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I cut out the skirt pieces for the alphabet dress yesterday. All 52 of them. Which are getting sewn together with french seams. So 104 seams total. or something like that. Possible I mis-mathed. I'm tired.

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(I'm greatly amused that it looks like I'm about to make a hoop skirt out of fabric scraps...or neck ties...)

I decided the best way to sew them together was going to be in pairs, then I'd sew the pairs together, etc etc. somehow that made sense. Last night before I left the sewing room I got all 26 initial pairs pinned together.

Then today was my long 12 hour day with the really difficult doctor. oh and did I mention we're currently short a nurse? But my resolution it to sew a tiny amount every day till Gettysburg...I told myself I had to sew 5 seams today. That was all...

I sewed 26! then got four of them ironed, trimmed and pinned for french seams before my shoulder was angry.

I'm either actually inspired by this dress, need stress relief from work, or am panicked about the deadline....
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When last we left off our Cinderella's were headed off to to [personal profile] miss_philomena 's aunt's house to change for the country dance.


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pre- changing. obvs. SaveSave

We stopped for pizza. got to the house, let ourselves in (felt only mildly creeptastic) and proceeded to strip down to shifts. [personal profile] hiraimi stayed in her stays the whole time...as she's weird. Pizza consumed we started to get dressed. I re-wore my lavender anglaise but accidentally had super high hair. I didn't have a good plan, just piled on some rats and teased the front a bit, pinned it up and...SHIT THAT'S HUGE. WHOOPS! Oh well I rocked it.

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fun fact I forgot to put mascara on...which looks SO WEIRD. I also used a white powder foundation base that [livejournal.com profile] jennylafleur gave me. And that takes some getting used to. I mean I'm fairly pale to begin with..buuuut. Still WEIRD. So glitzed out in our party clothes we went BACK to the park. They had lighted the way with lanterns and candles which is the easiest way to my heart.

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(This woman in a lovely fitted jacket and quilted petticoat walked in and Alice leaned over and goes "she has little penises all over" and then I couldn't see ANYTHING ELSE)

We didn't really know what to expect as it was the first year, and the staff told us it was about half the size of what they were hoping for. And I agree it definitely has some room for growth. There was only one musician which it's quite as much fun, but the caller wasn't the worst we've met. Probably not my favorite, but I was able to follow along. Perk of lowish attendance (40ish people?) was that there was plenty of space and if I'd had the stamina I could easily have danced every dance.


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People were friendly, and there were some nice outfits and some truly impressively bad outfits (and who doesn't like pondering why you have a snood AND a head doily).

I have started to tease out what I like best in a dance now that I've been to a few. My first choice is a period setting. I don't care how perfect the music, the costumes etc all are. You just are missing something when the atmosphere is..totally modern. Not that you can avoid it all the time. Obviously locations work with what they have, but if I tease out what gives me the most joy it's an immersive experience. Secondly I love dancing reels. So much more woosh and fun. That said I had a wonderful time and I feel I 100% got the value of my $17. I would consider going next year, if friend's were going or they continued to grow it.

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The dance ended with a Virginia Reel (referred to by some other name but we'd talked to the caller earlier and she said yes we'd do that one and asked how we knew it) I felt hella proud that our set of six couples were able to do the dance pretty much without instruction as the OTHER set was a hot mess and she was over there walking them through it. I CAN LEARN STUFF! Virginia Reel is hands down my fav.


When it was all over we piled into the parking lot to strip down to indecent levels to drive home.

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If you're massively bored and want to see all my photos here's the link. Now back to cutting alphabet wedges.

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Who's feeling an old school proper event write up? I'm feeling chatting and not like getting off my bum to go cut skirt pieces for the Alphabet Dress.

Yesterday was the Washington's Crossing Market Fair and in the evening the colonial dance. First year on the dance, but we'll get to that later. The market went 12-4 but as we knew we'd be hanging out later for the dance we aimed for noon. [personal profile] hirami nicely picked me up so Rob could have the car and we made it there at 12:07! Which for us is basically on time. I drove up in my bloomers, stockings, shift with bra OVER it and captain america sweatshirt. It was a great look. We had intentionally decided to be peasants so I made a wildly unflattering and not-documentable-print short gown, hemmed a kerchief and borrowed petticoats from [personal profile] miss_philomena .

When we decided we wanted to go as peasants [personal profile] mandie_rw started making all the derpy peasant caps she had patterns for...and I have to say I think I called dibbs on the derpiest! That said it hides your double chin magnificently!
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Parking lot changing complete we loaded baskets and started wandering around looking for a place to eat our picnic lunches. Last year they'd set up table so we took for granted they would have them again this year. They didn't. But then we bumped into one of the ladies who works for the park and she directed us to an empty room in one of the historic buildings. I'm fairly certain she mistook us for reenactors or volunteers? either way WE'LL TAKE IT. Did end up feeling like we were a display. No sorry I can't tell you what the building was. Yes they did eat lunch in the 18th century.
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I mean how can you blame her? we looked so much like we belonged ;-) One vendor was unable to grasp the concept that we're just a bunch of friend's from the internet. But what regiment are you with? But what group? THEN HOW DID YOU LEARN!? We had a good chuckle.
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There were more vendors than last year which was nice to see. Sadly they weren't vendors I wanted or needed to shop at. The same sutlers as last year, the things that were new were kitchy home goods type things. Which is good for the fair I'm sure, as it was VERY well attended by the public. And I want the park to thrive so I don't begrudge them that at all. Just meant I spent less money. There was a new historic vendor selling beautiful box looms, but sadly not in my budget.
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After shopping we played graces which is apparently our new WC tradition. We...should practice more. But had a ton of fun.
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[personal profile] miss_philomena was recruited to "Molly Pitcher" aka haul stuff. I thought they'd include her in the demo but apparently the male soldiers walk too fast and spill.
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SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveThey did cannon demo that made me jump seven feet in the air. Every. Time. When I   knew it was even coming!    Apparently I'm just really jumpy as a person. (Rob could tell you that). We spent a while just sitting on the wall watching the delaware, while Alice knitted and Adrienne, Amanda and I chatted.  Then we spotted some other philly costumers I'd recently met on Instagram and wandered over to stand awkwardly and hope they'd talk to us. They did and were very nice....Then we headed to Adrienne's Aunt's house to change and eat pizza before the dance...this got long as I'll do a separate post about that.
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well I hit a snag with the corset. I got it ready for binding but wanted to try it on first for fit...but to do that i need to put in the grommets. and the ons i bought at lowes are horrible. They won't hammer flat and they're huge...so those are being returned and I ordered a new pack of smaller ones that I already have the tools for for $2 from Amazon. The only annoying part is now I have to wait for them to arrive. SO I'm refocusing. I cut out the bedgown I need for washington's crossing on Saturday, and then I'm going to switch gears and work on the skirt for my fancy dress. There is math involved and i'm oddly enjoying it.



Ta Daaaaa! I used some of my birthday money to buy a pair of white dance boots I intend to dye. I already have orange silk and [personal profile] miss_philomena is hooking me up with some grey at Washington's Crossing.

I was supposed to be sewing my bedgown right now but I spilled boiling tea on my hand and man it HURTS...

Three dresses and a corset in four weeks is totally doable right O.O



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I got the bones in, all that's left is binding and grommets. neither of which I felt like starting at 12am. I'm kind of impressed how much I accomplished as I've been tired with a scratch throat all week. I've been trying to sleep off any potential cold...

Should be able to finish the corset tomorrow. Then I'm taking a short detour into the 18th century to make a quickie bedgown for washington's crossing. and it would probably also be a good idea to fix the binding in my stays so the boning wasn't escaping.
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I set the goal tonight for getting the gussets put in. check and check. bust gussets are fiddly little buggers. I also pinned on the boning channels. Tomorrow I want to get the bones in, and hopefully finish it Sunday....or almost finished?..no I can make a corset in a weekend. definitely finished.

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Well I me my goal for tonight and got the busk in! We're calling that successful. (I also got the stay stitching done on the bust gores) before I decided it was hot as hades upstairs (apparently it was 80 today!?) and that if I wasn't going to finish them completely with this fraying fabric I better not slash them open.

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So far working after work is progressing.
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So Gettysburg is rapidly approaching. Like in a month and a bit. O.O oh dear. I NEED to make a ball gown, figure out a fancy dress, and a bloomer dress....yikes that's a lot. Okay I guess maybe I need to figure out how to re-invent my old ballgown as a fancy dress.

Step one for all of this is I desperately need a new corset. I made my old one (which is too short and has never really fit well) in 2008...aka 20lbs ago...yeah.

I bought the Redthreaded new 1860s corset pattern. Today I got it cut out and carefully basted the fashion fabric to the duck layer. Tomorrow I'm working a 12 hour day so I wouldn't expect any after work sewing. But Thursday my goal is to insert the busk after work...

If I don't start with regular updates someone smack some sense into me! 

oh and somewhere in there I need to clean out my sewing room so it's presentable for company....
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 I've enjoyed a marvelously lazy Sunday. I puttered and cleaned the kitchen this morning, made apple sauce and a chocolate cake. Then Rob and I vegged and watched football. I passed out with my head in his lap. The Packers won (woohoo) the Eagles won (yay I guess? Rob cares). I got out my dress for the battle of brandywine and put gussets in the underarms. I had ripped them out at Ft. Washington playing exuberant graces.

In other news I have started looking seriously for another job. Don't get me wrong I like my job, but...what I'm doing does not further my nursing skills and frankly I make half what i would most other places. And I'm tired of financially barely making it. and lately not making it :-/ Rob just hasn't been holding his end of this financial deal. So my options are push a man with a mental illness who shuts down OR find something that pays me more.  My major criteria at the moment are 1. a raise, a significant raise. Laura just took an offer elsewhere and got her salary doubled. 2. tuition assistance. The end goal is my NP. That has really solidified in my mind and I just cannot do that on my current salary. Laura gave me the contact info for her recruiter so I emailed them, and applied to a job at CHOP's specialty clinic. So I've started the poking process. Think good thoughts for me.

It's funny I was SO resistant to accepting that I needed to move on, and now that I have decided it's time I have this great NEED to move on to new challenges. I need something that pushes my nursing skills farther. I'm ready to further develop my assessment skills. 
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 Did I mention on here they cancelled Belvidere with 6 weeks notice? how about that it was like one of my top three events? or that I had JUST bought fabrics?...well they did...*insert a lot of pouting*

Yesterday we had a little sewing gathering at my house and [personal profile] miss_philomena , [personal profile] hirami , [personal profile] mandie_rw , [personal profile] blackcat452  and Tessa-who-is-not-on-dreamwidth came over to help inspire me out of my rut...I made a baked brie with my peach and rosemary jam which was delightful. 

I got...minimal sewing. I had already gotten the panels of my orange plaid 1860s ballgown skirt ripped and sewn together. Yesterday I inserted the placket and got the hem facing done. All that's left is a waistband and hooks and eyes and half of one of my outfits is done. (I know the massively easier half) and I copied the TV ballgown bodice from [personal profile] hirami again. Next is to buy the Redthreaded corset pattern and work on that. I am SO horrifically overdue for a new corset. 

Today was a 12 hour work day so no productivity...I did manage to scamper outside and watch the eclipse. we were in the 80% band and while it was cool I'm told the experience was nothing like the zone of totality. Sad we couldn't figure out a trip, but just wasn't in the cards.
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The events of Charlottesville have rattled me. I'm vacillating between deep deep sadness for my country and extreme anger. HOW DARE THEY. I try really hard to be empathetic, not see people as groups and listen to why people are so afraid that they believe something that is so completely morally WRONG...but...I'm out of patience. Rob and I have been watching the Ken Burn's Civil War to try and inspire me to sew for Gettysburg, and honestly it's creepy how similar some of the arguments and divisiveness are. Also interesting how dated the documentary feels.

But in talking to [personal profile] mandie_rw and [personal profile] koshka_the_cat I have decided that clearly what I need is a rational dress for Gettysburg...because what says "FUCK YOU WHITE SUPREMACISTS like dressing as a radical abolitionist feminist. And somehow wearing my values on my sleeve (literally) feels important to me at this moment.


This is Dr. Mary Walker, abolitionist, surgeon and all around bad ass lady. My plan is to use a rust colored plaid wool blend I have approximately 6 yards of. 
 
 I'm still waffling if I want sensible trousers for extra doofy ones.

 


Most of the pictures I've found seem to favor solid fabric but I did find this one which appears to be a check...and I'm calling that good enough.

 
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Trying to be more diligent about posting...lets see what's going on in our world. I've been knitting a tiny pence jug, which is not looking as perfect as I want and I'm annoyed with that. Also my super dry and snaggy hangnails have caused some of the knitting to be fuzzy and I'm royally annoyed by that.

My garden has taken off. Lots of zucchini, yellow squash, and enough cucumbers for two rounds of pickles so far. Tomorrow hoping to make garlic dill pickles. The irony is I don't like pickles so I keep hoisting them off on other people and asking for feedback. 

The next costume event remains Belvidere, which is only a month away! O.O I should get my arse moving in that direction. two dresses in a month doesn't SOUND like a ton...but it totally is. 
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I feel torn between being jealous of all my friends in LA and their amazing deals on silk in the garment district, and knowing I'm poor so if I was there I wouldn't be able to buy anything anyway. Jealous, she's a mean mean meanie head. I'm so tired of being poor. For my second husband remind me to get one with a 9-5 job. 

Hope everyone at Costume College has a great time.  
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Apparently there is a Fort at the tip of NJ named Fort Mott. I just learned this as somehow via the magic of Facebook [personal profile] mandie_rw , [personal profile] miss_philomena , [personal profile] hiraimi and I found and ended up at a Boer War reenactment there today. Now the even just said "Boer war and Victorian something something something" so I googled Boer war and went "perfect I have 1880s"...Guess who didn't tell Robin there are apparently TWO Boer wars. Cause if you're gonna get in a fight over something the british like to do it twice. 100 years war, revolution and war of 1812, WWI and WWII....luckily for us no one disowned us for wearing our 1880s natural form dresses.
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I of course got a bit turned around when picking Alice up so we were a few min late, I think Amanda and Adrienne saw the entire event in the 20 min for us to catch up...oops. I did a quick change in the parking lot, much to the stares of the family BBQ. *ahem excuse me as I drop my skirt. yes I'm wearing bloomers*




We got there just in time to huff it up the walls of the fort to watch the "battle." I know I know the military half of this isn't MY personal jam but I'd rather you just did a weapons demo, because a battle of five vs 10 is still pretty silly looking unrealistic. After a 5 min battle in which the Boer's won we promptly left the hot pavement in search of shade and the picnic lunch we had packed.




Luckily for us our friend Mick was there (of Belvidere fame) and we pretty much parked our butts under his tent fly for the rest of the event, sans one quick run to the loo where a probably 8 year old girl was DETERMINED to get some quality first person reenactment experience.


"Are you waiting for the men to come home?"
"What men?"
"But are you waiting for the men to come home?"
"No I'm going to the loo..."

This dress was always intended to have more trim, so as a way of making myself work on things for September BEFORE said month I tried to get more of the trim put on this time. I also got the overskirt made, but only partially trimmed. And I have to say I'm HUGELY pleased with how it turned out.
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Left on the list is the brown band and top row of ruffle on the overskirt, if there's yardage left I want to add more fullness to the back of the overskirt, I cut it way to skimpy to try and leave enough for trim. I also either need to lose weight or add a placket in the front and move the hooks and eyes over in the bust as it's pulling and gapping and that's bad. oh and bone the bodice. okay I guess it's a long list still...never ending.

I did manage to sweat through everything. It was only in the 80s but with humidity to rival Louisiana, easily one of the hottest times I've gone out in costume. but I always think of myself as someone who does horribly badly in heat and I've done several hot weather things recently and been really proud of how well I did. I loaded up with water the day before, drank tons the day of, and ta-da I survived!
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No sewing lately, I'm frantically knitting away on Jenny-Rose's pineapple reticule to finish and get it in the mail in time to get to her for CosCol. I've reached the point of forcing myself where I think it looks abjectly dreadful and I hate it...I'm not making another pineapple for at least a few year. I need a break from them. Also I'm springing for silk.

So here's my question for people who are smart. why does instagram have an embed code function if when I do it there's never an image there? It would make it so much easier to put pictures here.
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Anyway I think I did too many points, i dislike long skinnypineapples. I want them fat and round :-p 

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 We're having a formal dinner this year after the public leaves (get out peasants!) and that requires a real dinner dress...Well [personal profile] mandie_rw  said it does and I just copy her in everything except eating habits. 

SO I've been doing a lot of poking. and of course all the ones I like are velvet and patterned and fabric I'll never afford....but I thiiiink I found something I like. 

 
 
My plan is buy mulberry poplin (it's probably going to be 120 degrees so I'm not wearing all silk. AND I'm poor). The sleeves will be some form of lace or net. The lace trim in black lace. Possibly this one? The bow will be velvet. I like the contrast in textures. I also won't make it QUITE such an over stated vagina point. I just don't like bodices with that much...poke.

Will I have time/skill for the embroidered motifs? Probably not. Will I try? sure why not. 

Also thoughts on the bottom pleats. Black something? silk, poplin, etc or self of the poplin. 
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 Today was my one day off after six on. Three more and then I go to Ohio for family reunion. Had a wonderful battery recharging day. 

Step 1: sleep in till 9:30!! 
Step 2: snuggle in bed with husband and dog
Step 3: make raspberry peach jam. (we're up to 25 cups of berries off our canes in a little over a week. O.O and the iron is I don't really LIKE raspberries so I'm trying to find ways to use them up. this is my third batch of jam. it did not set well and I am not a fan). 
Step 4. knit on Jenny-Rose's pineapple. Finished the first set of bobbles and halfway through the second. It's satisfying to watch it develop.
Step 5. two hour nap.
Step 6. sew one side of the first band of trim on my lemonade dress...FOR SEPTEMBER. yup that's me working a head. I know I just saw a pig fly by too. 

I don't wanna go back to work tomorrow. :-p 

*gasping*

Jun. 21st, 2017 10:20 pm
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 Coming up briefly for air...I'm still alive. My job is crazy at the moment. We're switching offices and that involves moving and packing and it's been a bit of a shit show. I'm working 6 days instead of my normal 4 a week. I came home from my 12 hour shift today and was ready to drop. Packing is just so much more physical and uses more brain power than what is routine. 

So yeah no sewing, nothing interesting...but I'm not dead yet! 
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 Waiting in line to go in and see Wonder Woman!! So excited. It's about damn time for a female driven movie. And I have to say the mix of people, especially the excited trim of nerd boys is giving me warm fuzzies. 
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 Just tried to do a practice run of my hair for Reading on Sunday...it did turn out like a nice set of victory rolls...but FRIZZY. I swear my textury frizzy hair just does NOT want to roll into smooth pretty vintage styles. Excuse me I'll be over here being cranky. 

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