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I have this light blue poly/wool suiting, a very thin, smooth fabric. My two options, given the length I bought*, are:

- Simplicity 8050


- Butterick B5813.

The latter I've made before:

It's really unflattering. If I use the pattern again, I'm going to do the FBA again to add more ease to the bust. But is there anything else you can see that would make this better? Should the horizontal seam hit fully under the bust, or is that where it's meant to be? (The sleeves are also hella tight, but that's okay as they're from another pattern so I won't be using them.) Should I abandon this pattern as not working with my body, and go with the first one?

* although some patterns that call for a bit more could work with less, since I can take ~2" off the bottom of most skirts even before fitting

ETA: I can't get over how bizarre the bridge of my nose looks in that picture, wtf.

TV Stuff

Oct. 22nd, 2016 08:28 am
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So I watched RHPS - Let's Do The Time Warp Again last night. Thought it was pretty good, and avoided the problem that's messed up every other NBC production (casting people who can't sing for singing parts, people can sing but can't act for acting parts - basically seeming to value star power much over ability or fitting the part). It helped that it wasn't quite as "live" as the others, and that the original is basically the campiest thing ever so it's not being compared to a polished movie musical.

Is anyone else watching Westworld? thoughts )

New Black Mirror is interesting. stuff )


Oh no, I was pretty sure I would be good with three pens, which is really one too many (I have designated my first pen as "fiction pen", the two others are "office pen" and "journal pen"), and yet now I'm looking at a vintage Eversharp with a good flex nib. My life D:
chocolatepot: Bodice of a woman from a painting by Ingres (Ingres)
I continue to be completely mesmerized by the fountain pen fandom. (PENDOM - I have just come across this delightful word.)

One particular Facebook group, otoh, has been exasperating me. First "experienced costume designers should be considered just as qualified as candidates for an assistant curatorial position at the Costume Institute as people with museum degrees and experience", then "but why spend so much money on the ruby slippers, someone could easily make replicas, how can they possibly need to do research on the techniques?" YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT.

Let's buckle up for the next presidential debate )

I can't wait to see the 538 numbers over the next few days.
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My FFC order came yesterday. That light blue check is just too thin and smooth and cold for a winter dress, but should still work for the intended pattern - I might save it for the spring. Or actually it might be better with this, since it's so thin. I'm kind of afraid of that pattern because I made it once and despite what Julie said, it was seriously dowdy. The black pinstriped wool is a bit less thin and cold; I might use it for my actual vintage shirtdress pattern that I'm afraid to grade up. But I really lucked out with the tan twill wool, which is actually soft and warm! It's so hard to get exactly what you want out of FFC, and most of their wools seem to be lightweight suitings in my experience. (Don't remember at all what I bought it for. I have enough for a third version of the dolman-sleeve dress, but I kind of hate both of last winter's versions and the seams are always splitting under the arm.)

I am getting mesmerized by pens. Friday I read a ton of fountain pen intros and columns and stuff, and when I anxiety-woke up in the middle of the night (anxious because of having to catch the garage before they operated on my car), as I predicted, I couldn't stop thinking about fountain pens, as I expected. I can see how the addiction creeps up on people, although I think I'm fairly safe. If I didn't already have a mad hobby for obsessives, though, I could see myself dropping $100 on a pen. I have to admit that I'd even kind of like a nice vintage pen to go with my nice vintage-style clothes, but I'm pretty safe as I don't like the look of 99% of the vintage pens I've seen.
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I spent the afternoon finishing my apron - it's hideous, by the way, but useful - and decided to watch Lilies again while I did the binding. It's interesting to rewatch it now that historical drama has become a mainstay of tv. If it came out now, it probably would still only get one season - its morality is a lot more complex than historical drama morality is allowed to be. Not so much in the individual choices characters are allowed to make (which we do see a lot of grey in these days) but in the universe itself. When the officials come around to make sure the houses aren't overcrowded and the kitchen isn't filthy, we've seen enough of the poverty of the street and the sketchy stuff happening in the kitchen to know they're right but don't sympathize with their manner and way of going about it, and the show doesn't exactly say, "Look how awful these guys are! The government should stay out of public health." When Ruby gets involved with the posh vegetarian feminist eugenicists, they're allowed to be partly right and partly wrong and partly clueless. And I mean: Dadda Moss. They may have actually gone too far on the ambivalent side with Dadda. I dunno. But I kind of prefer this version of "shades of grey" to the more common one.


Oct. 15th, 2016 01:52 pm
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My car has slow-leaky tires, a huge hole in the exhaust, and no power steering, but it's not getting fixed because it's worth about $500 on the market. There was a used car from my dad's company I was going to look at that was reasonable (kind of high mileage - the people at Farm Credit do a lot of driving - but only a couple of years old) but it just sold. I'm planning to go with a lease, but with few dealerships around here I have little choice, so I'm going to wait until Thanksgiving and try to get one near Albany. Guess I'm just ... not going to drive anywhere for a while.

Kind of nice to make the decision, tbh. It's awkward and means I'm going to have to find a ride to get to our chorus concert in Ogdensburg on 11/11, but now paying $1200 for repairs is off the table for good and I never have to go, "should I walk or drive?" because the answer is now always "walk".

Unfortunately, "should I replace my coat, down coat, sneakers, boots, and jeans, all of which are either dead or nearly there?" is still on the table.
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Well, I'm kind of frustrated because the two nice cardigans I ordered from Banana Republic came and are both too big (I measured myself with the size chart!!) and way too long, and all the sewing patterns I can find are actually complicated hacks of other patterns and I don't really like sewing with knits anyway, and the knitting patterns are all ugly. I might have to frog the cardigan I made last year and remake it in a smaller size. UGH. I would just buy one but it's so hard to figure out which store would be most likely to send me something actually good that would last. But I just found this Etsy shop, Embonpoint Vintage, which has patterns you scale up with special rulers, and she has exactly the kind of coat pattern I'm looking for. So at least there's that.

(Also, this dress, which I can't get over for some reason.

I can't decide if I should cut about 10" off my hair, bringing it up to my shoulders-ish (which works really well with the texture, the waves/curls are more defined around my face and it's not as flat on top as it is when long) or if I should leave it (I do Regency demos every so often, and in February I'll be doing late 1860s). Logic tells me that everyday should trump once-in-a-while, but I am genuinely so bad with hair stuff that I don't know if I can do anything useful with the half-wig that I have. How do you even use a half-wig?!

Saving some recipes so I can close some tabs:
Shortbread toffee cookie bars
Monster cookie bars
Peanut butter cookie bars
Cookie dough bars
Salted caramel chocolate chip cookie bars
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I swear, friend, if I see one more falsely equivalent "both candidates are terrible" post from you I'm going to hide your posts.

I really want a new coat this year, because I've been wearing the same one since I was at FIT, I think, and it didn't fit that well in the first place. What I want is this coat, but I don't know if I want to get that pattern, which would need to be sized up, or go with a modern non-vintage pattern like this, this, or this. What I'd prefer is to be able to find something like Simplicity 4090, which is actually vintage but significantly simpler than the VeraVenus pattern. Unfortunately, these patterns are nowhere to be found. I know they existed, but nobody seems to want to sell them.

Nice English Country Dance demo, even if we did some Playford dances from the wrong century. Our caller gave out some badhistory, but it's ... well, not starting to bother me less, but I can just mentally go, "Oh, George." I've accepted that we're an unfixably inaccurate group and that's it. I'd love to do the kind of things Susan de Guardiola writes about, but it probably just won't happen unless I move somewhere I can go to, you know, the dances she does in Connecticut.
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Shut up you idiot shut up shut up SHUT UP. TALK ABOUT "TREMENDOUS HATRED".

But Hillary's face when Martha does her arguing for her is priceless.


Bought more patterns in JoAnn's sale today, but I restrained myself to six. I wish I hadn't bought the bias tape I need for my apron online, I always forget how long it takes for stuff to ship from them - I could have bought that today. But then it's not like I even have the seams sewn yet, so ...

Did quite a few other errands and stuff today - basically not as relaxing as I meant to be, especially because tomorrow morning-to-lunch is a dance demo at SLU. Maybe I can make the whole afternoon have nothing happen (except getting more milk to make yoghurt and also some to drink).
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Sorry sorry sorry! I meant to have this done before assignments went out.

Doctor Thorne - Any: Augusta Gresham, Doctor Thorne, Mary Thorne, Miss Dunstable

I have been wildly in love with this adaptation ever since it came out! The two I'm most interested in plotwise are Augusta and Miss Dunstable, two complete opposites. What on earth is going to happen to Augusta? Will she become unhappy and bitter? Or is she going to grow past the disappointment/betrayal? And if Miss Dunstable and the doctor marry as the end implies, how will that change both of their long-single, independent lives? If Augusta and Miss Dunstable/Mrs. Thorne both live in Greshamsbury, perhaps they become friends, hm?

But I also love how adorable Mary and her uncle are together (SO ADORABLE). They really are the backbone of the story, and some fluff with them being cute together would be most appreciated, too.

Pagan Chronicles - Any: Lord Roland Roucy de Bram, Pagan Kidrouk, Babylonne Kidrouk, Isidore Orbus

FEELS, ALL THE FEELS. I'll be upfront: my absolute dream fic would be an AU where Pagan somehow finds out that he has a daughter and comes to get her instead of being dead. Think of the carnage if these two strong personalities actually got to meet! But I am also madly in love with the Roland-Pagan and Isidore-Babylonne semi-parental/siblingish relationships and would really like any vignettes or episodes with them.

Howl Series - Howl and Sophie

Who doesn't adore Howl and Sophie? Since the end of HMC we've really only seen them from an outside perspective, so something closer to either or both of them would be wonderful. Could be a missing moment from HMC itself, the insanity that must have been their wedding, Sophie visiting Wales again as herself, both of them being hired for a job, even a pointless argument because we all like their bickering, right?

Arrested Development - Any: Byron "Buster" Bluth, George Oscar "GOB" Bluth, Lindsay Bluth Funke, Lucille Bluth, Michael Bluth, Tony Wonder

You're a saint. I love all the Bluths and their massive flaws! Some thoughts: the Bluths as children, not having yet grown into their beautiful terribleness but showing the signs; GOB and Tony Wonder feeling things out; Lucille before she became Lucille Bluth (was she this mean when she worked at Stuckey's?); Lindsey bonding with Michael; anything really just with the Bluths being awful to each other!
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I have got to get serious about saving money. (Fortunately I have a paycheck from while I was away to deposit, but without that what I have left is basically enough to pay this month's rent - late, oops - and my credit card bills.) My number one expenditure is fabric, so I'm going to try to make fewer impulse buys by not going to Joann, and to be savvier about what patterns I use/make sure to have enough ease so I don't end up making dresses that I try on and hate (which necessitates more fabric as now I have fewer dresses than I thought I would).

"Use up what you have" is obviously the best advice here, but all the dress lengths I have are either or both too lightweight or not quite long enough for the patterns I want to use, or I hate them because they looked better on FFC than they do IRL. There are a couple of those I'll be selling off on Etsy (I hope), which probably won't bring me much money but will at least make me feel less dumb about having fabric sitting around I'll never use.

I'd really love to find more of this:

I got 3 yds at Joann a month or two ago, the end of the bolt, and that's just not enough for a dress as it's 45" wide. Sadly, I can't find it online anywhere (the selvage says it's by Richloom, but all the Richloom fabric I see is upholstery and this is a slightly heavier cotton), but then it's very hard to search for as it's not really "floral" and it's not really "abstract". Let me know if you've seen it! I need like 1.5 yds more for the pattern I'd like to use, Butterick B6018.

Right now I'm making an apron with this:

I've been looking at it in the discount bin for, I swear, years, and have always liked it. Of course the time I actually go for it there's only a yard and a bit, so an apron it is. I've never been into aprons because I always dressed like crap, but now I have dresses that I don't want to spill anything (more) on. So I'm using Simplicity 4282, the one in the upper left minus pockets, a little shortened, and with pieced ties.

For this winter, I'll be branching out into the 1940s for once with Simplicity 8050, in a light blue check (no contrasting collar, no Agent Carter flair). I think I'll be almost as happy with a small A-line skirt as with a full one. I started a Pinterest board for Patterns I Actually Have - I have some other more modern patterns, but they're kind of set aside for now - so you can see what I have to work with. The numbers in parentheses are the yardages needed for my preferred views, 45" and 60", so I can easily check what I need when not at home or without getting it all out.
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I never quite got why people called themselves trash, but while watching the premiere of OUAT (what is even happening?? who are these new characters??) I realized that yes, I am the Rumbelle trash. I will take whatever backsliding rubbish they hand out as long as it has Emilie de Ravin and Robert Carlyle on screen together. I genuinely don't care how repetitive or contrived it is.
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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.


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