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.