Friday, October 31, 2014

Hapy Halloween 2014!

I looked through my tags/labels and realize I missed a few years of post costumes or forgot to tag/label them properly. Add fixing that to my list of things to eventually do.

Halloween at the paying job was yesterday and multiple coworkers said I had to wear the sewing project that I've been talking about since July, the Victorian dress that I'm sewing for the Dickens on the Strand trip. The pattern is based on the 1880s, which is later than Charles Dickens, but it's what I wanted to sew when the sewing bug bit again. But since I have never done Victorian era before I had to start from the skin out and sew foundation garments first.

"I can be a Victorian underwear model, that's all done." That was voted down, so I started last weekend sewing at an even more frantic pace. By Sunday I thought I had to buy interfacing, but then I found the interface I bought shortly after posting the planning post in the Garb Closet. I had already had shopped for all the trim and really didn't want to go back to any fabric store, so I was so glad to see it. Unfortunately I didn't unfold it or the navy fabric for the apron, bustle poof, and bodice lining when I cut out all the pattern pieces needed for the striped fabric Sunday night. My working plan was to get the bodice and skirt done and put the trim on later. Then my sister's mother-in-law died and the week got upended to go to the funeral. Monday I went to work and warned everyone that I may show up in what I had done and call myself a work in progress.

Well, the pattern instructions have you put on trim as you assemble, so as I started putting together the bodice I saw myself possible wearing it over my petticoat Thursday. Then I reached the step of assembling the interface and lining pieces and had to cut them out. The interfacing I bought was too narrow to fit the bodice center pattern piece.

Okay, new plan needed. I remembered I had a modern Victorian-ish blouse that I couldn't bear to get rid even though it was too small. Since I've shrunk recently, it now fits.

New plan: jump ahead to skirt and wear it with the blouse, decorate the hat I bought to turn it into a Victorian flowerpot hat, and the gloves I bought. The funeral was Tuesday, my parents and I would stop Tuesday night and sleep at a hotel and then making it to their doctor's appointments Wednesday with Dr. Jessica. My plan was to start sewing like crazy Wednesday when we finally got home. I managed to get one seam done before we left Tuesday, but I felt good about getting the skirt done. We got back home around 3 p.m. Wednesday and I started sewing. I put the skirt together and put the front trim on and then read ahead. The apron is sewn in the skirt waistband, so I couldn't leave it off like I had first thought. So I skipped the rest of the skirt trim and unfolded the navy. There was something white every so many inches that needed to be washed off. It was 11 p.m. already.

I cut off just enough for the apron off the bolt and washed that. While it was washing, I made a ruffle from the striped fabric because I never could find a four-inch wide lace that I liked and ended up buying navy cotton to make a ruffle for the bottom of the skirt. Navy on navy wouldn't work for the apron. I had enough interfacing for the apron with the too-narrow yardage I had and found the typo on the pattern envelope back that made me bought the wrong size. I got the waistband cut out while waiting, and typed some on the chapter that won't get post this week. Finally, got the clean navy out and cut out the apron. I can't remember now if I sewed then or later because when the clock reached 2:45 a.m., I laid down so I'd have some rest before the alarm goes off at 3:30 a.m. That's only 45 minutes when I normally get seven on top of disrupted sleep from the trip and late for me nights sewing earlier in the month.

So I got up and resumed sewing at 3:30 a.m. The apron trim had to go on because putting it on after the waistband was attached would be that much harder. Then the apron was basted onto the skirt except for two end pieces that would go around the back and close with a hook and eye. Those ends didn't go under the waistband and avoiding them (along with how little sleep) messed up the seams on the waistband, but they held. No time to sew on hooks and eyes, but I found a big safety pin to hold the skirt together. The ends of the apron do not reach around the back so it could be hooked together.

Just now typing this, I remember I had to upscale the waistband pattern for the petticoat. I used that pattern for the skirt waistband but I didn't add any fabric to the apron so that's why it doesn't fit. No matter, I already decided to take the waistband off and stick those ends under it. The gloves fit beautifully. The underwear fits beautifully. The skirt stayed on all day even though I'm tweaking it. The hat wouldn't let me stick pins in it, so I had to tape the blue ribbon on it to head out the door. I have a hat pattern, but that's an after I pay bills shopping trip. And I discovered I could drive wearing the bustle pillow!

So ultimately, I consider it a successful trial run for Dickens on the Strand. And I'm not sewing this weekend because I need to not look at fabric for a while. I'll probably start ripping off the waistband Sunday night.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Been a few weeks

It's been a few weeks, but I'm trying not to fall back into bad habits. That's easier said than done, but using the Kanban Flow checklists helps so much. I've been trying to actually honor the UfYH principle of actually taking a break instead of using the break time on another task until I reach burnout and ignore checklists and chores alike this go-round, but hit a snag over the weekend. I calculated I should be able to spend nine hours Saturday and Sunday on sewing broken into 45/15s. Same amount of time I spend at work minus the commute. That still left plenty of time for food, sleep, and other chores. Except it didn't work out that way Saturday. Precious little of the chores got finished, I only got four hours of the sewing time in, and basically felt like a complete failure for wasting my time in such a way by taking breaks. So Sunday I decided that the 15 minute break must be spent on one of my other Big Rocks for the weekend, followed by a 20 minutes on a housekeeping chore and a 10 minute break playing a computer game. Boom this scenario gave me much more progress and I didn't feel burnout at the end of the day. I'm going to keep it next weekend and see if it really works or if it was just a better day than Saturday fluke.

In health news, I've been diagnosed with mild diabetic retinopathy. The real fear of losing my already wonky eye-sight took some time to deal with, but I'm better with the news now processed. I also got a detox foot bath on my last visit to the chiropractor to flush the aspartame out of my system. But it also showed my chronic dehydration (been drinking three quarts daily for a month, how long does it take to clear up?) and chlorine, which we figured must be coming from the increased tap water I've been drinking. I finally got a ZeroWater pitcher this past payday. My home water registered 112 on their provided meter, which is about the normal range for most US households, and the filtered water does taste better. My next visit to Dr. Jessica is tomorrow, so we'll see what's changed since the last one. I also enrolled in a prescription benefit plan offered by my insurance, but I probably won't see any savings on the refills I have to pick up today. :p Oh and I found a PDF file for a Don't Break the Chain formatted calender, so I printed one off for tracking exercise. Sixteen days straight of the Fifteen Minute Results Yoga routine. :D

Television: the Fall season watching has started. So far I'm up-to-date on Gotham and Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, watched the premier for Haven and haven't been home to see an episode since, and have fallen asleep before Castle comes on. I'll save my thoughts on the shows for a slow blog day.

Read Free!
The BookWorm