't stock any of it)
-a dozen grape hyacinth bulbs bought on a whim
-a seagrass laundry hamper.

I pruned a bunch of things in the front garden this morning, including cutting the burnt bits off the magnolia. Hope the heat on Tues doesn't fry them.

The black Durer is refitted, cut and I have begun assembly. I am a bit concerned about how the front closure will sit. I wanted more bust coverage but that has ended up with a sharp 135deg angle on the front edges. Odd. Still it's either give that a go, risk bust spillage or have unsupported bosums with nasty tension lines.  The upper sleeve slashings are ready to go to Port Fairy for hand work anyway.

I have pulled large amounts of gold lurex out of my old orange underskirt. This has resulted in a much more tasteful garment. Pink/yellow shot (looks orange) with yellow striped bands. I might need to rework the waistband to take away some bulk. However I end up with the warm toned underskirt that I wanted without having to spend time fabric shopping.

I spent a pleasant few hours today with a bunch of people I barely know or had just met, consuming tea and scones and chatting. Nice. Still feel a bit guilty that I didn't go to bash but I wasn't in the zone.

In looking for my old unfinished underskirt, I found two old skirts I had forgotten about. Both fine wool blends and fully lined. They are rather tight in places but with a small amount of work they could be put back into my work wardrobe. So now they are washed at least. The alterations will have to wait until after festi. The black one should be most useful. I had wondered what had happened to it. I made it once apon a time for a conference when I worked in a processing plant and was not allowed to wear skirts to work. It was such a treat back then to be able to wear a skirt for a work event.
TGIF. No really, TGIF

-I just walked for as far as ~7000 steps takes one, while dragging a trolley. Yes, after years of owning this thing I finally took it for a walk to buy groceries. I rather enjoyed it but my arm is a bit sore. We have a pedometer challenge on at work. One is supposed to make 10,000 steps a day. This brings today's tally to 12,700. Somewhat makes up for some slack days earlier in the week.

-My screen doors are now not to be installed tomorrow as planned :-(  This is because the installer has been caught up in bushfire consequence. He is ok but was at the funeral of a close friend today, his children's teachers also died, another friend is staying with him after losing his house to the fires. So... he wants to come install my doors on Sunday. I offered later times but he says he wants to get back to the normality of work and besides, he will be at another funeral next Saturday. Sob. Seems there is a reason I did not organised anything for my otherwise totally free Sunday.

I have a long list of things I want to do this weekend. Usual state of affairs. Mostly chores, some cooking- counts as a chore I suppose, couple of big pots of dinner. Hopefully I will also cut some stuff out - a chemise, maybe the black Durer if I have enough brain. At least re-pattern the sleeves and decide which shape the bodice is to be.  Maybe that is not social enough? I do have Spooky men to look forward to Sat night! hope to work some other socialising in somewhere.
elegentry: (Default)
( Jan. 17th, 2009 08:20 am)
I'm awake, I've had my first cup of coffee, I'm at home and I'm not going out. At least not for hours. I have pretty much only been here to sleep this week. All good stuff but it is so nice to be home. Oh I was home Monday night- [livejournal.com profile] villana  kindly came over and pinned the hem on the Durer frock before the heat hit on Tues.

I have vast amounts of stuff to potentially do this weekend. Mostly some form of chore. Some are fun chores though. Including turning many kilos of apricots into forms that will last longer. Some will get turned into me I suspect. Even the less fun chores I am looking at fairly kindly today 'cause they mean I can do them AT HOME!

I shan't write a list now, I don't want to give brain space to  what I don't get around to doing. I might tell you later what I have done though.

elegentry: (Default)
( Jan. 11th, 2009 08:20 am)

So the gold Durer frock is assembled, back view above. The only bit of fabric not attached is the trip for the neckline.  I may also need to piece fill the hem- see the short bit? I tried it on last night when it got to the point of basically being a dress*. Eek, feels a bit small in bodice circumference now? I am so hoping that it will a) work better with fastenings applied. b) relax/ease a bit with wear.

So what still needs doing?
-ditch stitch bodice lining down.
-sew on the lacing rings and buttons
-apply the neck trim
-make cords for lacing and horizontal closure.
-mark and sew hem

I so want to do this now. What I need to do though is clear a space in the back yard for bricks and then put bricks there. Grumph, want to sew.

*thanks to [livejournal.com profile] splodgenoodles  and [livejournal.com profile] tenbears  for keeping me company through lots of seam grading and clippage, some handsewing.


I made another thing- only this was months ago. Connected with this is a story (that locals already know, so tune out if you don't like repetition). Finally posting to distract myself from whinging about having to work this week.

Also feeds in to Montjoye's sewing tip # oh 8 or so.... Don't cut anything out while sick!
While lurgy-ridden, I somehow convinced myself that 1.2 metres of burgundy wool was enough to make an elegant sideless gown. You may not be astonished to find I was wrong. I did cut it while lurgified and even sewed most of the neck and side facings but suprise, suprise, it was not nearly full enough to fall properly.

So I threw it in the corner and prepared to steel myself to sacrifice the fabric- a very nice wool gaberdine- to some smaller purpose, trim, hood or so.

Then dear Mama called and was proudly telling me of the new burgundy wool trousers that she had just made. Hope! This inspired me to remember that we both bought a length of burgundy wool- off the same bolt!! Hoorah! and she agreed to give me her offcuts! Thus I was able to cut just enough gores to give me the drape I needed. Hoorah.

Then ensued much soul searching about seam treatment. The hem was pinned and cut before the Scotland trip. Eventually sewn after my return and then worn only once so far to Stormhold Bash, Aug?

elegentry: (Default)
( Dec. 28th, 2008 01:43 pm)
Goodness. 4th day off and I found enough brain and time to cut out a frock!  Twas supposed to happen yesterday but I unexpectedly spent the whole day being pleasantly social.

Anyway. I am remaking my favourite Durer Frock, the one made previously in turquoise with black trim. Basically the left hand one but with backless sleeves like on the right.

Fabrics shown above also, both lightweight wools. The pale gold wool (the less kind would possibly call it beige) is the piece I got from [livejournal.com profile] damned_colonial when she left the country, with a yellow dye through it. Original colour shown in the tiny pinned scrap.  The green is leftovers from my 'old button frock'. It also is natural coloured wool with a dye through it. I am hoping for a pleasant, soft, 'greenery, yallery' kind of effect.

So, frock, lining, interlining, trim etc all cut out. Now I need a little rest to recover before any sewing happens. Fingers and brain are both itching to DO though. I really need to save more of this from work. It's all very well earning a living but one has to LIVE too. For me that tends to necessarily involve making things.

I have some little rules for sewing. Doesn't mean I always follow them. This is not rule one. We'll call it:

Sewing Rule 7.
After one has made an error, like sewing the wrong two things together. One should put the work down calmly and go do something else for a while. NOT immediately try to fix it!. If one tries, one is is in considerable danger of making exactly the same mistake all over again.

I wouldn't possibly have maybe just violated this rule would I?

Think I should finally go put away the stacks of clothes in the front room. You know, stuff that was laundered weekend before last. The pile of which have been mussed by pulling garments out from between to wear.

I just wrote this as a comment on Celsa's post about lack of time. I am posting it on it's own because I think the section underlined really is a problem for me. I need to think about that and what I might do about it:

"personally I have less time for SCA projects than I did a few years ago. I blame 4 things
- LJ and email at home
- work being more hours and more exhausting
- buying a house and getting into gardening.
- um, and being a costume laurel.

I too get a lot of sewing etc done on trains and at events. I just haven't been travelling on trains or going to many events lately. Well I did in the UK recently but I was patchworking rather than doing SCA stuff. La.

The big problem is as a costume laurel, I feel that every single thing I produce for the SCA has to be as perfectly authentic as possible. This is really exhausting and does not allow for much in the way of pure creativity. Hence my drift into patchwork, quilting and back to street clothes. So I still make things that take ages but they are not SCA relevant. For example, the star quilt (was posted if you remember) I finished about 6mths ago that took around a year of my creative output.
I do second the notion that really intense/complex/lengthy things can get done if you do 20min of it every day or so.

-hmm. Does this translate as nothing I do can realistically be good enough and is therefore pointless? or that I make too many decisions at work and have too few decisions left for costuming? Or that I need more creative outlets more than I need costumes? Or that I am sick of changing shape so nothing fits? or that I miss the game how I/we used to play it? Or that other stuff is more important right now?

Way too much self analysis for a Monday night. My head hurts and I'm going to bed. Probably the most sensible thing I have written all night.
I want a new frock for Baronial Birthday
I want a new tree in my front garden
I want the concrete removed from under my herb garden

Number one- I just about have time if I start now. Historically a full frock project takes about 6 weeks. Although I am out of practice and have not decided what I would do.

Number two- Has to be done in the next few weeks while bare rooted trees are available and while the tree is dormant. I think [personal profile] mrsbrown 's idea of an almond is a good one. Where does one buy a bare rooted almond tree? Particularly a short one. Before that I might need to rejig or get rid of the dumb arch that I put in a year ago. This might involve setting posts in concrete and putting up trellis. Perhaps I would get away with just planting the tree under the arch for starters? then dealing with the arch, vine and trellis later.

Number three- Should be done soon, in winter so I can claim the next spring growing season. Big nasty job. Should have done it in the first place two years ago before I set up the herb garden. Too late for that now. If I get this done I will then pay someone to take away the dead concrete and the building rubble from the bathroom and verandah projects

Sigh. Can I do all of these in the next few precious weekends? With a slightly dodgy back? It has been twinging again today after several weeks of good behaviour. I blame all that sitting at my desk after weeks of walking. If I don't get two and three done now I will have to wait until next year. If I don't make a new frock well I won't have a new frock. Hmm. Wonder if I lost enough weight overseas to fit into some of my court garb? None of it is Italian though.
elegentry: (Default)
( Aug. 4th, 2008 09:12 pm)
I'm on a roll.

Quelle suprise, the prep for the party ended up being more fun than the party itself. That is so not unusual.
elegentry: (Default)
( Jul. 17th, 2008 06:00 pm)
I have been having a great day. P and J left this morning for their own holiday so I have had the house (and the computer) all to myself, yay! So the day has been very domestic other than an extended shopping trip. Laundry, packing, downloading photos, finding fresh batteries for the camera, charging the ipod. All because I leave for London in the morning.

So, I am supposed to be touristing? well, instead today I decided to do all those bits of shopping that I have been collecting up saying- I really must get that before I go. A delightful whirlwind later I got all on the list except one. There is a Scottish painter that I have decided is fantastic. Sir James Guthrie. One of those cases where I keep saying to myself "that painting is fabulous" and it turns out to be another Guthrie. Frustratingly, no one in Edinburgh, including the National Gallery, seems to stock any books about him or prints of his work. I shall have to search the internet later.

I have pretty much resigned myself to needing another bag to come home. Hope I can make that work. It would be worth excess baggage charges.
elegentry: (Default)
( May. 31st, 2008 11:54 am)
Feeling better about progress.
-Have taken in a pair of jeans and hemmed another while the machine was set up for this.
-also made a new lining for my red hat.
Jeans and hat are likely to come to Scotland so that is trip progress.

Now to sort out some company for tonight. I will try again to track down [personal profile] quatrefoil. Where are you?

updated later
-made fine wool vest, pieced from leftover bits. Orange/Green/black. Has Paul Gaugin woven patch on front (bought in Tahiti about 13 yrs ago and never yet used) grey-brown stretch lace edging at neck and armholes. Again for the trip.
-hemmed neckline of [personal profile] splodgenoodles tshirt. Was all set up with twin needle blackness so seemed like the time.
-repotted two mints and the chilli bush.
-tidied up the verandah. tools away, pots "tidied" to the other side of the yard. swept.
-washed sheets.

now I need to make the bed before I forget and it gets to middle-of-the-night.

I might be going out for dinner. Not sure. Sat night and I still don't know it company is in the offing or not. Lonely montjoye but productive eh?


elegentry: (Default)


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