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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So I don't know how many people here have heard/are interested, but there's been all this fuss about Tumblr being sold by Yahoo to Verizon and people are worried that its lack of lucrativity means it will be changed out of recognition and become terrible, like Delicious. (Which, might I add, was brought back from non-existence months ago but nothing else broken about the site or app has been fixed since then.) Imzy is a new site that's very similar to Tumblr, but with communities like LJ - if you want an invite, leave your email in a comment and I'll send you one. I started a group for fashion history.

I need to hem my damn circle skirt(s) and start on my secret September HSM non-clothing project, but I really want to make an 1860s morning dress that fits me a bit better than the light green one. It's just a little too long and the armscyes are a little too low and tight - I can barely fix my hair when I'm dressed. The print on the cotton is nothing at all period, too. There's a sensible part of me that would like to make a plain checked dress, but after the whole "princess" thing, which I thoroughly enjoyed (in large part because I was that little girl who was so excited at seeing a princess, once), I'm way more inclined toward a sheer. Especially if I'm only wearing 1860s one weekend per year, at the height of the summer, and not to actually reenact in. Perhaps after the Secret Project, I will do the new Regency ball dress (gauze/sheer overdress with silk? slip) for the winter, and then in the spring focus on doing first a CW sheer and then a workdress. Or, instead of the workdress, a plain but nice skirt and a sheer waist.
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Dear Coronation Ceremony writer,

I would honestly be pretty happy with anything you cook up for me! Let me arrange my requests so they're nicer-looking than on AO3:

Relationship: Maia Drazhar & Setheris Nelar
Relationship: Chenelo Drazharan & Maia Drazhar
Relationship: Csevet Aisava/Maia Drazhar
Relationship: Csethiro Ceredin/Maia Drazhar

Character: Hesero Nelaran
Character: Csevet Aisava
Character: Csethiro Ceredin
Character: Maia Drazhar

Worldbuilding: Fashion
Worldbuilding: Suppression of the Cult of Chevarimai
Worldbuilding: Magical Education
Worldbuilding: Social Structures

I love woobiness (obviously, I am into TGE). Other tropes I like include protection, rescues, hurt/comfort in general, humiliation, revenge, poor self-esteem ... basically, every trope that's in canon? That's for me. Fluff is okay, but I'd prefer something dark or sad to be behind it. I'm intrigued by Csethiro and would love to read about her personality being expanded upon.

EDIT - now with some prompts!

I've been interested in Maia and Setheris from the beginning - if I'd written TGE there would have been a full chapter at the front of the book establishing Maia as the woobie with poor self esteem, being trampled on by Setheris before Csevet got there. I've also been intrigued by Headroom, and how she deals with finding out about Setheris's behavior, and how their marriage is after she knows.

Csethiro on her own is a bit of a flat character, and I'd love to see her passionate about anything - her swords, Maia, etc. I have to admit to being interested in some sort of public or semi-public wedding night for her and Maia, which seems fairly plausible for the canon.

For Csevet/Maia I'm really into rescue scenarios. Literally any kind of rescue scenarios.

If you feel the urge to write about one of the worldbuilding tags with OCs? That's totally cool. I am a fan of OCs in general.

The only thing I do not want would be any kind of excuse of Setheris's abuse (not that I expect anyone in this fandom would be writing revisionist/villain-sympathy fic), and I'd prefer an entire fic not to be from his viewpoint.

Fresh hell

Jul. 29th, 2016 09:11 pm
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I have to go to bed early to go back to the reenactment tomorrow, so suffice to say that I have been shouted at for something that wasn't my fault, even the person who stood up for me seems to want me to feel bad about the whole thing, and basically everyone is expecting far too much special event planning competence from a collections manager taking home $10.50/hr who will be working roughly fifteen hours of unpaid overtime this weekend.
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I prepared the bulk newsletter mailing today with some help and my hands/wrists are DYING. ~670 newsletters, each needed a flyer inserted and folded, then they had to be taped at each end, and the address sticker put on. Then I carried the three short trays to the post office. Man. But I still managed to add to the petticoat waistbands and reattach the buttons, so all that's left for sewing is to do a button and buttonhole on the drawers, although I'm very tempted right now to use a safety pin and call it a day.

But we're altogether very close to the day, and the only thing I've done wrong is not save photocopies of sponsorship checks, and Sue seemed only moderately annoyed about it! Oh, and I also processed the sponsorships as memberships rather than donations. Maybe because she's come to terms with just how crappy I am with office/filing type stuff. Things are going all right.

How do other people arrange reenactment events? How do they cope with the anxiety/stress? ... Well, I guess they don't usually have quite so many moving parts, at least for non-battle events, I mean. I would like to arrange a Georgian picnic now, just for the fun of it.
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Holy crackers, I was just looking through my Google Docs and I apparently came up with concepts for coffeeshop/bakery AUs for the Austen canon, and started writing the P&P one, and I quite like it? (The plan was to just write significant scenes, not to actually rewrite each book.) Must come back to this at some point.
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My bonnet somehow arrived today - so fast! It is beautiful and fits so well and will last me forever. It's totally inspiring me to do some more bonnetry of my own ... but not now, I need to trim this bonnet (when the ribbon arrives) and I'm pretty sure several of my new underthings need buttons/need buttons moved because I assumed I'd get more waist-reduction with the new corset. (Probably need tabs added to widen the waistbands tbh, I was pretty optimistic.) Later, though! I have a roll of good buckram, and I think I will use it to make a bunch of forms to cover at another time. I haven't had great luck with it due to bad materials and bad patterns, but I really like the whole 3D nature of millinery.

I worked tonight and am working tomorrow and did the same last weekend as well, which I feel like should frustrate me more? But whenever I do more than 40 hrs in a week (which I will be going WELL over next week, what with setting up and then working the reeenactment) I remember that after December 1, I can't legally do that anymore! It perks me up no end. Some of the board members seem to think this is unfair to me, but ... I don't want to work unpaid overtime, why would I? It's never like "oh, I have so much work to do, I need 55 hours to do it in," it's pretty much always a function of there being an event I have to work as well as my regular hours.

Also I just realized the other day that in September, I have to give a talk at the War of 1812 Symposium at SLU on women's dress (natch) the weekend after my birthday, and then the next Thursday I have to give a talk on the exhibition we'll be opening that day, and then on Friday I'll be leaving work early to go directly to the airport and fly to Albany for our vacation to see our cousins in California. :O
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I found a bonnet! I emailed Timely Tresses to see if she had any forms already made, and she has an early 1860s model in natural straw (among others in different colors), so I've asked for it and she's sending me a PayPal invoice. Very very happy, this is going to be a much nicer hat than my brown silk one. Now to get ribbons. Oh, and netting to line the brim - or maybe I'll just pink some voile or lawn instead, I already have a lot of that and I'm pretty sure that's acceptable?.

Civil War Weekend is giving me the worst anxiety for no reason. Everything is set, all we need are volunteers to do admission and run the gift shop. But I'm all et up inside anyway. Also, I had a message on the voicemail about someone wanting to volunteer, and first it was awkward because I'd misheard the name as "Angela" and it was "Andrew", and then Sue heard the name and came over and wrote that he's visually impaired on a pad, and after I'd booked him in to do admissions on Sunday morning with his assistant she told me he also has some emotional issues and basically I'm just hoping this all works out okay.

work venting )

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