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I was telling Sue about having to grade up the vintage pattern I bought - because they don't tend to exist anymore at the 40" bust size - and she was reminded that her mother has a lot of leftover patterns and such (in larger sizes) from back in the day, and she's going to give them to me at some point, which is a nice little thing to look forward to.

My talk is coming out to about 30 mins right now, which is good - that's what it's meant to be, and if you slow it down for my Actress/Presenter Voice but erase the fumbles and still-figuring-this-out false starts it should end up the same. I should run through it again this evening but I always have to walk that fine line between "preparing" and "chilling out so I don't explode".

My plants are starting to get wilty as the north-facing window gets less and less light. :( Poor things. I'm considering getting a couple of bromeliads to live stuck to the window and maybe make me feel like less of a poor gardener.
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Okay, so now that I have an accurate idea of my stock, I can figure out what I can make with it. Unfortunately, vintage Simplicity 1749 is the only pattern that I want to use that fits with any of it - 4.5 yards of a sea-green (poly/?)cotton broadcloth. I'm going to have to buy more fabric to remake Butterick 6018 and 5813 for the fall, which is the opposite of what I was hoping would happen ... damn my preference for full skirts. (I've become too thickwaisted for pencil skirts and wiggle dresses. :( ) I made 5813 two years ago and hated it, but I think that was a combination of not doing the FBA correctly, not understanding that the gathered seam is supposed to be fully under the bust, and the sleeves being way too tight.

Just ran through my presentation. It is crap. I'm hyperventilating slightly enough that every so often I have to take a deep sigh to empty my lungs, and also it's like 95% about before the war of 1812. So I'm going to try to revamp it and instead of explaining the progress of Neoclassicism, I'm going to remember that I'm talking to people who know nothing-to-little about fashion history and keep the background light and quick, and describe the layers, styles, etc. Not really happy about losing all that work, but I will probably feel a lot better about being there if I'm as tied into the actual WAR OF 1812 as possible. (internal screaming intensifies)
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Pro tip: Gaylord Archival is having a sale this month for their 120th anniversary. If you use the discount code "GA120FS", everything(?) is 20% off and shipping is free if your purchase exceeds $120. Good time to stock up on tissue and boxes and stuff.

Anxiety all the time. My presentation for Saturday is all done bar one concluding slide I'm not sure of - I made it at work because my take is that I'm representing the museum at this event, even if I'm not talking about Silas Wright. Let's be real, I would be useless if I tried to actively ignore this hanging over me.
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Have you ever checked out the Amazon Explore page? Lawks a mercy, it's like being in The Sims except if you want the ยง1000 bookcase to fit with your Neo-Victorian decor you can't just type klapaucious or rosebud. But it really has the perfect mixture of genuinely cool stuff, poorly color-shifted furniture, and total bullshit to give you a sort of uncanny valley feeling.

All in all, I had a lovely birthday weekend! Lots of arranging and such - put up a few more hooks (one next to the door for keys, SO CLEVER), glued the foot back on my electric sewing machine's case went through my stash and measured everything. I moved my sewing desk (it's my step-mother's - I brought it with me to put my sewing machine on but then since I got the treadle I haven't needed it and have just been putting stuff on it) into the living room for the plants and turned the couch, and it's like a whole new apartment. So much more open space, everything is lovely and clean and I'm very happy with it and determinedly not thinking about how I have to give a lecture on Saturday, ha ha ha HA HA.

I bought myself the Gothic to Goth: Romantic Era Fashion & Its Legacy catalogue, which someone on FB was kind enough to point out was going OOP. It came today, and it's excellent! And I made a half batch of this focaccia, which turned out very well. (I've been watching the first series of GBBO and wanting to bake.)
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I sure wish I could teach my brain to flip the "am/am not the Worst Person in the WorldTM" switch once I realize the problem is PMS-depression and not objective fact. Because I feel so much better today than I did two days ago, and I could have used the improvement back when I made the connection.

Dark clouds coming, but not fast enough. Or maybe too fast, because I have a migraine starting along with my backache.

I cannot believe I've had this dress sitting for literally months, when I did the whole lining hem today and can tell I'll probably finish the outer hem tonight or tomorrow morning. Assuming it doesn't all end up looking terrible (when I last tried it on it seemed like the bust points were way off ... it's hard doing FBAs with wide-set boobs) I think I will wear it to the War of 1812 Symposium next Saturday.

Figured out a way I could move some furniture! I'm going to get a plant stand so the table isn't tethered to the window, and then turn the couch sideways (99.9% of the time it's only me here watching tv, so I can sit lengthways) so it doesn't stick into the middle of the room. This may prove to be stupid but it also might make things seem bigger.
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I reflected yesterday that I almost always feel better when I clean up or reorganize in some way, so I took the nearly-done dress off the top of the standing mirror where I'd put it and started actually hemming the lining (two birds with one stone!). It will take forever to do by hand, but it would probably take just as much time and four times as many pins to do by machine. And when I bought a mouse for the computer (thanks for the sensible suggestion, [profile] an_english_girl!) I picked up a large shelf thing to put my shoes on so they can stack instead of trailing out into the room.

I also put up one of the stick-on hooks I'd bought at the drugstore a week or two ago - in the kitchen, for my big frying pan. That freed up a shelf spot for mixing bowls (which fit much better there than the pan had), which in turn freed up a place under the rolly counter-shelf thing for various stuff that had been on top, as well as the dish-drainer when it's not in use, so I don't have to put it on the floor outside the kitchen. (Yes, I live in squalor.) So now I'm thinking up more places to put sticky hooks. Two behind the door for coats/bags, definitely. There are some smaller ones for lighter items that I could hang more kitchen implements that bang around in drawers on - the strainer, measuring cups, etc. - although that doesn't solve the problem of stuff outwardly looking messy.

I feel like a totally new layout might be good, but the tv kind of has to stay where it is, and the couch is dependent on that, and everything else is dependent on the couch, etc.
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Legs are KILLING ME after I went on a 2-2.5 mi walk today in unsuitable worn-out sandals because I sometimes get tired of being that dork walking around in sneakers and ankle socks. And of course Pokemon registered only half a kilometer.

Secret Project is completely done and I'm going to send it out tomorrow and I'm so excited about it! Then I'm going to have to wait for the mail, boo. I've watched so much stuff while working on this, probably 200 hours of tv (I went through an entire spool of thread by hand). Most recent new thing was La Esclava Blanca, a historical telenovela. Very, very dramatic.

So now I have to make up the sloper Julie sent me before I do any other sewing, then do the hems on the one dress I have nearly finished. After that ... well, I suppose I should make a small elliptical hoop, although the thought is giving me hives. I really need some transitional fall dresses - basically like my summer ones in darker colors and maybe with short sleeves - and this winter I definitely need a heavy flannel dressing gown since I'm going to deal with the heating situation (set to 60, freezing; set to 61, 70-75 degrees) by trying to keep the room cold and dress warmly.

Probably I should clean before I do any sewing at all, though. I haven't picked up in weeks and there are opened envelopes everywhere, all the surfaces are dusty, etc. My sewing chair is covered with lengths of pre-washed fabric that need to be ironed.
chocolatepot: Bodice of a woman from a painting by Ingres (Ingres)
Because the wedding dress I patterned today has a BIG TRAIN. (Yes, singular - I did the stereotypical 1890s one because it's more to the point.) It's in terrible shape, mainly, I suspect, because in the 20th century (proooooobably after the Diana/Charles wedding) somebody decided they needed to wear it, so it's shattering and shredding. At least the alterations they made weren't too invasive. It was made with a 36" bust and a 26" waist, and they opened the side seams and inserted big triangles to make the waist 34". Which seems odd, who has a 34" waist and 36" bust? But it's a good thing, as I'm sure that adding more to the bust would have meant taking out the sleeves and rearranging the gathers.

It's a very impressive gown. The front and back are deeply pleated vertically, and the sleeves are enormous - bigger than the ones in PoF. They're cut on the bias and splay out as they go down, plus the lower edge is curved, which makes it more than five feet before gathering. Detachable lower sleeves on hooks and eyes. A highish square neckline filled in with net, and a high collar covered with lace. A two-and-a-half foot train, and the lower edge is trimmed with two satin rouleaux that wind around and around each other.

It took four hours, which occasionally made me what "omg whaaaaaat are you dooooing," but then it was incredibly humid today and in the high 80s (I know to some of you that's very reasonable but here it's a killer), and the museum is air-conditioned, so it actually worked out pretty well.
chocolatepot: Bodice of a woman from a painting by Ingres (Ingres)
Wow, credit card charges really creep up on you, don't they? How about that. How. About. That. Particularly when you put about two-thirds of all your money into paying off your student debt, right on payday. :|

Tomorrow I'm going to have my waffles in the morning, empty my garbage pail and wash it and set it outside because it's vile even when empty and I'm hoping the sun will help, and then go to the museum and do some ~*~patterning~*~!

I can't say at all when we'll have it available even for testing, but Julie wants to make an 1890s evening dress. And while preparing and testing the Pingat will be more of a priority, we can at least get a jump on an 1890s evening dress pattern for the future. We have two at SLCHA, both of which I'll pattern tomorrow, I think: one is dated to 1892, the wedding dress of someone local, with smaller puffs and a little CF panel someone added later (fortunately, that's the whole of their alterations; the rest of the bodice is exactly as it was made), and the other I also suspect to be a wedding dress as it's the same shade of off-white, but it's found in collections. The second is from a bit later in the decade, the more stereotypical mid-1890s big balloon-sleeved dress.
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Have been sewing all. day. apart from a short break out at noon to return a library book and get a bagel for lunch. See, this current project has to sit on my lap, and most days it's so hot that I can't bear to do very much of it ... but today it's ~75 in the sun and ~65 in my apartment, so I have to make the most of it. But it means that I have that weird, warmish, sleepy feeling I get when I'm not well and have stayed in bed, and I'm so tired. Taking a break, and I think I'll have a burrito for dinner so I can get another walk.

Books read lately:

Aftermath: Life Debt: Leia sends a band of rebel fighters to find Han and Chewbacca, who've gone missing while attempting to liberate Kashyyk from the remnants of the Empire. Good; not very well-written technically, but fun and fairly quick. Everyone is attracted to Han, which I approve of as IC. I may look out for the rest of the trilogy. I SHIPPED EVERYONE.

A Perfect Proposal: I've found that I really like a specific subgenre of "chicklit" - basically a romcom on paper but not in the romance genre, money and/or class and/or finding a career is central to the plot, the heroine usually has messy family issues, almost always from a British writer (Sophie Kinsella is a pretty good example). This one seemed to fit when I read the blurb in the library, but it turned out to be a dud. I finished it, so it has that going for it. But it was easily twice as long as it needed to be, and while it had the potential to be very iddy it never followed through.

Prep: Coming-of-age story about a midwesterner in an East Coast prep school. I thought it would be a bit lighter overall and satirize class issues, but from the beginning it seemed like more emphasis was on the coming-of-age. Only read a few chapters.

Now I'm reading Julian Fellows's Past Imperfect because he can satirize class issues (Belgravia is what I wanted, but it's new so none of the copies in the system are available for order), but ... I'm pretty sure he's making fun of the intensely what-about-the-good-old-days kind of guy he's often accused to being, but it comes across like he just is that kind of guy, like, painfully. I don't know if I can finish it.

Mom and Ron got their box back, btw. She hasn't told me the whole story yet, but it was not a case of someone thinking it was lost property. Ron's medication is probably gone, but Mom got her paintings and blue ribbons back, which is the main thing IMO.
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My mom and step-father had a box of their stuff stolen at the county fair. :( She had won first prize for a painting of my grandmother based on an elementary school photo and gotten a $100 check, and Ron's notes from days of forestry fieldwork were in it, and, most importantly for the theft, probably, the narcotic pain meds he's still taking from when he almost cut his fingers off last fall. Mom is very pissed off, because Ron set the box down and walked away from it to find the car last night when the parking lot was full of people after the country/western concert. I don't quite get why he thought that was a good idea, but he did.

1867 fashion post is coming along well, and it's very interesting. I just haven't really thought to look in-depth at that period before ... although now that I have, I ended up buying the 1867 Peterson's on eBay. I didn't mean to! But I have the 1866 and 1868, so I just went browsing and I found it listed at $100 obo. I offered $50, thinking they'd turn me down, and they accepted. And I'd thought they'd find that a lowball given what they had it listed for! Next time I'll try $40. No, no next time! I only have about $2000 in the world and I need to get two new tires, mine have slow leaks.

Oh, good, it's raining now. Time to sew.
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I went to bed last night so anxious over various things that I dreamed my inbox blew up with angry blog comments. Fortunately it was not prophetic. I am not the worstTM and everyone does not hate me.

Way back when LJ was much much much much more active, I started reading my flist through filters: People and Communities. As I got into the historical fashion/costuming fandom, I added another, Costumes. And then the action on Communities died right off, so I started looking only at People and Costumes. Lately I decided both are quiet enough and have started just reading from my basic flist view, which has brought me back to some things that were on the Communities filter or maybe not on any filters, like the [profile] pepysdiary feed. Which is so interesting! I think I would get bored trying to read Pepys's diary straight through, but going day-by-day makes it easy. (Do I still have that Steve Coogan Pepys movie/miniseries somewhere?)

Have set an arbitrary sewing goal for myself, which I'm close to reaching, and when I do I can write about 1867.
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Paid off the last $2500 of my student loan! I will have to write my next rent check out of my old TD Bank just-in-case account, but it feels very good. And think of how much I will save now that I'm not paying 6.8% interest. Think of it. Instead of my sad three-digit bank account. #worthit

Welp, blog post on the Chrisman-Butchart Gardens scandal posted. I think it manages to express my regret without coming across as sanctimonious or prissy. It's actually a little more neutral than I intended, but it's hard to get across how bad I think trying to tank a business's online reviews is without being snarly, and I really don't want to make a big thing on my blog about the matter - I just want to make it clear to anyone who thought I was on that side that I'm not, and to kind of detach.

I'm more than 2/3 of the way through Star Wars: Aftermath: Life Debt and it feels really good! I've had a hard time finishing books over the past year or so, and then I tried to read the TFA novelization and couldn't get into it, so it's nice to know that I can still enjoy modern novels and Star Wars fiction. This does not have any of the entertaining wackiness of the old EU books (there are no telepathic space raptors to deal with immediately after RotJ anymore, and Han and Leia are already married and Ben is conceived, so there will never be a Hapan delegation forcing Leia to enact Shrek II In Space) and the writing can occasionally be a bit shaky, but I enjoy all the new characters. Especially Bones, who is a battle droid programmed to try to be people.
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Just a heads up for my friends - the pattern line that Julie and I have been working on is going to start with a Kickstarter! It's made and we're just waiting on Kickstarter to approve and post it; we need it to purchase the module for the patterning software that will let us do custom sizing. (Custom-sizing is going to be one of our Things, along with patterns taken from actual historical pieces.)

The only pattern we're offering to start off with is the 1867 Pingat evening dress, which is a) gorgeous, b) couture (maybe we could also do the Worth walking dress AIHA has someday), and c) versatile (if you put it over a bustle and stuck an overskirt on top, you could easily push it out to ~1873), which Julie has already made. We don't know exactly where we're going to go next - since the two American war eras are so covered, market-wise, we'll probably be avoiding them and aiming for time periods that costumers like, such as the bustle eras. I'd like to do a Regency pattern, having been at least clever enough to specify in my book contract that a "competing work" would only be another book of patterns from Regency dresses. But other than that, it all depends on where we see a need at the time.

The Kickstarter prices are actually going to be a bit costlier than they will be once we're up and running, in order to make sure that the project gets funded and we can move ahead.
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Watching the actresses from Another Period on TDS is genuinely hurting me. I mean, they are comedians and so hopefully people won't take their views on history seriously? But I know that is not how people work.

So nice to look in the mirror and see a human again. Yesterday after I left the blood drive, I looked in a mirror (this is about half an hour after they told me I'd gotten my color back) and it really freaked me out, because I looked like a corpse. Just ashen.

Fresh hell

Aug. 9th, 2016 06:24 pm
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Ohhhhh dear, has anyone else ever gotten nauseated after (passing out after) giving blood? I have been having a tremendously difficult afternoon. I know I have to replace what I sicked up but putting more food in my mouth is hard. At least I'm finally starting to feel better after slowly working on this soup (vegetable broth with some spices and a handful of mini wheel noodles).

Pondering some possible events for the museum in 2017 ... I don't know if we could do a marriage reenactment for Silas and Clarissa Wright, but we could at least have some kind of anniversary thing where I could wear an appropriate dress, which would be half the point. The other half of the point being to encourage people to remember Silas Wright as more than a name on a blue-and-yellow sign in front of the house - he was tremendously popular locally during his lifetime and seems to have been a genuinely good dude. And I have to do something awesome for the anniversary because it's my birthday, how often does a coincidence like that happen? Wear a period I like that has no practical/military reenactment value for my birthday!

Another thing I'm thinking of is part event, part fundraising idea. A sampler quilt! Sponsor a square - tiered levels, simpler squares costing less and applique squares more - which will be made embroidered with your name? And then when it's done, set it up on a frame and have a quilting bee, where people can pay $1 or $5 to twiddle on it for a little bit (with me there to show them how and encourage them. In early/mid-19th century dress). I feel like doing it as a fundraiser might be too much work, but it would also provide some kind of framework for it and pay for material. Really, I just want to teach people what a quilting bee is (until I came across a reference to young women making quilt tops and setting them aside for quilting before the wedding, I thought it was people coming together to piece quilts) and what hand-sewing is like. Maybe this is instead something I could set up for next year's Remington Arts Festival, though: this year and last year we had new, tangentially-related exhibits going up, but I don't want to always have to shoehorn Remington into exhibitions and the next one I'm thinking of is not going to be compatible. On the weekend of the festival, we always have a display of historic toys and some costumes we've borrowed from Upper Canada Village for kids to try on ... so I could very easily justify sitting out there quilting.

Am I just angling for more small children to call me a princes? Maybe. Maybe I am.
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Guess who got Friday night off and also doesn't have to work Saturday? This girl.

Thinking about my ball gown (RWD, p.94) project: does anyone know how Dharma's 10mm chiffon would hold up as the base layer for an overdress? Then the 12 mm rose pink charmeuse with ivory for the trim (and the ivory for the underdress, too)? The trouble is that the white chiffon is very white. I like the ivory chiffon, but that's 8 mm, maybe too lightweight? I never know what to think about mommes, I should probably get samples, but ... any thoughts?


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