Sunday, September 13, 2009

Finally its Fall

I love the beginning of fall. Everyday is something different. Could be warm could be cool could be windy. The colors change and the air feels different. I tend to barely endure summer. I have no energy in the heat, I don't like to cook or sew or anything really. I just endure. So nothing got done. I mean it! Nothing. Now UU begins to meet again so I can cook and socialize. There are more SCA events so I can cook and socialize and sew.

Now I am going to talk about boring stuff so scroll down to the bottom for the dress diary. I had an interesting conversation about the local Unitarian fellowship and the need for alternatives to the local dominant religion. I was asked what my contribution would be and why I had chosen what I had chosen. Now this question from most religions would send me screaming into the night but I love CJ and she is a very cool friend so I was okay. I tend not to participate in the actual service, I donate regularly but not as a member of the congregation more as a supporter of alternatives. I help set up or clean up or tend the children. I bring a dish or a case of soda to the potluck and stay to socialize. I do not believe organized religion is necessary for spiritual growth. In all my explorations of religion the need to lean on others for learning or opinions or rules on how to be a good person seems wrong somehow, at least to me. I know that others do not feel this way and I am completely okay with that until they become not okay with that and proceed to bug me to change me. The local LDS visiting teachers after 7 happy years of monthly peaceful religious discussion and friendly visits have begun to tell me how wrong I am and how I should go to their church to become right again. I have told them how much I like their visits and how sad I will be to not visit with them again. They don't get a vote on this one sorry. My biggest draw to the local Unitarians is that they don't force anything. We have time to think our private thoughts in a peaceful setting. I like that but I still don't feel the need to enter a building just to do that. I will not dedicate myself to go to church every meeting because I will begin to resent it. I know the struggling non LDS community could use my help and my talents but I don't believe in what they are striving for (organized religion) so it would be empty and meaningless. The best I can do is help my friends when I have the time and means.

I know most of you reading this couldn't care less about my spiritual leanings but it has been a heavy topic in my thoughts and it feels really good to get it out and have it said. Now on to better entertainment.

I realized the day before Coronation that I was supposed to wear my new blue Turkish dress. This would of course require me to make the new blue dress. Here begins the tale of how to make Turkish in 10 frantic hours. First find your fabric and wash it. Number 1 benefit to Turkish is that it need not match pull any 3-4 fabrics out of your stash and go crazy. I happen to have a pile of blues that I had bought thinking they would make great middle eastern garb. I began by deciding I would wear my existing hot pink salwars. They are comfy and I love them.

Then I pulled out the sky blue cotton gauze for the under dress. I don't remember where I bought it but I will find out because it was wonderful to work with. Not too light not too heavy. The perfect weight and workability. I must have more in every color available. Take your bust and waist measurements, wince, get over it, take the biggest measurement divide by 4 and add two inches to that number. I have achieved the happy state of being able to use the whole width of the fabric. I am big and beautiful folks. Take a general measurement of your desired hem length. I like mid calf personally. Tear your fabric to these measurements. Yep its a rectangle. You will make 4 seams, front, back, and sides. I like the effect of using the seam to make my neckline. When I remember I tear two strips rather then four to eliminate the shoulder seam. Find the middle of your length or use the shoulder seam to know where your neck opening will be. Sew the front enough to cover your bust and belly and the back to cover to around your tailbone. On the sides leave a opening for your sleeves and sew a seam that goes to your hips. Yep everything will be open below this. No gores in this dress. Yep it is historically accurate to do it this way if you don't require extant garments for documentation. I make open long sleeves for my under dress by measuring my bicep and adding a couple inches and using my arm measurement to fingertips for the length. Its another rectangle. It doesn't need to be too big around because this sleeve will be open and very easy to get into. Here comes the trickiest part of the dress at least for me. Hem three sides of the rectangle and use the unhemmed short end to attach to your dress with the opening on top. Make sure your hems are facing the right way for you. The bottom is a little tricky to get attached properly, aka perfectly.

Pull out another fabric to make the over dress. This fabric traditionally should be a sharp contrast to the under dress and is usually patterned. Stripes look nice and so do florals. This is the fabric people will see the most of so make sure it is something you really like. Replicate the under dress measurements except for the sleeve area. You want to extend the sleeve out to the edge of your fabric or find some way to add 5-8 inches or more to make a sleeve. Cut the sleeve to that bicep plus 2 measurement and include a little diagonal to act as the gusset. The length of the sleeve is very much up to you I like mid bicep. I hate adding sleeves and a lot of my documentation supports my way of doing things so I just include the sleeve in the shape. Leave the front open. Sew the back to tailbone length and sides to hips length. Hem everything that is open. Pick some pretty buttons or make some. Frogs will be mildly tolerated. I like loops on my dress rather then holes. I make them by "sewing " cheap satin ribbon with a heavy duty needle in a u shape. I have seen the ends on the outside with a pretty bead tied on each end or knotted inside. The huge advantage of this method is that it is easily adjustable, replaceable and removed.

Now take a third fabric and make a 3 tier or circle skirt. Not necessarily historically accurate but way more fun to dance in. If you want to be boring and accurate just make you some cool salwars. Make a fun super decorated belt with bells and jinglies. You will catch crap for having tassels. If you want them be prepared to ignore and or fight garb nazi's. Tassels are not accurate for anything other then animals but they are fun and easy to make. Belts, scarves, and strings of bells are necessary to achieve the right look and can be worn all at once or separately.

I got all but the button loops and the skirt done in time for Coronation and that is only because I wanted 7 hours of sleep. Now it is time for pictures.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

wow I really am sorry

ummmm wow I didn't realize how long it had been since my last post. I am terribly sorry. If it helps at all nothing terribly exciting as happened and my computer is being incredibly difficult.
We just got back from Uprising and had a good time. I am newly resolved to finishing sewing projects long before the event I wish to wear them at. But my children were beautifully dressed, well behaved and happy. I must say that the children's activities especially the boffer are really improving slowly but steadily. There was some amazing boffer armour and I will post pictures soon. Aroura and I have both noticed the loose teen problem but are divided on what to do about it. I am going to work on a few things she suggested and see what I can make happen. I need to help because after 4pm Aurora turns into a pumpkin. Any parties or anything for the teens would be at night and after a long day of keeping the children entertained Aurora just can't do it. Any parents of teens with suggestions will be appropriately interrogated for constructive information.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I have been too busy to make a list, which is very busy indeed

Estrella was amazing. I have been lacking that magic feeling and kinda bummed out about it. But it is okay because I felt the magic again. It is such a rush and reminded me all over again why I devote endless hours, blood, sweat, and tears to this hobby.

  • We processed HRM Tianna in on her dragon and it was amazing.
  • I got all but the hand sewing in on my clothing and that gave me something to do at the event.
  • I got some of the books that I have had on my reference book wish list.
  • I have amazing friends and was able to be a good friend right back.
  • I had scolding from Laurels as to my choice in classes. They were very disappionted that I didn't take more classes with them. I wasn't even aware that they knew I existed.
  • The class I taught went well though I wish there had been more attendees. The children were for the most part dressed horribly.
  • We got a lot of people drunk and they got us drunk too.
  • The weather behaved itself when we finally got there.
  • I bought into the best kitchen ever!!

I can't wait for the next Estrella I get to attend. I learned so much and it was worth every penny for the memories I brought back.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

An addition to a very short list

An addition to a very short list or......... what happened at 12th Night.
So one of the shortest lists in my life is my list of awards I have received in the 12 years I have been in the SCA. Up until yesterday it had only two, my AOA and my DUCK. Well the list got a bit longer yesterday at 12th Night in Gryphon's Lair. I received my Golden Maple Leaf, a very cool arts and sciences award, from the coolest king and queen in the world. I have disliked how short the list is but not being someone who does things just to get an award and deathly afraid of appearing to be a buttkisser what could I do about it? I have done my best to notice those around me in the same situation and mention the problem to certain adorable brass hats I know. (As well as griping to my best friends about it.) Folks please please send letters to your royalty about your friends and other people you notice doing cool things. The letters don't have to be long or brilliant and if you want help grab your seneschal or ask your friendly neighborhood baron or baroness, show them what it looks like so far and ask for feedback. At the very least recognize the person yourself, mention how cool such and such was, send a thank you card to a seneschal or autocrat after a particularly enjoyable event, or invite them to teach your guild or local area a class. This ends the soapbox portion of my blog, please save your applause for the end of the show.

I have been working on the getting ready for Estrella non sewing list.
  • Ask for time off work. Done
  • Beg grandma to take your kids for a week. Insert happy dance image. Done
  • Preregister for Estrella ($135 including parking fee) Done
  • Beg cool people to let you camp with them. Done
  • Beg amazing cooks to feed you ($12 a day per person and shrimp, steak and roasted chicken are included on the menu, I am drooling already) Done
  • Get a friend to share a table at the Arts and Sciences display. I luv you B and Ash. Done
  • Sign up to teach a class. (Garbing your SCA child) Done
  • Research local motels along the route for some real rest and a hot shower.
  • Call AAA and get additional coverage. Worth every penny, trust me.
  • Tune up and fix car. Our axle joint is badly damaged and we need two tires. $200+
  • Check tent and camping boxes to start supply shopping list.
  • Check armour for any weak spots or problems.
  • File taxes so there is shopping and emergency money.
  • Renew SCA memberships that expire end of January. $60
  • Get everything packed into the car and pray you don't forget anything.

I am sure I am forgetting a few things and I will add to the list but for now those are the important things. I included amounts to inspire fellow crazies to plan ahead because it is expensive. Getting your taxes filed early for that refund helps a lot and so does the recent cut in gas prices. I have saved enough from not spending $80 on a tank of gas lately to pay for all the crucial things to get us there and keep us alive. The tax refund will pay for the fun stuff. Classes cost a bit, and don't even get me started on the shopping. One month to go and I am cautiously optimistic. I can't wait to spend a week in Arizona getting into trouble with a few hundred friends.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

And the first post of the new year is....

So I survive ringing in the new year. No parties this year. Instead I worked at the only convenience store crazy enough to stay open that night. It was insane. But after a lot of sleep I was able to get a lot done. I finished enlarging the gussets on my hubbie's blue tunic. It also has split triangle gores at the sides.

Here is a close up of the neckline. Steve handed me an old red tablecloth and said can this go on it. Very viking. The blue is navy flannel from Joanns at $2.50 a yard and the trim I have had around for a few years.

I also took some pictures of my full chemise with the lace collar. there is no ruffle on the cuffs and the neck stays open cuz I like it that way. Thin white cotton muslin from Walmart $1 a yard. Lace from an old dress shop that used to be on Center street in Provo. Bought 20 yards for maybe $3.

And some pictures of my pink corset with the red binding. I used wide plastic zip ties from the Home Depot as boning and canvas as the lining and interlining. Straight all around boning channels that took half a lifetime to sew and then the other half a lifetime to bind. I usually don't mind being a big girl. This made me want to diet big time. My petticoat and an apron are made from the same pink fabric. This fabric was a major find. Clearance table 12 years ago. Made it into a large canopy drape over the baby's crib. Took it down and used it to cover tables for displays. Took a class on Roman garb a few years back and thought this would work, made matching stola's for me and my daughter. The fabric was too stiff and uncomfortable so it sat for a bit more. Decided to make an outfit from stash fabric and out it came again. Made the corset, petticoat and apron and still have enough left over to play with. The ultimate fabric that keeps on giving. All eyelets are handstitched around metal rings. Use stainless steel so you don't cry when they rust through.

I made a black kirtle for Coronation this year. I love the fit both with and without my corset. It is very comfortable. Used the same pattern as the corset and added straps. Double pleated the skirt which was tricky because I had to have the pleats in back unfold as a placket for the side back lacing on the bodice. Funny thing is the corset was too big and the kirtle was almost too tight but made from the same pattern. Lined just the bodice. Super secret for friends only..... the black linen is that horrible sequined glitter rainbow butterflies stuff Joanns sold a couple summers ago and I just flipped it and used the back. Yep there are crazy butterflies flying around the inside of my skirt. The only thing I would change is the bottom front of the straps is too narrow. I will fix it on the brown kirtle I am working on. I still have to cover the eyelets on this one.