Sunday, May 29, 2011

Slops Continued

Now with obligatory montage!

Panes with pretty trim- machine began to get cranky very quickly into this process. Tension quickly went to hell (in brand new and exciting ways, just to keep me on my toes!) and these had to be picked off and re-sewn more times than I care to recall. 

Everything for one leg all sewn together. The pattern had some instructions about leaving a hole open to add the stuffing later, but I swear this *completely* contradicted some of the other instructions, so I just did it here. We used nylon tool, the only synthetic thing in here. I think it should breath ok, and be nice and light. 

At this point in the process I gave up on my machine all together and went running to Sharon to use her Husqvarna Viking. OMG, yo lo quiero. That thing zipped through all these layers like freakin' butter. WANT.

That's right, because work begets more work, hand stitched inner waistband, ya'll. I was going to just throw on another machine seam which would have shown through, but having put that much work into it so far I was suddenly determined to do even more to make it look awesome. 

At this point everything is awesome, except the legs. They are 6 inches too big for the bands (and I do *not* want to just have big gaping leg bands. I've seen it, I've mocked it, I'm not doing it). The pattern makes it look like I can just gather/ease them into the legbands- Ha! nonsense. This is partly my own fault because I was silly and in a rush and didn't cut the interlining down and away from the seams so now the whole thing is super bulky. I think I am just going to have to detach them from the overlay and base and do some pleating and overlapping. This seemed like a giant catastrophe about the time I made myself walk away last night, but in the light of day it seems fairly logical and ok.

Lessons learned on Panes

1) Interlining them was in fact probably totally unnecessary. For starters, I foolishly did not cut the interlining down so it wouldn't get in the seams- it was even in the directions, I just kept powering through and ended up causing my self a whole lot more work. This made it impossible to gather them into the legbands, which I think was the idea. However I"m telling myself that wouldn't have looked any better than what I'm ending up doing. Also pouring through pictures of other people's pants last night, none of them seem to be interlined, and they work fine.

2)Also staring at other people's pants, I realize that a lot of the really nice ones have the actual leg band tucked up nicely in the slops, ie it's hidden by the panes and some reasonable poofyness. I think this is just achieved by making the panes themselves and possibly the overlay longer than the actual base of the slops. Making the overlay longer, rather than just wider as it was in this pattern, would involve gathering it along the inseams, not sure if that would cause too much extra bulk or not. Probably would be ok with the thin cotton I used.

Pattern Review- Margo Anderson's Elizabethan Gentleman's Wardrobe

There were certainly a few things I ended up changing  or would change if I did it in the future, such as making the panes longer. Also I ended up changing the curves on the crotch seam after staring at some other pants I had made and realizing there was a reason these weren't working out. Then again, maybe there's something I don't know here, I don't pretend to be an expert. 

All in all however, this got me through my first set of paned slopes (and first men's garment for that matter) pretty well. If I make another pair I will probably use the same pattern to start with, just implementing everything I've learned through this experience. I'm definitely going to keep chugging along with it for the doublet. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New Livery

So about a year ago we said 'hey, Andrew sure needs an actual suit of livery, ie paned slops and a doublet." Frankly, knowing us, I'd say the fact that that is finally happening now isn't too shabby... :-p

As of yesterday, progress was about here

Some awesome panes as measured and cut by Andrew, including interlining , sewn by yours truly

Slops innards as cut by Andrew and sewn by moi

There's also some lining around here somewhere Andrew put together. 

Just got back from JoAnn's with tons and tons o' trim and some lining and mock-up fabric for the doublet. 

Wish us luck. 

Countdown to Valhalla- 10 Days to go

Ten days folks, in which I need to achieve the following;

Finish Andrew's slops
Make Andrew's doublet
Finish all minor repairs to my dress which I always forget about- mostly done
New bloomers, cause I like to spoil myself like that
New clasp on extra cape Maggie left for changeable Valhalla weather

I would also really like to accomplish 
new caul (read, first of any, dont' let the *new* fool you into thinking I'm replacing some preexisting garment)
Print out poems, songs, etc on reasonably period looking paper
Possibly research some home remedies and buy a reasonably period looking journal- I have this scheme where my character, being relatively newly married, could go around collecting remedies from the other married ladies. 

Oh, also I think I made some insane promises to myself about cleaning and organizing the apartment and exercising and things.... so, um, yeah... there's that .....

Since Born This Way just came out I'd say the soundtrack for the next ten days is already picked out.

Next steps, Go to the Motherf*cking bank like an adult*, then JoAnn's for trim and other livery supplies.

*Because this is my manifesto

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My Summer Reading List

well, the short version at least... for now

The List of Books

Three more days... three days in which to take a final, turn in one paper and write and edit 11 pages on another- Grad Student, activate!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Summer Sewing List

So even though 'my summer vacation' is a few weeks away, I can't help looking down the road. The current list is as follows

- help Andrew with his livery
- assist Laurie with new Queen Vic dress.
-caul and partlet for my nobles
-middle class or livery outfit for myself. I was originally gonna do a livery that I could lend to others, but oh man I am getting really tempted to make a middle class tudor outfit out of all the yummy rich colors of wool I see out there. Then again the twill for livery is super cheap :-p
-suffragette outfits for August PEERS- Laura and I are thinking something to do with dress reform, along with sashes and maybe signs. We'd also like to print out some pamphlets for full effect :-)
-bonnet for Dickens. I started toying around with this last Dickens, but didn't have time to finish it. I absolutely cannot find a pre-made bonnet which will fit all my hair, so I've got to make one from scratch. I took Alexandra's class during workshops last year and came away with all kinds of yummy ideas. Given the time, I could see myself getting into millinery- or at least adding it to the list of dilettante pastimes.

Also, going to go to Costume College for the first time with Laura, so I'm sure I will come back slobbering to start all sorts of new projects.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Paper, paper, paper...

..I made it out of...words, and research and, stuff.

I've gotten about 2.5 pages of just basic intro done on the Poster Paper (out of a 20 page paper). That first thought dump after some reading and poking around- its nice to feel like I have actually done enough I can at least get started writing.

I still need to really figure out how I'm going to structure this thing, and figure out how to organize my primary sources. Right now all the images I have just seem kind of...random. They are the ones I've come across that fit my criteria, sure, but I don't think they in any way create a good representative sampling of the total number produced during the war. I will have to go talk with my professor about it next week- I may end up actually using fewer if I can find a good reason to focus on a certain set.

Still, I was feeling very...out of sorts earlier. And rather than sit around feeling bad about myself, I put on my big girl pants and made myself actually put some work in on something. I feel better now- a little more competent and in control. Good times.

Friday, April 8, 2011

One of my current projects

One of my papers this term is about World War I recruiting posters in Britain. As the one above illustrates, the goal of just recruiting boys for a  quick fight and 'home by Christmas' changed as the reality of total war set in, and the entire civilian population had to be mobilized.

If you hear me babbling about some huge project, this is probably it. Since I've never actually done a lot of work on analyzing images before, I'm having to do a lot of background readings just to give myself the tools for this sort of thing. Learning to look at what's in the background/foreground, use of colors, etc. You can see here that dopey guy who isn't 'in it' is in grey, and looks kind of inert, as opposed to the brightly colored, virile men and women participating in the war effort. Hopefully it will turn out to be a great paper I can submit for any further grad school. In any event, the primary sources are fun.

Bha ha ha

So ya'll remember that paper I wrote in a day?

A-. That's right, bitches! BHA HA HA!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


We've all heard the stats- Americans will use up one billion times more crap in their lives than some kid born in Africa or Cairo, there's a texas sized pile of plastic in the ocean, if you throw out a plastic bottle you've essentially hugged an oil selling terrorist-, and M Night warned us THE TREES WILL HAVE THEIR REVENGE!!!!!!!!

Unfortunately, our apartment does not have recycling of any kind. Hell, at this point it doesn't even have laundry. But we want so, SO badly to be good and not fund terrorist trees, so we try, we really try. We try so hard that at any given moment the pile of 'to be recycled' is in fact taking over a good 15% of the place. There is, at present

- the second garbage can for cans-to be taken to recycling pod thing by store or on way to Hollister

-the trash can under the sink for glass bottle- same

-the plastic lined paper bag (oh, the irony) of yet MORE glass bottles-same

-the two large boxes of smaller boxes to be taken to ...i'm not sure where

-the paper bags full of paper bags- these may conceivably be left with our CSA on pick up day, though by now there are SO MANY I don't think they'd like me too much. Also one could theoretically take these to the store but can NEVER freakin remember and even if I did don't you think I'd use of the half dozen or so reusable bags I have collected over the years for this purpose

-the growing bag of plastic bags, also under the sink, to be taken to the drop off bin at Lunardi's. I cant afford to shop there, mind you, but they're nice enough to take my bags.

- on top of all thise there are usually a few 'odds n ends' of things we dont really know HOW to recycle but cant' bear to throw away - juice cartons, wine bottles (for some reason the recycle pod doesnt want them) floating around the counter tops and taking up room.

-also, I really feel I should be composting, but I've yet to find a good way to do that, and there is no room to store the damn stuff.


I forget, are *we* the generation our parents didn't save the Earth for, or is that the next one.......?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

What I'm Eating- Beans and Veggies

Ok, this one isn't exactly complicated, but it would certainly have been outside the scope of my culinary imagination not too long ago, so I'm proud of it.

(What's that you say..? Paper....? Shhh.., quiet you! I'll get there, I promise)

My original plan was just to cook up some rice and that bag of beans that's been sitting around forever- one of those, hmm....what's left in the cupboards I hadn't previously seriously considered eating but now we're down to it so let'ts give it another look type deals- but then I got super fancy and threw in some carrots, potatoes and celery the last 20 minutes I was cooking the beans.(I had also added onions at the beginning.) Also plenty of salt, pepper, and oregano. Served over rice, and Voy-la.

I would love to also grill up some tofu..but, um, oh right, la la....

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A little 'Eye of the Tiger', please

So, last night as I'm drifting off to sleep, I have one of those both fortunate and very bad moments of 'oh, wait a minute...don't I have to...' In this case the sentence being completed with 'write a 6 page essay I didnt get the prompt for because I was a tired out slacker last week and didnt go to my seminar class...?' That's right folks, I am a freaking GENIUS. Smrt, in fact, with a capitol SMRT. *facepalm*

Luckily, through the miracles of modern tech, I was able to finagle the assignment out of a now sainted classmate. It is due at 4 PM tomorrow. In the meantime I have to drive kids to Hebrew school (its how I make the big bucks these days :-P), and study for and take a quiz in my 11 am class, but after that I have another four hours of paper writing grace.

May I get a countdown please....and....GO!

Monday, March 21, 2011

What I'm Reading

Continuing our World War I Theme this book was written in 1930 (All Quiet on the Western Front came out in 1929). Before the late 20's there were very few books written on the war, but with All Quiet suddenly publishers knew the war would sell. This one is about female volunteer ambulance drivers for the British Army. I'm only about 75 pages into it but so far I love it and had to share.

The main character keeps talking about what a coward she thinks she is as she deals with things you and I will hopefully never even be able to fully imagine. She writes the kinds of letters home she knows they all expect to hear 'It feels wonderful to be doing my bit', etc etc because she knows its what they want to hear. Her main reason for staying is ostensibly fear of shame should she return, but the sense of duty to the wounded soldiers she and all her friends convey is heartwarming at the same time.

 I love books where the characters display that practical 'well, here it is so I might as well put one foot in front of the other and deal with it' attitude.One of the things I am most consistently impressed with as a modern person living in hitherto unimaginable convenience in folks from the past is their ability to suck it up and deal. I think that's something as a society we might want to get back to.

 All sorts of amusing modernity culture shock moments- women cutting their hair to deal with lice, smoking and swearing, etc. Very well worth the read, and another fairly quick one at that.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What I'm Eating- this one's for Rydell :-D

I am going to go ahead and say I have conquered collard greens- with the proviso that there is still room for fine tuning. I tried with them a couple weeks ago, but I think I was just unwilling to accept how much cook time they really needed- they came out bitter and too crunchy. However potentially delicious fiber and iron filled veggies will not be denied, so I went a head and ordered another bunch from my CSA this week.

Then I saw this article on HuffPo today:

I went ahead and took all the meat parts out of the last recipe. I used a leak as well as yellow onion, and added some chopped cabbage- according to the article, collards are in the same family as cabbage, so I figued they would cook about the same. I also threw in a little lemon juice since the article mentions it can counteract the bitterness. The result was a big giant pile of DELICIOUS AWESOMENESS, and will be repeated.

(hmmm........CSA, HuffPo.....upon reflection I am coming off a little hippie in this post......I promise something more caustic in future...I can be quite offensive, really!)

What I'm Reading

well, among a million other things, anyway- grad student- but I particularly wanted to share this one. It takes the story of these two very passionate young people dealing with a world gone loco, and uses it as a focus point to describe a whole world in transition during the war.

BTW if anyone wants to explain to me how to hide a link under a tag or upload a picture to my posts, that'd be swell :-D


I've toyed with starting a blog for awhile, if only because I think it will help me to stop an appreciate the moment- hence the current title. Grad school is racing by- I'm already halfway through my second semester out of four (if all goes well). I need to slow down and appreciate all the little pieces of the experience, along with all the other moments whiz banging past me. 

Still toying around with the layout here- the current picture is one I took at the Old Hall at Hardwick in Derbyshire last spring. At the time I was very much living in the moment- traveling, staying still, reading, drinking, breathing. It was an important time- I came out calmer, more grounded. Now I need to retain that grounding as I move through my current experiences.