Thursday, 13 November 2014

9 Days of vermin eradication

I've not had a chance to sew in the past week or so. Tuesday last week I picked up a flea - either walking through Hyde Park, in the cinema or in the garden outside my building (to retrieve dropped mail). Anyway it (or them) thought I was a tasty, tasty treat to feast on. Finally I think that's all over, but with approx 40 bites (approx 17 per leg and 3-4 per arm) it was a relentless wee beastie/s.

Since then I've been in a pit of laundry & vacuuming to eradicate it. Vacuuming everything every 2nd day & immediately disposing of the vacuum bag in the outside bin. Plus the use of flea powder (from Bunnings).

I even got bitten while I stripped my bed of everything, including the clean laundry I'd done & dumped on the end of my bed on Monday evening but not put away yet. Plus fabric I'd brought upstairs to sew for summer & was next to my bed. And the winter blankets that I'd got back out of storage after the last cold snap. My winter underblanket and the summer one that I'd just got out to swap over. Everything got carefully tied up in heavy black garbage bags until I could get through the loads. Paranoidly adding Bosisto's dust mite wash to each load, cos while I'm on a death-to-fleas spree I might as well aim for any dust mites too.

Last Saturday was great for getting through most of the blankets - hot, enough wind to be useful, sunny and no showers!

More of the other tenants in my building now hang their laundry up to dry, rather than use the dryers. Previously it was only me an another couple of people who did, but what it's meant this week is that my rate of laundry washing/drying is slower than I'd like. I still have 1 wool blanket bagged up, it's one I crocheted about 20 years ago so pretty heavy, and hard to dry easily. I need a sunny/warm/windy day with no thunderstorm predicted in the afternoon to get it done. Not this weekend then! The price to pay for preferring wool, I guess.

It has felt like an overwhelming process, and I mumbled to myself about future-me putting laundry away immediately, and not getting out more fabric than I can use for the next 1-2 projects.

I still have some winter skirts to handwash (ziplock bagged up) and my UFO sewing projects to work through. Most of those were already in individual zip lock bags, so they're piled up demanding some attention.

On the positive side of things, I'd wanted to spring clean and definitely had enough motivation to get it done fast!

Monday, 10 November 2014

Sleepwear patterns added to the stash.

I've added three sleepwear patterns to my stash, and only one was on sale. That's how committed I was to getting my hands on them.

Both the Burda vintage nightie #7109, and the Simplicity 1950s bra top #1426 I mentioned in my previous November MAGAM post are now near the top of my pattern pile, and I'm letting my subconscious ponder how to do an FBA on the Simplicity pattern. I may have to slash, spread, dart and then mock up for a fitting (wearing it over an actual bra). Possibly even 2 mock ups.

The unplanned addition is McCall's 6250, and I'm not even sure why I bought it for View D, except that I was on the hunt for sleepwear patterns and it managed to fit my criteria (and the pattern I really wanted S1426 was sold out in that store).

Inspired to crochet 1930s hats

I've been watching the blog Advanced Style for a couple or more years now, though not obessively. So when I heard there was a documentary I knew it was on my Must See list.

I told my friend C about it & we saw it on Saturday morning. For a while I've been mumbling to any friend who'll listen that I want to upgrade my wardrobe to have a 1930s influence, and whining that everything is wearing out.

Seeing the documentary was either going to crush or inspire, and thankfully it's been inspiring. Although I'm already in the age group he photographes *whimpers*.

I loved the 90+ year old woman who hadn't been telling her art students what her age was. When asked she'd answer "somewhere between 50 and death". LOL

So, I need to actively do something about my clothes, but also my accessories. Cos I tend to forget them and I shouldn't. After watching the doco, we went up the road and looked in a charity shop where I bought a cotton beret. Wrong colour for me, but if it dyes that's great. And if it doesn't dye well at least it gives me something to aim for. To be worn on the back of my head, not the top/front.

Buying it conceived in me a passion for 1930s crochet hats, and thankfully etsy has a plethora of PDF patterns to buy/download. I think I need this set of jaunty 1930s hats, and this cloche (?).

Saturday, 1 November 2014

MAGAM theme for November - scanning my stash for ideas

MAGAM's theme for November is "November nights: make something for your November nights".

Hmmm, cos I've started looking for a summer nightie that I can make for weekends away/holidays.  At home I can sleep in an old t-shirt or singlet but as I sleepwalk, I feel the need to wear something a little more covered. Lightweight, but coverage.

I have some cotton voiles and have been scoping out suitable patterns. Simplicity 1260 is sort of what I was trying to mock up last year using a tops pattern, but I bodgied it wrong so don't really want to look at it much. It's not yet available in Australia yet (new), so scratch that from my list.

Part of me wonders if I can get Simplicity 1426 and and a skirt section to View A, with criss cross back straps. No halterneck for me (acreage drag factor on my neck!). That appeals. 

Also on my list of possibles is Burda 7109 - a shorter version  of view A

Thursday, 30 October 2014

my bodgy version of the Sleepy Hollow windmill dress

I thought I'd got a photo of me early in the evening but nope I hadn't, and neither did any of my friends who I thought had taken one. So I've found a less flattering photo from a little later in the evening when I'm not so carefully posed (where is the nice one dagnabbit!).

The skirt is creased cos I didn't get a chance to press it after taking it out of my weekend bag.

With the retrospectascope these are things I wish I'd done differently:
- not bothered with the hip pads with this costume - they're too much for it.
- not raised the neckline so much. Some, but not as much as I had.
- put a modesty panel behind the hook/eye opening as per the screen version.
- cut the skirt longer & wider. I cut it 3" longer than my archery skirt, but it's still too short.*

* the blessing of buying a 9.5metre length of vintage rayon faille curtain fabric from ebay is that I can completely remake it with minimal cost ie time+thread

What I'm happy with overall it's ok for an impression of the costume, not a screen accurate one.

The skirt pattern from NSCT worked really really well. I'm more than happy to pleat the front & gather the back again. So easy to tie 1 set instead of 2. I used grosgrain ribbon cos it was cheap enough and robust enough to use. I'm loving grosgrain ribbon instead of poor quality cotton tape.

And here I am being silly ... again.

Because I raised the neckline too much, the drawstring at the neckline (attached to lining) is obviously gathered. If the topline was lower, there'd be less gather required.

Friday, 24 October 2014

freeforming with the windmill

I really did just freeform cut the revised shape of the lower bodice edge

And the sleeves were too angled for *my* comfort. The pattern may be perfectly period correct, but I'm happy to straighten them a little. I slashed to the centre of the elbow from each side so there was a small hinge, and overlapped the outer edge 1.5cm. (5/8ths of an inch). I can easily return the pattern to it's original shape or adjust it next time I use it.

The body is assembled apart from the shoulder/upper back edge, and the sleeves. Which I know fit and are 4 simplish seams and bodgy cuffs.

The lights in my work's meeting room are yellowing the cocoa beige of the fabric.

frankenpatterning my 1793 jacket pattern

I'm thinking of it as the cheater version, cos it's for a party where 95% of the people wouldn't have a clue about screen accuracy.

The skirt will be near enough, and the jacket is the bodgy part. The striped corduroy arrived from FFC and it's a stretch woven. An abomination in my eyes! But it's for a half in- & half out-door venue and I don't have to care if I spill party food on it. Which is a winner!

It does mean that I can't accurately test the pattern that I'm mocking up, even though I'm flat-lining it with non-stretch. As far as the sleeves go I'm not lining those suckers.

I'm cutting out the jacket at lunchtime today, after I mish-mashed the scaled up to 100% NSCT 1793 pattern with the archery jacket pattern via my 1780s polonaise. I really am leaving it to the last minute along with flying by the seat of my pants. Though I've fitted 2 out of 3 of these patterns already.

Yes, I dithered and finally got the patterning done last night - went to bed really early 2 nights in a row (Tues/Wed)and got 10 hours sleep each night - so I must have needed it. But that was my pattern work & mock up time.

I scaled up the NSCT pattern to 100% and she has approx 31" waist and 38" bust. Which I dont. So I got the pattern Desir Brulant lent me for our georgian archery costume, and I bodgied up a frankenpattern based on it.

Here's part of the back. I stuck the back & side back together along the seamlines. Mostly, I ignored that they didn't meet in the middle as this added not subtracted a smidge). Then drafted a CB piece based on the NSCT but 1" wider, with the pleated hem and then copied the rest of the pattern, guestimating & eyeballing below the waist - based on the NSCT pattern.

The top edge needed to be a bit higher for modesty - as "the girls" were so on display with the archer that its hilariously bad. Giant norks are over-rated. I also straightened out some of the shoulder strap edges - after matching the short section to the front on the seamline.

And cos this is a quick & dirty costume, not a screen accurate one (LOL the thought with the effort I'm putting in for this party) I'm going to stitch down the fringed yarn I have. Forget seperate piecing for the front.

quick.dirty.effective. (Hoping the last one is right).

And if you're wondering what I'm making, a friend is throwing a Tim Burton themed party, and I'm making this

I was hoping to find a cheap sheer table runner to use as an apron but will be skipping it at this point - no such luck. I must have missed that fashion trend. I've got the blonde wig I bought for Lamia a few years ago, and even though I'm not happy with it that's ok. It won't stay on all night the way it would at Supanova etc