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.