Monday, April 30, 2007

Of course there would be a snag in the plans...

1. The pattern is printed wrong. The extension pieces, which are to be taped to the upper part of the cloak, do not match up! The registration marks are off! I had to fudge it... I also cut into this pattern, rather than trace it off, as I will never use it again. I will buy a newer copy, hopefully without the registration issues. I found another "typo", so to speak, but it was minor.

2. I painstakingly ironed the flannel, then folded it in half, matching up the selvedges, and pinning them the length of the fabric (6 3/4 yards), only to look at the fabric layout more carefully, and see that it did not need to be folded lengthwise at all. Bugger.

3. I forgot how hard it is to cut flannel. My hand hurts.

4. Good news is, it's a matter of sewing three seams, and adding the binding to the edge. I am going to buy a clasp tomorrow, and add black guimpe braid around the edges.

5. I have a raging headache from having to cut this out, on the floor. It's also a million degrees in the living room, since I had to turn the fan off (blowing the pattern tissue too much). I can finally turn it on now.

Three seams, then I can go to bed. Six, actually, since I am doing french seams... then to bed! Or maybe I'll do it at lunch, because my headache is really, really bad...

I know, if I say I'm really busy one more time, you all will go off and read some other blog...

Seriously, it's okay. I know I'm boring. I never had any intention of doing anything great with this blog. It's just a way for me to say what I am doing, and share interesting tidbits about daily life in Iowa.

Tonight's big plans:

1. Iron black flannel.
2. Cut out cloak.
3. Sew cloak.
4. Put trim on cloak, if I have enough.
5. Read a bit of the romance novel I'm reading.
6. Sleep.

So yeah, boring to you, fun for me. That's okay.

Oh, and did I mention that my Granny gave me some leftover velvet (silk! okay, mostly rayon, but it also has SILK IN IT!!!!). There ended up being only about 8 feet of it, which isn't enough to make a dress, but it is enough to make sleeves and a forepart. She also gave me her velvet pressing board. I have been wanting one for awhile, but they are pricy enough that I had hesitated. She had kept this fabric for over ten years - it was leftover from Nan's wedding. Just as gorgeous now as it was then!

I think my niece is going to get something special made out of it, too.

Anyway, time to get in gear. Two hours left tonight before I get too tired to work...

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Busy weekend

Costume #7 is finished, finally. I am going to take a break, then start on my cloak. I am working on my cloak before I do the 8th and final costume, simply because I haven't bought the fabric for the last costume yet.

This weekend ended up being really fun. We went to rehearsal at Sleepy Hollow, in Des Moines, yesterday morning. Then, we went to Fort Dodge to go to my cousin's wedding (gorgeous wedding, great food, lots of fun!). I ended up being talked into staying over in Manson overnight. Even more fun!

Okay, back to work. Have to get dinner on the table...

Friday, April 27, 2007

Procrastination Queen

Tell me why I just finished rearranging my room, a process that took over three hours, when I had ninety minutes of work left on the brown tunic, and two loads of laundry to wash, dry, fold, and put away.

I sort of like it. It will take awhile to get used to it. I still have a bit of minor organizing to do, but overall, I like the arrangement. I bought a set of wire cube shelves at Target for $13 on Wednesday. That actually holds quite a lot of boxes, and tubs with my sewing, hat making, and beading supplies. But the big thing is that I can see my computer from my bed, so that I can watch DVDs and relax. Ha. Hahahahhahahaha.

Relax. Like I know what that is anymore.

Oh well, time to get back to the sewing. I already threw the clothes in the wash, and am waiting for the timer to go off.

One week until Amana.



Wednesday, April 25, 2007


It rained most of today, too.

And now I have a sore throat for some reason.

I did manage to get the lining cut for costume #7, so that was good. It takes forever to iron and straighten fabric, or it would have been done a long time ago.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I may just stop talking altogether.

I wish it would stop raining. Today was bad enough that the rain added insult to injury. Looks to continue tomorrow.

Monday, April 23, 2007

More progress was actually made...

Costume #7, a brownish tunic, is now cut out and awaiting assembly. I still need to straighten and iron the lining fabric (muslin), and cut out those pieces, too.

My evenings are pretty much booked for the rest of the week, until Friday. Saturday, I have two places to be, and Sunday is pretty much the same. I am worried that I will not get these final two costumes, plus my new hat and cloak finished. So much to do, and so little time.

And with that, I am signing off for the night...

Sunday, April 22, 2007

What did I do today?

1. Awakened by my son at 7:30 am, because he wanted me to take him to Target to get the game we had reserved. Begged for another 30 minutes of sleep.

2. 9:00 am, left to go get game, and a couple of other things. Washed the car.

3. Made spaghetti salad for the cookout.

4. Cut the chicken breasts in half, and put them in the refrigerator to marinate.

5. Had a migraine, took a nap for three hours.

6. Woke up when the phone rang - work problem.

7. Freshened up for the cookout/rehearsal, put everything in the cooler, and went to work to fix the problem.

8. After fixing the problem, went to cookout/rehearsal. Practiced the three dances over and over, then we decided to start the grill.

9. Went inside and practiced our improv exercises, and grilled young William on his ideal possible future wife, to his embarrassment.

10. Just how long does it take to grill chicken anyway?

11. Ate way too much. Talked more.

12. An hour later: "Crap, the brats are still on the grill!"

13. Stopped raining: more dancing! This time we got it right!

14. Home. Tired. Legs. Hurt.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Two down, six to go...

I just have to say that flat hats are dead easy to make, and it's a good thing, since I have so many to make. I am not quite certain that I will have enough felt, however.

We went to see, "Are we done yet?" It was more chuckle-to-yourself, than laugh-out-loud funny, and there were touching moments. However, whoever did the pregnancy body suit for the mom has never seen a woman pregnant with twins before. That was a one-baby-belly.

Okay, back to work. I am going to make hot dogs on the grill tonight, as we have no desire for anything more. It is warm outside, and warmer in the house, and both of us ate too much candy at the movie.

I, for one, never thought J.C. would have agreed with the idea of Limbo, either.

Vatican panel condemns limbo to eternal dustbin

ROME — Limbo has been in limbo for quite some time, but is now on its way to extinction.

A Vatican committee that spent years examining the medieval concept published a much-anticipated report Friday, concluding that unbaptized babies who die may go to heaven.

That could reverse centuries of Roman Catholic traditional belief that the souls of unbaptized babies are condemned to eternity in limbo, a place that is neither heaven nor hell. Limbo is not unpleasant, but it is not a seat alongside God.

Catholic doctrine states that because all humans are tainted by original sin, thanks to Adam and Eve, baptism is essential for salvation. But the idea of limbo has fallen out of favor for many Catholics, who see it as harsh and not befitting a merciful God.

I had a further response to this, but since one of my iron-clad rules is to not discuss religion or politics with friends, I deleted it. Suffice it to say that I am glad they did away with Limbo. I never truely believed that it existed anyway.

It's official.

I am now the parent of a teenager.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Hey, thanks for blind-siding me...

'Dark Matter' message painfully sharpened by Virginia Tech tragedy
One of the most jolting moments at this year's Sundance Film Festival came in the closing sequence of a movie called "Dark Matter": A disaffected Asian college student abruptly snaps and goes on a bloody rampage, killing professors, classmates and, finally, himself. The audience was plainly shocked, and some critics attacked the finale as a jarring gimmick that, narratively, came out of nowhere.

"Dark Matter" now, of course, would take on a different context to anyone who sees it following the Virginia Tech shootings on Monday that left 33 people dead, among them Seung-hui Cho, the gunman who took his own life and shares much in common with the character at the center of "Dark Matter."

The film, starring Aidan Quinn and Meryl Streep, was actually inspired by another grisly campus crime: The 1991 University of Iowa incident in which Chinese foreign exchange student Gang Lu reacted violently after being passed over for an academic prize and killed five people and left a sixth paralyzed before killing himself.

They may have been inspired by the fact that the shootings happened, but little else resembles what happened at U of I in 1991. What I take exception to about this film is the plot:

The plot of "Dark Matter" follows student Xing Liu (played by Ye Liu), whose proposed thesis delves into the cosmological mysteries of dark matter. Liu's ideas are so innovative that his mentor, Jacob Reiser (Quinn), becomes intimidated and begins to sabotage the younger man's career. The student already feels culturally alienated too, despite the help of an altruistic campus advisor (Streep), and he also becomes financially strapped. Then, feeling robbed of his purpose in life, Liu snaps and picks up a gun.

I clicked into this article, because the title caught my eye. I didn't seriously think that the events which inspired the film would be those same events that have kept me on edge all week, jumping between feverish work, hysterical laughter, and a propensity towards checking my back constantly. I should have, but I didn't.

So, they won some awards at Sundance. BFD.

I think it's time to stop reading the news entirely.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

And this is why I inspect my garb two weeks in advance...

As I removed my red gown from my dressmakers dummy, after checking the bodice for problems, I carefully smoothed my skirt, in order to hang it on a hanger.

That's when I saw it...

The waistband is coming apart! The bottom edge of the waistband is actually coming separated at the seam in multiple places! I am going to have to turn under the raw edges, and try to sew this back into place before it gets any worse.

It won't take very long, but it just worried me that this happened. I know that the seams were sewn correctly, and I didn't trim that seam allowance, because I needed the added fabric thickness for support. It just bugs me. Erg.

Update: Fixed. Erg.

Arg! the time-suck!!!!

I really have got to stop popping over to Renspace and losing an HOUR.

I only went there because I was taking a break from sorting out my spools of thread, honest! And I wasn't even going to go there at all, except someone posted a comment, and i had to read it.

Okay, time to get to work on costume number seven...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I think I just spent a little too much time on RenSpace...

That's kind of like a myspace for all of us Rennies out there. Only faster, and cooler! Seriously! I can't stand using MySpace. You can check it out - Lady Rosalind Speaks...

In other news, I finished the fifth and sixth costumes tonight!!!!! Two more to go! Then, I can make myself a new hat and cloak, and a bunch of favors to hand out to friends. I'm trying to come up with a number, but I am afraid I won't finish enough. I'll have to see how realistic the number is...

Okay, big day again tomorrow. My to-do list keeps growing faster than I can cross-off completed tasks, both at home and work. Sigh... Oh well, gotta keep busy so I can get things done.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I'm okay.

This post has been removed.
Okay, I am putting this back online, because it was dumb to remove it in th efirst place.

There is comfort in relative anomnimity, just as there is comfort as the years pass and memories fade. I still didn't sleep last night, but it was more that I didn't want to close my eyes in case I had nightmares, rather than nightmares themselves. If my post last night was scrambled and incoherent, it was because I was becoming more disturbed by what happened in Virginia as the night progressed.

I had an email from a college friend, old roomate in fact (not that we are old or anything, R!!!). She asked if I was doing okay. I had to think about it for a minute or two, and I determined that, yes, I will be okay.

You see, not many people know this, but I went to the University of Iowa from 1990 to 1994. I majored in Physics for the first year and a half, and worked in the Physics Library all four years. I was working the day one of our grad students picked up a gun, and shot three of our faculty, and the fellow grad student that he felt stole his place. I was less than 20 feet away, separated only by two sets of open double-doors, and the fact that the closest stairwell was on the other side of the seminar room where he opened fire. I knew all of the faculty involved, had helped them locate materials, been advised by them. I did not know the administrator he later killed, or the female grad student he shot and paralyzed.

But I did know the shooter.

You see, he was very pushy, and very disdainful of women. Not a week before, he had berated me quite heavily, because I wouldn't let him break Library rules. I don't even remember the specifics, just that his reaction was over the top. I had been apologized to by one of the faculty he later murdered, for the actions of this student (he had been there when the incident happened). He had been appalled at this student's behavior.

I wasn't supposed to work that Friday afternoon. It only occurred to me later that this could have been what saved me, after Grace, my boss, found out who the shooter was. He didn't know I was working that day. He was ten steps away from the library entrance, where I sat at the desk. If he had turned left instead of right... He shot Miya just for being there.

Okay, I am writing things I never even told my family.

It's taken a long time to put this in the back of my mind. Box it up, take it out once a year, remember, and put it away for another year. For over fifteen years. Time does heal wounds, and each time you revisit painful memories, they lose their power over you. I spent a long time being scared after this happened. Now I just focus on my family and friends, and on the good things in my life, and I know that I will be okay.

My heart goes out to all of the victim's families, and friends, and to those who witnessed this horrible attack. Be strong, and be loving to each other.

This is the last I am going to talk about this, for the sake of being able to sleep at night.

Monday, April 16, 2007


Not a lot of progress on anything today. I spent most of the day in bed, suffering from an upset stomach and headache. My son was feeling kind of crappy during the latter part of last week, and complained of the same symptoms. He didn't want to stay home, though, so I let him go to school. Probably some kind of virus. Didn't last terribly long, at least.

It was around 2pm before I could sit up without feeling too woozy. I ate some saltines, and felt a little better. Around 2:30, I had some Cream of Wheat cereal. I sat on the couch and watched a movie while sewing.

So, I not get done what I wanted to get done, and now tomorrow is going to be insanely busy at work. I really wish I had been able to get to work today. This is just the wrong time of the semester to be gone.

Okay, sleepy again. You would have thought with as much sleep as I got this morning and afternoon, that the last thing I would want to do is go back to bed...

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Progress update for Sunday

Whew. I got a massive amount of work done today. I am nearly finished with both the fifth and sixth costumes, and if I can make a hat a day, I can get hats done for everyone, too (got to use that old felt for something!).

Today I accomplished:

1. Laundry - six loads. I know, I know, how in the world did we have six loads of laundry with just two people. Towels and sheets, my friend, and the fact that I am trying to get our summer clothes integrated back into service. And now it is all put away neatly.

2. Dishwasher - ran twice. Didn't have time to run it yesterday afternoon before we had to go to the LAN party. Ran it this morning, and after supper.

3. Sewed lining to green jerkin shell.

4. Sewed homemade bias tape to edges of jerkin, and trimmed. I plan to hand sew some of this tonight (turn and sew folded edge to inside, to trim the edges. Going to turn out pretty good.).

5. Ironed, straightened tan fabric.

6. Traced off correct size for tan tunic, and redrafted the pattern to make yet another variation on the overused LOtR tunic. This one is short, and has riding slits up the sides, and a round neckline, and is for one of the adults. All I can say is, thank God men's clothing is fairly simple for the class we are portraying.

7. Cut out tan tunic, outer shell and lining out of the same fabric, more for weight than anything.

8. Sewed lining and shell together, fracked up, ripped out the neckline, and saved it. Disovered a new-to-me way to do the lining, and totally rocked it. Need bias binding to finish the raw edges and for trim. Looks good.

All of this, and I made a good dinner, and played Wii Sports with my son. Oh, and sat through a two minute power failure. Damn power never goes out in the wind, storms, or ice, but will randomly go off when it is clear about once every four months or so.

In any case, i got a lot done, I can hardly move, and I am going to be able to sleep with the window open tonight.

Life is good. :)

Oh, and i almost forgot: I also started working on favors to give out to friends at the faire. Don't know how many I will get done, but here is a sample:

Rose Favor

I just got my a-- handed to me in Wii Sports

My son bugged me into playing Wii Sports with him tonight. Since we finally managed to get our hands on another control and nun-chuck, we decided to start out with a little boxing, progressed to tennis, and then to bowling.

He beat me at every game.

But I have only one thing to say to you, Mister... I can still beat you at Donkey Kong Country 1, 3, and all the classic Mario games, and don't you forget it! LOL :)

Ouch, my arms...

Iowa is entirely too small.

But that can be a good thing, as you get stories like this one.

On Friday, a friend of mine went to a film festival in Cedar Rapids. He arrived early, of course, and they weren't quite set up yet. He was talking with someone who was getting people checked in, and gave them his name. Someone else overheard, and repeated his name.

"I thought you looked familiar. I read your blog, and listen to your podcasts!"

Okay, now everyone who blogs has a story like this. Seriously. The internet makes this a small world. What takes this to a different level is what this person said next.

"Yeah, I got there from Jennifer's blog. I went to college with her."

So that's a little funnier.

So, a big "Hi!" to Eric Freese and company! I don't want to even count how long ago that was (but okay, fourteen years, how did we all get so old?).

Someone tells it like it is...

Lots of stuff to blog about, but I wanted to get this out first.

I have an iron-clad rule, from the moment I got my first car, where the car does not get taken out of park until everyone in the car, even those in the back, have their seatbelts fastened. If I am riding in the back seat of someone else's car, I still fasten my seat belt. I do not feel comfortable in the car unless my seat belt is on.

For all of you who have given me crap about it since I was sixteen years old, I offer this:

Seatbelts Save Lives
There are two major routes that unrestrained persons take in a front-end MVA (Motor Vehicle Accident). Up-and-over or down-and-under (AKA “submarining”). With up-and-over, the upper body launches forward and up. The head strikes the windshield. (This produces the classic “windshield star”) Your injuries here include concussion, scalp laceration, and various brain bleeds. You can suspect fractured cervical vertebrae (and if you have a fracture with compromise to the spinal cord at C-4 or higher, you’ve lost the nerves that control chest expansion and the diaphragm. “C-4, breathe no more,” as the saying goes).

Go a little farther through the windshield, and it isn’t unexpected to leave some or all of your face behind stuck in the broken glass. You’d be surprised by how easily faces come off the facial bones.

You can also expect fractured wrists, arms, and shoulders, from folks trying to brace themselves.

A little farther through the windshield, all the way out of the vehicle (a situation we call “pre-extracted for your convenience”), and in addition to whatever damage you took on the way through, you get the damage from hitting the ground, trees, and metal poles at however-many-miles-an-hour.

Go read the article for yourself. Absolutely should be required reading for kids getting their driver's license.

The main reason I always wear my seatbelt:

My dad is a fireman, and drives a tow truck, both jobs expose him to a lot of accident scenes, both in a rescue situation, and a clean up situation. It's a hard, hard thing to do, especially in a community where you know practically everyone.

I wear my seatbelt because you never know what is going to happen with everyone else on the road. I've been in a rear-end collision, where the person who hit the car behind me was going 45 mph, and didn't notice two cars stopped, waiting to turn left. All of us had our seatbelts on. I ended up with whiplash, as did the lady in the car between us. My car got hit so hard that I would've hit the steering wheel with my chest, and my head would have hit the windshield. Instead, I ended up with a really sore neck, back, and some nerve problems for awhile (couldn't draw anymore, for about two months, during the busiest part of the semester. Drawing class sucked so bad after that. Just held my pencil and charcoal and couldn't make my right hand do what I wanted it to do.) But, considering the alternative, I got off very lightly.

So, read this article already! I'll shut up now, as I am up way past when I should be sleeping. Long, long day today...

Friday, April 13, 2007

Progress Report - 21 Days and Counting

Red pirate skirt is now finished. Old felt tunics are in the washing machine, as are two new lengths of fabric. When I went to get the old tunics from the scout room, I found a bunch of red felt, Robin Hood type hats that tie under the chin. Weird, but maybe they will work for one of the kids (perhaps if they were five years old).

Right now I am waiting for my iron to heat up, so I can iron a ton of fabric. Then, when the dryer stops, I get to iron even more.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

One more post today...

Finished the cartridge pleating on my new red pirate skirt!!!! Just have to sew a french seam to close up the back, and it is finished. I added black bias tape to the hem, to give it some character. Beings how I have a ton of thinner black bias tape, if I have time, I am going to add another line of trim an inch above the hem, to give it more interest.

The Iowa Renaissance Faire is in three weeks, and I have soooooo much to do before then.

Oh, and I found paper parasols at Hobby Lobby for $3.49 each! I spent $8 on mine at the Nebraska Faire last year (it was a LIFE SAVER!!!). I am worried about breaking my good parasol. I thought my good one was larger, but they are the same size, and are in fact, nearly identical in every way. The only problem is that the ones I just bought are very bright colors: hot pink, and the other is bright blue with flowers on it.

Needless to say, I also bought paint last night, so that I can try to tone down the colors...

Okay, time to get some sleep for a change!

Took a quick break...

And headed over to the costuming forum in order to read the latest messages. Found this little gem of a juxtiposition:

Not something you see everyday...

Okay, they're done.

Just have to print and send. Ended up owing the state under $50, so that's good.

And let me just rant about the damn state pdf doc - this is 2007 for cryin' out loud! Make the damn PDF SAVEABLE!!!!!!!!!!!! Why can't you save your entries on the fracking form? The federal form lets me save. Why not the state? I do believe I get pissed off at this every year. Since 2004, in fact.

Okay, it's over. I'll get on to the fifty-seven other things I could have done with the last two hours...

I hate figuring out taxes (repeat as desired)

I know. I am late getting started. However, since I am not self-employed, do not freelance, and have standard deductions, this isn't a complicated thing.

Except that math is hard.

Okay, anyone who knew me in high school is going to laugh, and ask if I am joking. I used to be a somewhat smart person. I got "A"s. Honor Society. Honor Roll all eight semesters in high school. Good math grades.

Okay, you can laugh.

The problem is that with so many other things I have learned in the 16+ years I've been out of high school, advanced math got relegated to the dusty corners of my mind where the remnants of the "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" stanzas hang out, never to be recalled unless drunk. I am one of the only people I know who can do advanced calculus while drunk, but not sober. No clue. And since I rarely drink, I go blank whenever confronted with tax forms.

I am not good at this. Granted, the federal tax form is now neatly filled out, waiting to be printed and sent along. The state taxes have yet to be tackled, and are usually somewhat more complicated. I should just pay someone to do them for me. In fact, next year, that is exactly what I am going to do. I don't want to sit in front of a computer working on my own taxes. I used to pay someone all of the time to do my taxes. I can't even remember why I stopped.

Oh well, they aren't going to get done unless I get back to work.

Gad, I hope I don't have to pay state taxes (getting a small refund from the feds...).

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Pouring. Then Snowing.

It is raining heavily right now. I just got back from a meeting, which was fun for a change, and it is pouring.

Later tonight, the rain is going to change into snow, and dump 3-5 inches of the crappy white stuff onto our lovely green grass, budding trees, and flowers.

Welcome to Iowa.

There really isn't anything we can do except deal with it.

Right now, i am going to go deal with it by having a bowl of soup for supper, since my earlier snack barely qualified. And the fact that the Safe Swim and Safety Afloat guy kept mentioning sandwiches did not help matters any... ;)

Monday, April 09, 2007

More, and more, and more...

Everytime I finish one thing, I find four more things that need to be done. I am hanging on here by keeping notes, and scheduling every minute of the day.

I just finished ironing the green homespun fabric for the third costume. Costume two was finished in just under three hours on Saturday. I am going to try to get this costume cut out tonight yet. I won't be able to sew on it until tomorrow at lunch, but at least it will be ready to go.

Every night this week is pretty booked. I am struggling with finding time to relax.

So much to do, so little time...

Friday, April 06, 2007

I don't know how she does it.

I babysat for my nephew tonight. I haven't watched him by myself in ages, so I was a little nervous. We had a blast, but wow, can that kid move!

I feel like I have spent the entire evening working out. I gave up on trying to get him to go to bed in his new room, and let him sit with me in the big chair until we both fell asleep. I had to tell him that we had to be quiet so that my son could go to sleep. You all know my son was pretending, right??? :)

Finally, around 9:15, I woke up a bit, and noticed that he was sleeping. I took him to his room, tucked him in, and went back to the living room where I nearly fell asleep again.

It was a cold drive home, and we have a cold day ahead of us. I got out my wool pant suit to wear to church on Sunday, and I'm kicking myself for not buying the cute shoes that I saw at Target today. I should go back tomorrow and get them, but I just really do not have time.

Okay, time to get some stuff done, then get to bed so I can get up early, early, early in the morning...

I can say "yes" to way too many of these...

You know you're a true rennie when...


Add explosion of garb making fabric, and garb overflowing the closet, and you have me. But, my only sharp pointy thing is my sissor dagger.

And having a ren faire shopping list that includes a dagger and bracers for your twelve-year old, because he needs them in the fall.

And the drinking songs. And why did he know most of the verses of All for me Grog???

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Ow, my back!

Just finished redrafting a pattern to make a variation on the LOTR Simplicity pattern that I have used for three of my son's tabards, including the King Arthur one. It is so easy to make. I redrafted the pattern to be about five inches shorter, and to not have the riding slits in the front and back.

Lots accomplished tonight...

One down, four-six to go...

I finished the blue jerkin, finally. I can hardly keep my eyes open. I ended up using olive green bias tape on the edges, and it looks pretty good. I will have to do something different to the other one of these that we are making. Like maybe not making it using this pattern.

Yes, this was pretty simple to make. I'll have to see it on the person who's going to wear it before deciding if it was successful.

This means I have at least four more costumes, possibly six to go. It all depends on who is going to the later faire. We can reuse costumes if we have fewer scouts going to the later faire. Won't know for a bit yet.

Okay, time to take a small break, get over my hiccups and heartburn (again), and then get to work on some hand sewing. I actually should either be tracing off more patterns, or ironing fabric. My time tomorrow will be extremely limited. Saturday is a costume work-day at the meeting room. Yay for help! But I wanted to get more done than I have done right now.

Which means that I guess I'll be tracing tonight instead of working on my own skirt...

What in the HELL is THIS????

McCall's, someone has to be on drugs to think that THIS is anything remotely a.) Renaissance, or b.) attractive.

Ug. Don't buy this one. Seriously. Please do not inflict this on anyone at faire. There are soooo many more good patterns out there.

Update: I went back and looked at this, and realized that I think they may be trying to go for something like what the servant guy in Ever After was wearing. Except the insert triangle thingy would need to be a separate garment, and it would not be quite so ugly. What the heck is that green thing? The collar is... ugh. I don't want to sound like a snark, because I am not. I am perfectly fine with people dressing up for faire, but this would not be attractive on any one. I can't believe McCalls would get rid of perfectly good patterns and replace them with this monstrosity. End rant. Never want to look at this pattern again.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Knowing when to stop is the hardest part...

of sewing.

I managed to get the blue jerkin cut out tonight. As I was cutting out the pieces, I thought it looked a little big for being a large. I double-checked, and it is in fact a large. I sewed together the shoulder and side seams using french seams (where the cut edge is enclosed). I sewed together the sleeve caps and lining, and then attached one sleeve cap to the shoulder.

To the wrong side of the shoulder. As in, the seam allowance is on the outside of the shoulder, rather than on the inside where it belongs.

At least once a project, if I am machine sewing in the evening, I will hit a point where logic flies out the window, and I don't double-check before proceeding. So, I get to rip off this sleeve cap.

And this jerkin is huge. Really way bigger than it should be, and probably too big for the person who is supposed to wear it. Since we are supposed to be making another one of these, I am probably going to have to trace off the small size pattern instead of the medium.

In other news, horrific heartburn tonight, despite hardly eating much dinner. And I ate bland food for dinner. Sucks.

Not what I need right now...


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Costume Progress Report #1

I am madly trying to finish the red skirt to my pirate garb, so I can focus on getting the other costumes finished. Last night, I finished sewing together the pleating strips, and ironed the three yards of red fabric. By that time, it was 10pm, and I had to quit using the machine for the night. Tonight, I sewed the pleating strip to one selvedge (the one that was oddly frayed), and sewed black bias tape to the other, for the hem. I sat and hand stitched the two pleating threads, taking half-inch stitches using the gingham for a guide. When I gathered up the stitches, I remembered exactly why I normally use four yards of fabric instead of three... Let's just say there will be some creative adjustment to fit the waistband. That's okay though, as this does not have to fit over a farthingale.

I also have this yellow brocade tablecloth that I was contemplating using to make an overskirt. Not sure if I really want to do that, though, as it is pretty heavy.

The next thing on my list for tonight, is to finish tracing out patterns, and get a couple of lengths of fabric ironed, and ready to be cut. I bought a folding drying rack at Wal-mart tonight, with the idea that I will drape the ironed fabric over the rungs in order to keep the fabric from getting wrinkled. Hopefully it will work well. I just really am running out of space to put things, though...

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Reward for all that walking...

We're back!

Great campout, lots of excitement and adventure, lots of rain... :)

Too much to talk about now, but here are a couple of highlights.

1. Setting out on an hour long hike, and getting back 4 hours later. Whoops. But it wasn't my fault, Troy. It wasn't anyone's fault. :)

2. Having to leave our campsite. This will require some explanation.

3. Ending up spending Saturday night in the Scout room, watching movies, and eating way too much food. Slept like a rock, can't move much now.

Okay, I am waiting for my turn to use the bathtub. Very tired....