Mmmmmm

Sep. 21st, 2017 07:13 pm
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I am so pleased with how this dress is coming along. Now that it's dark after dinner, I can't get as much done in the evenings as I'd like - I mean, I do have lights, but it's always sort of awkward and shadowy to work by my lamps. But it's good enough to take the sleeve head down about two inches - which looks a bit weird on the sleeve itself, because I haven't cut it yet, but I just made a new paper pattern and it honestly looks fairly normal there.

Written last night, mysteriously not posted until this morning.
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I am loving that Victoria s2e2 features Ada Lovelace, but rrrrrgh the collars on the dressers! Bad enough that they're always made out of anachronistic lace for some reason, but the new girl's is, like, laid around her shoulders instead of actually coming to the neckline.

Victoria's costuming is better this season, though, on the whole.
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I ordered a new Besame lipstick. :O See, I've been thinking about Portrait Peach since it came out: it seems like exactly the shade from Mad Men that I'm always trying to find cheaply. Cheap versions always turn out the wrong color, or they come off after five minutes. So it's probably best just to splurge and get the good one. I'd also just gotten the email about the promo - buy anything for full price and get the free perfume sample set. I smelled 'em all in Ohio and only bought 1910 because the others seemed too smelly, but now I'm more used to wearing scent and I might find the others more pleasant now. Anyway.

Also a pair of boots from Thursday Boots, the Captains in black. I really prefer the natural brown, it has that nice shading, but I really need these for winter wear and I always wear dark tights and dark clothes in the winter. Probably some people could pull off the brown with that, but I can't. Dad owes me a pair of boots from last Christmas, so.

I lost my head and wrote this long-ass, sad, and somewhat wild Left-eat-Left thing elsewhere and probably sounded mad, but ... I really wanted to say it, so it's probably a good thing that I said it.

I'm working on creating into/outro music for AMBA with public domain music. I really like the Maxixe, the Chrysanthemum, the scherzo from this string nonet ... honestly, all the Joplin on this site. Grande Valse Brillante. Well, this is a lot to think about now.

Interview is scheduled for next Friday, I need to book bus tickets. Oh lord, I need a vacation.
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So I've decided to work on making a shirtwaist dress. I'd already graded up/FBA'd the bodice pieces, so last night I made a full bodice mockup (minus sleeves) to check fit; ended up taking it up a bit over the bust in front and back to raise the bottom of the armscye - I have a fairly high bust relative to my shoulders, too - and shaving off the top edge of the armscye as well. And of course cut off quite a bit of the lower edge of the bodice. The body might still be the slightest bit tight, and I'm not sure if I should just sew the sides with 1/2" seams instead of 5/8" to add just a little more ease, or to actually add a bit more fabric.

Most of the fabrics in my stash are too short to make a dress, even one with a fairly narrow skirt like this (because I always go shopping at JoAnn and there's never enough on the bolt! why??), but I do have a light green cotton broadcloth that's juuuust long enough. It's hard to make myself work with anything warmer right now. :| Also not sure if I should do sleeveless, short sleeves, or 3/4 length. Probably the last one, I don't have much clothing that's good for intermediate temperatures, but at the same time, how often is it really an intermediate temperature? It's always hot or cold.

I do also have two lengths of wool that could work for a second version of the dress, one a kind of black and white pinstripe and the other a light brown twill with fairly long floats. (The latter I'm thinking could work for a kirtle, although the weave is not terribly period - but it's "tawny".) The stripe might do, but I'm also looking at this interesting wool from FFC. Wool is hard to buy from them, though; nearly all of it is suiting. At the same time, it costs half as much as the wool at Renaissance Fabrics and Wm Booth, and much much less than the wool in regular fabric stores. B&T seems to have pretty decent prices, though, on the cassimere.
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I think it's not just Trump that's making me feel constantly exhausted, it's the ... not realization, I realized it before, but the brought-home-ening of how deep the rot goes. In our history, in our culture today. Fox News is as successful as it is because the people it infects already have the seed of that unreasoning hate/fear in them. The sectional slavery/antislavery conflict has been going on in this country for centuries, and we couldn't end it with a war or with laws - we can force the feelings to be less acceptable to vent in a crowded room, but instead of fading away it just goes underground to some extent. I have hope that we can right this particular ship eventually (by "this ship" I mean the immediate situation), but to be honest I think another crisis on the same lines will arise in 20-50 years, unless we can somehow outlaw media like Fox, Brietbart, Alex Jones, etc. which we never will do.

In other news today I cried at work over what a piece of shit Joe Arpaio is.

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Don't know if anyone's watching The Defenders, but I find that it offers me nothing as a big fan of Jessica Jones. One of the main things that sucked me into JJ is that they flipped the script wrt gender casting - everyone's a woman unless they need to be a man. (And nearly all the men have some form of male privilege going on that's implicitly or explicitly commented on.) This wasn't immediately obvious to me when I started it, I just felt comfortable in a way that I rarely do with tv shows. TD completely loses this, of course, having three out of four of the heroes be male (and one of those be a pointless ass) while adding a boring "cool" female villain and having a bunch of secondary female character who exist as adjuncts or satellites to the others. It's unfortunate that JJ turned out to be a fluke in this regard.

Also, JJ has this over Daredevil, Luke Cage, and TD (I did not try to watch Iron Fist) - you can actually see what's happening on screen. Lighting, people, it's important.

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Not sure what I should sew next.

- I have the blue gingham earmarked for the one dress I've made before. I need one or two more summer dresses to fill out my workweek.

- If I do get The Interview, it probably won't happen until well into September, so I'll need something that looks fantastic on me and in my personal style, but isn't too flashy because that's not how they dress there. My turquoise dress would probably be okay, if I put a sweater over it to hide the fact that it's got weird wrinkling around the darts, but it's a very thin fabric and a circle skirt, which is not a great choice in a windy city. I'm thinking wool shirtwaist dress? How does that sound?

- A square-necked Tudor smock, naturellement. I pinned a buttload more manuscript pages today and yesterday and am itching to get started.

- I want to do some pattern experimentation re: French hoods in muslin for blog purposes.

And all this on a one-day weekend. :|
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Spent all day trying to figure out if I should move my blog to WP or not - I even exported it there just to get a sense of what it's like and what I can do with it. Maybe tomorrow I'll fuss around some more with Blogger styles? I think the main thing is that I want it to look clean and profesh and to have the mimicofmodes.com domain (because that's also clean and profesh). If I can make a Blogger page look like an actual website rather than a free blog, that would be just fine.

As I'm finishing up the bathing dress (pro tip: make the size correlating to your over-bust measurement so that it'll give you the necessary support and tuck in under the bust) and my next project is going to be only a slight variation in a dress I've made before, I'm thinking ahead to medieval sewing to do after that. So I'm probably going to make a Gothic Fitted Dress ... but are there any blog posts out there that argue with Robin's discussion of how to cut it? Since there's so little out there, I'd like to read two well-reasoned sides and decide between them.
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Hoo boy, what a week. I basically spent all of yesterday on Twitter ... watched the video of the car plowing into the crowd and the other car. I don't think it's sunk in with some people that the stereotypical Civil Rights Era non-violent protest is not going to work, because our institutions and government are not opposing the violence to the extent they need to be. In many ways they're supporting it. What a huge, awful mess this is.

This evening I started watching The Living and the Dead, a Victorian Gothic/paranormal/timeslip series starring Colin Morgan (who has really grown up since Merlin), on Amazon Prime. The sleeves are generally too small for the 1890s and one character overflows her corset in a really painful-looking way, but it's quite well done, story-, acting-, and set-wise.

Edit: Here's a thing, my dad found out from his BFF that we can have Italian citizenship if his grandfather wasn't naturalized before my grandfather was born. The 1930 census says he was naturalized and the 1920 one says he wasn't (my grandfather was born in 1924), and I've never been able to find naturalization records for either my great-grandfather or great-grandmother so I think that might have just been one of those census mistakes, so it could happen. And then I could get a job in the EU.
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I just found out about The Open Palace Programmes, and I think I'm going to apply just for the heck of it, but I won't get in. I know I won't, but it makes me tear up just reading the itineraries because they're so perfect. I wish the mentor program would get back in touch with me: I. Just. Want. To. Know. What. To. Do.

Up on iTunes! 36 downloads so far from LibSyn, yay.

I proposed an Arthur Tudor alt-history show in a special AskHistorians thread because I'm obsessed with Arthur Tudor and now I'd like to see it even more.
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Wrote a ridiculously long answer to what was probably a showerthoughts question about ready-made clothes. Well, it had to be long, the asker doesn't seem to know when exactly the Industrial Revolution happened, they think the sewing machine existed before it and that humans don't make our clothing today.

That was my afternoon - my morning was coming up with an entirely new first podcast episode and recording it. (It used to be an introduction, but then I read that you shouldn't do an introductory episode and so did wedding dresses instead.) Oh, and I put the zipper into my bathing suit back. So while I feel like a lump for never getting outside today, I guess I did get quite a few things done.
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Interesting interview with Benioff & Weiss and the Spellmans on Confederate.

I did not get outside today! Wore my Swirlesque housedress all day with no underwear. So lazy.

Finished my petticoat this morning! I had to unpick a little of the gathering on the lower flounce so that it would fit, and I realized that the smaller ruffle was too long because I'd accidentally doubled it for stupid reasons, so once I cut it in half it fit. Adding the elastic waistband with my electric machine on the coffee table was no problem. But then I put it on ... and the weight of the ruffles pulled it down! Turns out, a petticoat with this much rufflage should be made of lighter material than Joann muslin. I will not make this mistake again, and fortunately the bolt of muslin was free so I don't have to feel like I wasted it.

I cut out the cotton for the bathing suit, and have mostly put it together. I didn't do any FBA stuff on the cups, though, I just went with a slightly smaller size ... I figure that a bathing suit is supposed to squish you, right? Since there's no real support. This may be very interesting or very frustrating. Need to put in the zipper and then I'll have to move onto the nylon knit lining. Ugh, I wish I could trust that this would fit, and yes I should have just done a muslin but I just want to make it and have it done. Anyway, if it doesn't work right, I just have to take off the cups and replace them, which shouldn't be a very big deal.
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Last night I starched my petticoats - used this recipe/ratio - and just now I tried ironing them. The bodies were bone dry, but the hems were still wet ... I had hoped the heat of the iron would deal with it, but they were too soaked. Hopefully I didn't strip all the starch off of them while I was trying! But the parts I did iron look decent. Not as smooth and crisp as I expected, given the starched items I've handled in museums (probably because the fabric is crappy Sew Essentials muslin and I used corn starch rather than actual laundry starch), but it feels like a very light buckram/crinoline and stands out a bit. It'll be interesting to see how/whether it holds up on Saturday.

Lately I've been trying to research the 1950s the way I would the 1850s, but it's much more difficult as the relevant texts are in copyright and undigitized, for the most part. I'm very interested in figuring out what was "normal" in the '50s both because of my constant preference for being AuthentiqueTM rather than costumey, and because "what they did" is so often a more sensible and practical way of doing things. So I'm trying to figure out where the non-frilly-nylon petticoats of the book I bought and the many patterns I've seen stand - did people typically wear one floofy nylon bouffant with one or two plain petticoats on top? layers of floofy nylon? layers of plain petticoats? Is one option fashionable and one dorky? What do the fashon commentators say about slips?? While looking into this, I stumbled into the world of nylon petticoat fetishists! It's FASCINATING. In some ways, it reminds me of 19th/early 20th century tightlacing fetishism - lots of stories from men that seem to have a backbone of truth but are eroticized in very predictable ways, and a few stories from women that are more realistic but also weirder (because they're fairly normal reminiscences that seem to presume that everyone in the 1950s saw petticoats really sexually).
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Used my extra day off well! Finished gathering up the skirt and whipped it on - deliciously rewarding, I want to gauge everything in the future - sewed all the basic seams in the petticoat, and cut out the paper pattern pieces for the bathing suit and bathing coat. (Then I got to fold them all up again and put them in their envelope! I love folding pattern pieces.) I tried out a few hem feet: the tiniest one just doesn't work, like it's too heavy for the feed dogs to move the fabric, and the regular hemming attachments are missing the screw that holds them to the foot. Eventually I realized I could take a screw out of my electric machine (they cost, like, $5 on Amazon with Prime - less without, but more with the shipping, so) but by that point I was settled into cutting paper instead.

Did a little FFC shopping, for 100% cotton shirting so that I know what I'm getting. Wanted to get silk crepe de chine to make a slip that fits me better, but frankly I know I am not at the level where it makes sense to spend ~$40+ on lingerie fabric ... cotton voile will do for now. I was planning to use VeraVenus's free (1930s?) slip pattern, but that seems like a nightmare to fit to my body, so now I'm sucked into an Etsy whirlwind of vintage patterns, weighing better prices against closer sizing.

It was wonderfully cold and rainy, just like October. Something* smells musty in my apartment, and that's bad, but at the same time the smell means it isn't hot and I love that.

* I'm 95% sure it's the bolt of muslin I got from Sue, because it came out of her mother's storage/attic
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Skirt is mostly gauged! I need a smaller hoop to wear with it, though (unsurprising, since the pattern is technically from the early 1850s if not late 1840s) (but still, damn that 55"-wide fabric) ... I'll be starching my petticoats for next weekend and it will probably look "not terrible". At some point, I'm going to put three flounces on the skirt, which will help. Don't know if I'd say that I'm looking forward to Civil War Weekend, but at least I'm not dreading it due to costume unfinishedness.

I also cut out the yoke and flounces for a very ruffly '50s "Mexican-style" petticoat, and pinned the basic seams. The flounces are all circular, and like an idiot I cut the wider flounce circles all the way through instead of just halfway. ಠ_ಠ Right now my docket is looking like:

- finish 1850s dress
- make ruffly petticoat
- 1950s bathing suit
- second petticoat, less ruffly? (maybe a narrower one to replace slip layer)
- then finally new 1950s dress

I'd kind of like to make two bathing suits before we go to Cape Cod in September (Dad was like "hey when would be good for you to go?" and I was like "we have to do it for my birthday because if I stay at home by myself for my 30th birthday it's just going to be REALLY PATHETIC"), but I'd rather try out the whole "woven bathing suit with a zipper" concept before I completely commit to it.

When I do get to the new dress, bearing in mind that I have to do a FBA, should I make a shirtdress, a pretty pattern I haven't tried before with gathery darts below the bust, or revisit a pattern that has worked for me in the past (the version I have now is a bit big)? I can't decide.

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I'm getting burnt out on the Emerging Museum Professionals and Non-Profit Happy Hour Facebook groups. I mean, all Facebook stuff in general, but those two groups are draining - so much venting, and they also have a tendency to become a parody of social justice, being incredibly snarky and dismissive of institutions that need interns (and I could understand if there was more substantial discussion of what constitutes an unethical internship and what's volunteering, but instead it's just ranting about how "you shouldn't have workers you can't pay") and coming up with ideas about hiring solely based on resumés (but not their formatting or spelling or way of describing things). At least Costume People, while being ranty, manages to also actually discuss issues.
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I put the piping on the lower edge of the bodice!



It's so funny, the idea of piping always completely intimidated me before I made my dress for the Hallowedding and I never bothered to actually try it (not that I had done that much Victorian sewing before then, anyway, but). My Cranford dress has this awkward, bulky hem at the bottom of the bodice, because I thought that would be easier than piping! I should write a blog post on that. Fortunately, the piping - and the bulk of the gathering folded up under the piping - helps to hold out the front panel, which was all squirrelly and didn't want to stay flat. Unfortunately, it's somehow ended up with much less of a point than I wanted ... which seems to be a regular occurrence with me. Possibly because I have a tendency to forget that it's not enough to just increase side-to-side for a large bust, but also to make the bodice longer.

I'm going to set aside balancing the skirt for now (I have a three-day weekend since I'm working next Saturday, I've got the time) and think about using that petticoat booklet after dinner to cut out one or two. My nylon tulle one is just stifling, so I hate wearing it, and anyway holes are developing in various places. But because of the need for flounces/ruffles, this means *sigh* learning to use my hemming foot and ruffler attachment, both of which terrify me. And I recognize the obvious parallel in the previous paragraph ... I just need to learn to do it, but it feels impossible.
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Finally started my Hamiathes' Gift fic the other day - as usual with fanfiction, it's very hard for me to begin because I get all anxious about characterization and timeline issues. It's going to be good. >:3

Spent time spread out over two days agonizing over dating this dress with ca. 1880 sleeves, ca. 1900? bodice front, ca. 1906 bodice back and skirt, ca. ???? skirt decoration (faux-buttoning down the front, "opening" over a triangular panel with horizontal bands of black velvet), and evidence of alteration. Now of course I don't know why it took me so long ...
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Is anyone else a (past) CSA member? I just got an email touting their special members-only video interview with ... TD! Heh.

Yesterday I wrote a pretty good series of answers on veiling in ancient Greece - if it whets your appetite, you should definitely read all of Aphrodite's Tortoise on Academia.edu, it's so interesting. We don't visualize Greek women as fully wrapped in veils, really. I also ... engaged with someone about ... layering in medieval dress, and I left a pretty vague and non-specific set of answers, so if you know more than me about medieval dress (which is not hard), I'd love it if you took a glance and told me if I'm crazy.

My new phone finally came! I was refreshing the tracking page all day at work and then when I got home; while I ate dinner I allowed the computer to update, and when it was done it told me that the package had been left downstairs. Took me forever to get the sim card out of my old phone, remember that it's in a thing to make it fit a micro-SD slot, and get the film off the screen, but I did, and have everything but my reward cards signed in and set up. Very nice and smooth and fresh. I feel decadent.

Problem:

Jul. 9th, 2017 07:12 pm
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There is nothing at all in the pattern or description of this dress (early 1850s fan-front in COWC) that explains exactly what happens with the skirt closure - the bodice fastens CF and is pointed, and my experience is that skirts on pointed waists (like, fully on, not with the skirt sewn to the waist and the point hanging over it) generally fasten in the back. So ... what do? Should I just have the skirt open CF on the point, and maybe put a bit of fabric on the inside to cover any gaposis?

I've looked into medieval clothing for a few AH answers lately, and while the Northern Outpost chatelaine never got back to me as expected, I really want to make a bliaut. Thinking I'll get this done, then make a new summer dress (because I really need to add to my wardrobe), then a bliaut. I'm thinking light wool, lined with linen? It's tricky because I obviously have no expected event to wear it to, so I don't know what kind of weight I should go with, but aiming in the middle seems reasonable?
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So, my phone is a brick. First it stopped being able to detect WiFi networks, and I did all the things you're supposed to do for that, which didn't work. So I held my breath and did a full factory reset, which set it into a tailspin of automatic rebooting until it stopped doing much of anything. After much angst about the impossibility of finding mid-range phones offered by by the manufacturers - seriously, even phones reviewed a couple of months ago are now only available through third-party sellers on Amazon, what's with that? Why does Google only produce the Pixel now? - I settled on a Moto 5G Plus, which is as good as/better than my Nexus and costs less than that did, so. On the bright side, this was a good warning for Owen, since he bought his Nexus not long after me.

Still, my Diamine inks came today, which was nice. And they only cost as much, including shipping, as what I got for the two pens in pieces that I sold on Pen Agora, so I don't even have to really feel bad about that. (I do feel a little bad about it. I'm letting everyone down with frivolous expenditures!)

Another nice thing is that I've been using K. M. Weiland's writing site to help me finish plotting and structuring my novel. I had the first act pretty well arranged, but the second and third acts were much more vague. Just from taking in so much fiction, I had a pretty good idea where the big beats should go, but the site is really useful for fleshing out what kind of things should happen in e.g. the first half of the second act, right after the second plot point, etc.

Not much interesting sewing progress to report. I put a facing on the skirt (unfinished at the top - hey, that green wool dress from work was done that way) and turned up and pinned the hem. Tomorrow I am going to sew that, and then put on the bodice to figure out where exactly the front edges should be.

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