Friday, August 26, 2011

Note to Self

Good Idea:  Dying my new chiton the most amazing shade of indigo blue.

Bad Idea:  Forgetting that I had done so, being tired and lazy and overwhelmed by the stench wafting from the Pennsic laundry bag, dumping everything into the wash, and turning all of my husband's unbleached linen chitons a lovely shade of robin's egg blue.

Here's hoping a lot of hot water and some bleach will save the day.

Also, why is it that when you WANT to dye linen, it staunchly refuses, but one trip through the laundry and voila! Perfectly dyed.  Logic, it fails me. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

0 to Crazy In Just One Week

I know there are people out there who are super crazy on top of things and already have their competition projects done (These people are the same kinds of people who, I suspect, were snug in their beds and not writing their midterm papers at 2 am in college.  I hated those people.) 

I am not one of those people.

And since I decided to pack a competition into the same summer as a trip for physical therapy, a fairly involved medical procedure and a week long vacation- this is a step by step on how make an Italian Renaissance doublet gown, start to finish, in one week. 

Or, for those out there with a slightly firmer grip on sanity, what not to do.

We got home from Pennsic late Friday night.  Late enough that the only appealing thing in the world was a long hot shower with lye and sand and then bed.  Late enough that I even contemplated skipping the shower, but only for a few seconds.

Up before 7 am.  Attempt to not wake the household by trying to work quietly.  Fail miserably.  Procure both coffee and ipod for some Shinedown, both of which help progress work nicely.  Wake up entire house.  Get more coffee.  Briefly contemplate the idea that I may need more sleep.  Opt to continue work.
Draft pattern, cut and piece outer shell of doublet. 

Take break for lunch- vow to only eat finger food for the rest of the week to limit interruption in sewing time caused by inconveniences like eating. 

Cut and hem skirt.

Gave up work for the morning to attend baby shower.  Return home to pleat skirt and pin onto dress form to hang overnight.  Flatline doublet lining and sew boning channels.  Fall asleep face first into pile of tools at the sewing machine.  Wake up tucked in on the futon- thanks Frank!- opt to take a break for the evening to prevent further lapses in consciousness.  Also, don't want to drool on the fabric in my sleep.

Sleep in a little longer in hopes that more rest will mean faster sewing. 
Opt not to press friends into slave labor over ironing board in hopes of keeping said friends.  Finish boning channels,  bone lining.  Attach one side of front facing.  Stitch skirt to doublet.  Make, trim and line strips for shoulder braids.

Craft cunning plan to make shoulders.  Chuckle to self about own cleverness.  Try to ignore friends muttering words like "nutjob" and  "padded room."  Send friends out to bring back chocolate.   

Try to decide whether to sleep in the car on the way home from work.  Opt instead to try to make polite conversation with my husband that doesn't involve phrases such as "could you pass the thread?" and "what do you think about this sleeve?" and "Do you think there's a way you could stop time so I could get this finished? Kthanxbye."  Take nap once I get home.  Stitch lining into doublet at front at bottom.

Finish tacking on lining at collar. 
Spend rest of day working on braiding sleeves.


Wake up feeling awful.  Sneaky sinus infection caught up at last.  Helper brain is out puking with a migraine, so I'm left to my own devices today.  Manage to get upstairs and bring down everything I need to finish hand sewing sleeves and shoulders to doublet.  Beads also arrive, so spend part of day wrapping crystal beads in gold wire. 

Have Morwin hold beads while I make girdle.  And sniffle.  Damn cold! 

Decide to make a last minute partlet at around 3pm.  Finish at 10:16 pm.  16 minutes after the "No sewing after 10pm rule" but very happy with the results. 

Done with the competition!  Celebrate by weeping joyously and downing shots of Nyquil. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Hating Everything

There are something crazy like 19 days left in the competition.  19. 

19 days is not a lot of days when you consider that we're leaving for Pennsic on Friday morning at some ungodly hour and we won't be back until the 13th and even though I am truly a nutter, I can't see getting any sewing done after a week of camping and a five hour drive so I really won't be back to work until the 14 and then there will be like 7 days left.  7.  A week of sewing.  So I have two days before Pennsic.  And a week after.

I might be freaking out just a little.

And at some point, I decided that Adam's project just needs too much work right now to even begin to feasibly finish, so I'm focusing on the gown for me.

And because I am absolutely out of my gourd, here's what I did:

I made these sleeves and the skirt and even trimmed them before waking up one morning, deciding that I hate everything and starting over. 

Starting over. 

With something like 9 sewing days left.

Normally, at this point, my friends and family would be making gentle suggestions such as "leave it alone" or "perhaps you could just learn to cope with it (and reality)" or "here, drink this tea, don't worry about the funny taste...." but when my husband's first reaction is "It looks like someone wanted a medieval wedding.  As Cinderella." you know that a redo really is the right way to go.

I found some cream colored silk something or other in the stash and have the sleeves cut and half trimmed.  I need to trim the new underskirt. 

I really need to start the dress.  You know, the actual dress that the whole outfit is based on.

But, on a brighter note, I started the gold meshwork caul:
and have actually made progress since the picture was taken.  The meshwork is totally done, I have a few more beads to add and then the band to put on. 

So that's something.