anotheranon: (craft)
Saturday was my much anticipated "craft day", a kind of trial-run for a proposed monthly "thing" for socializing and Making Stuff(TM).

It went well, I think :) Fencing buddies and costuming buddies got along and had things to talk about, there was enough food (I'm Southern, this is important. If there aren't leftovers there wasn't enough), 10 am to 4 pm seem to be good/manageable "open house" hours.

Some notes: good conversation really IS as stimulating as coffee! I was jittery, but in a good way, mostly I suspect because I've not had company of more than 1-2 people at a time since... I don't know when. Speaking of jitters, for next time, I should probably have some decaf beverages on hand.

On top of this I made noticeable headway on hand-finishing D.'s robe, which is no small thing as it's so huge I had to put tape on the inside to mark my place.

Sunday I woke with some dizziness and headache, which amplified as the day went on, despite a nap. I blame the cold, windy weather for making my sinuses hammer on me. Can't wait until spring, or for the weather to at least pick a season for more than a week.

D. was at Schmoocon over the weekend; we enjoyed our social weekends but both being introverts, needed to shut down for awhile after it was over. I love that we get this about each other; nobody gets put out if someone needs "alone time"! He caught up in Old Republic; I caught up on Downton Abbey and Bomb Girls. Both episodes were depressing as hell but very good; I exorcized the blues with Red Dwarf and Dr. Who (because the silliness of dinosaurs on a spaceship improves everything).

Today's a day off but kind of bleak as I'm too unbearably cold to do anything. Another day of feeling like I'm spinning my wheels, brain too frozen to be inspired. If I were responsible I'd start my taxes but it's just too damn cold in the basement to type.


Mar. 30th, 2012 07:17 pm
anotheranon: (humble)
I know why I keep dithering on whether I'm going to Dress U or not.

It's not that I "have nothing to wear!" My costume collection isn't massive but it's enough for 3 days. There are even some that haven't been worn yet (white Regency), and given that I can drive I don't have to worry about how much/how to get it on a plane.

It's that I know I won't have anything new to wear. Yes, it's almost 2 months away, in theory I could whip up something. I've been sewing for over 20 years, and I AM good - not the best, but good, and am confident that I can make whatever I set my mind to amd I DO feel the urge to show off!

But for me making a good piece is kind of like quality software development: good, cheap, or fast, pick 2 :P And I always pick good and cheap(ish) over fast. Even when I'm working from a purchased pattern I have so many other things going on that the time manages to stretch forever.

Soooo...I perhaps I should just get over myself. Wear my polyester "mock Fortuny" to the Titanic dinner (hey, he was making them in the 19teens!)!
anotheranon: (busy)
I've kept up my resolution to stretch, if not daily, then certainly I'm up to 5 days a week over 3.

I think it's helping my fencing, especially the "rocking lunge" and keeping my back leg under me rather than out behind me (thanks Badger) - I'm doing the best lunges of my life and generally feel more mobile, at least after I'm well warmed up.

I fenced Scary Person(TM) M. last night and he said he was pleased to see me "consistently fencing at a competitive level" and while I was flattered, I as ever have problems accepting a compliment. Can I really keep this?

So, I've committed to stretching, but little else. I keep planning to go to the Anglo-Saxon hoard exhibit, register for ChocoTherapy, chocolate, and Dress U but keep putting it off because choosing something invariably means shutting some other possibility out. I need to just gorram do it already....

Also need to catch up on LJ etc. I know you all are doing cool and wonderful things that I neglect to comment on because y'all deserve more than "cool!" and my words won't congeal further than that :(

Off to find D.'s robe pattern, as he needs a new one (though Reconstructing History's latest and a holiday Downton Abbey marathon make me itching to make a 1910s dress. Which I'll want/need if I go to Dress U...)
anotheranon: (insanity)
My tentative next project is a POTC-style pirate coat. I'm using the Simplicity POTC pattern from a few years back.

Which requires 28(!) 1-1 1/4" shank metal buttons.

Does anyone know where I could find that many at that size? Ebay is finding some lots that large, but they're all too small. I'm not aiming for historical accuracy.
anotheranon: (Default)
  • 09:27 In honor of my rediscovered Hush Puppies: basset hound art:
  • 12:54 RT @FashionHistoria - Love 18th century fashion? Going to be in New York this weekend? Check out the Ship WReck Ball:
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anotheranon: (Default)

  • 17:30:19: I think I know how to knife pleat now. Unfortunately, this is a job for cartridge pleating :P

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anotheranon: (Default)

  • There's no way around it - the kirtle skirt is going to come up an inch or so shy of my ankles. I'm going to need to put a guard on the hem - a period solution to a timeless problem, but I'm still a little irked that I didn't (gu)estimate the amount of fabric I needed properly.

    The lining and skirt are attached, each finishing the other = no raw edges, yay! Right now cats are testing structural integrity (hiding between the layers :P) I've decided that this is going to be the project in which I finally experiment with knife pleats, which will involve some math to figure out the pleat size needed for the 3:1 ratio.

  • Said it on Twitter, and I'll say it again: getting the cleaners in has been my best self-indulgence in awhile. What's said about cluttered space = cluttered mind is so true, and my brain has been so freed up for sewing that I'm speeding through this latest project, compared to my usual snail's pace.

  • Speaking of indulging oneself - something bugs me about this post about women letting themselves go. I may be wearing my feminist hat a bit too tight and totally missing the point (Super Kawaii Mama IS a style/fashion inspiration blog, after all), but why is "letting oneself go" expressed 1) sartorially 2) as unique to women, and 3) in terms of keeping up a very feminine appearance? Seriously girly stuff (all that makeup, all that shaving) is a lot of work and while I like the results I find it hard to frame as a special treat :P

    I say this as someone who has been attempting to spruce up a little lately, even on weekends. Even so, I'm not going to start wearing lipstick just to go to the grocery, and a lot of my idea of "me time" involves sweating heavily while playing with weaponry. Though, a pedicure might be nice.

  • Been keeping up with the "baby carrots instead of snack machine" thing for over a week and I'm liking it. The crunch is satisfying and my mouth/teeth feel cleaner. Now I'm trying to reduce dairy intake - Lactaid works, but why wear bullet proof vest when I can take the bullets out of the gun, so to speak? I'm really missing pizza though. And sour cream.

  • Current nostalgia trip: M People's "One Night In Heaven":

    cut for space )
    A bit more diva-esque than my usual tastes, but Heather Small is a hell of a diva - I believe the colloquial would be "damn, that's a set of pipes!" The video is so golden and summery that I want to go there (turns out it was filmed in/around Barcelona. Spain, anyone?)

  • Saw "Half Blood Prince". It's pretty good, though knowing how it all turns out from the books the emotional sucker-punches aren't as jarring as I'd hoped.

  • "Torchwood: Children of Earth", is fantastic, however. Suspense and horror with an excellent villain and the reactions of the characters are believable enough to be truly horrifying. Recommended.

  • Among the weekends other activities I took a pile of recycling and donations out, and thought I'd got off easy, but sitting at a desk all day revealed the pulls and kinks I put into my back from lifting too much - ow. Think a bit of yoga before bed.
anotheranon: (eggman)
In an attempt to write about something that isn't fencing, I'm participating in this meme, as tagged by [ profile] skill_grl:

physical fitness

Some of these might get long and complicated, so I'm taking them one by one, starting at the top:

Costuming: I think I've always been a costumer, but it was a long trip figuring that out. history )

Costuming is, for me, a way to play, stand out, blend in, and experiment with different personas. After moving pixels around all day, it's a way of manipulating the physical world and getting my hands dirty. It's the joy of making something new.

My fantasy closet would have a meticulously researched outfit from every time period and place, and I'd be able to put one on and blend in - or stand out - perfectly, getting exactly the reaction (or lack of) that I want.
anotheranon: (jollyroger)
So, I'm attending KWAR/KWCS in Philly over Columbus Day weekend.

I need new garb. Or, more of it, at least.

My plan over the next ~3 months is to complete the following:

  • Front lacing kirtle - bodice already in progress, red linen lined with red cotton
  • Jerkin/sleeveless doublet in leftover green linen suitable for fencing in according to SCA rules (local marshal-in-training is going to help me with the punch test). Muslin is made and fitted.
  • Abrasion-resistant shirt to go with doublet

If I can get these done as well it will be icing:

  • Green wool Elizabethan bonnet
  • Reversible sleeves to wear with kirtle - green one side, plum on the other
  • Apron, better headrail, coif

If I can keep my workspace organized and not fiddle on the internet, this is entirely doable.

Even so.. wish me luck.
anotheranon: (jollyroger)
Just a reminder that Costume Con is in Ballmer next year - not much on the site yet, but early registration is already open. If you have any interest in costuming (even if you don't/can't make 'em yourself) I've gotta recommend it!

I'm planning to attend - anyone else?
anotheranon: (jollyroger)
... because when I have no sense of smell is absolutely the best time to do these things.....

Cleaning up a cat "elimination error" with the aid of a black light. I'd never tried this trick before but it does help the spots show up visually.

Also trying the acrylic gloss/leather dye treatment on a PVC scrap to see if it lends the depth I want.

I feel like I've accomplished much today despite not feeling great.
anotheranon: (jollyroger)
They help me scale up the hat patterns from the Tudor Tailor. I drafted the Henrician coif, bongrace variation, and basic pleated flat cap (can't find decent photo); the objective is to have a variety of things with which to cover my anachronistic hair :P

Over the weekend I completed construction on the Zoey vest! All that remains is the surface finish discussed here which I will of course try on a scrap first. Pictures forthcoming....

slow work

Nov. 12th, 2007 08:26 pm
anotheranon: (jollyroger)
Stitched on the straps for the vest again today. I'm entering the "long tail" of the finish, in which it could go really fast or even slower than the rest of the project :P

I started this thing in June and haven't had a "milestone" since July. Part of holdup is the reality of a full time job + other hobbies, but a lot of it is my own procrastination (this particular 3 day weekend I didn't pick the things up until today).

Much as I love sewing, it would be more accurate to say that I love the planning, main assembly, and wearing parts of the process. The layout/cutting out and fiddly bits take FOREVER for me to start and finish because there's no instant gratification. When the fun part of a project is over I start losing interest and my mind wanders to the next thing. By and large I have the good sense not to start another until I'm done with one (tried that - nothing ever gets completed).

This is, by the way, why I have so few historic pieces and why what I have (mostly Elizabethan/16th centuryish) is very plain/lower class by the historical standards of the time - I want to wear the thing already and not spend more hours watching "Red Dwarf" discs while adding miles of trim (which I love and want but not badly enough to park my ass and take the time :P)

So, a question to the creative folks on the list (not just the costumers) - when working on a long/difficult project, how do you maintain momentum during the boring parts? Is there a way to un-boring the boring parts (teevee while hand stitching ain't cutting it)?
anotheranon: (jollyroger)
I did do that dyeing I intended.

I'd been planning for.. oh... at least two winters now... to refresh the black dye on two of my favorite sweaters. A couple of weeks ago I finally got it together and ordered Dharma Trading's most intense black dye along with all the correct developers and prewashes - I've done machine dyeing before, but either due to frugality or disbelief ("3 cups of salt?!") I've never done it properly. Today, that changed.

Black Hole Potion )

I won't know the full results until the sweaters dry, but a quick glance in the spin cycle suggests that my sweaters are now so dark that they're going to start sucking up light and small objects :P In addition, I cleaned up as I went so I'm going to tentatively call this a success.

Of course, I have to hand-wash the machine with bleach once all this is done :P
anotheranon: (cats)

I'm taking the next couple of days off work while contractors come in to replace all of our windows. The main reason I'm needed here is to prevent Thang and Other Thang from jumping out windows or otherwise getting out. This will involve moving them from bathroom confinement to a larger room when it becomes available. I hate shutting them up on an 8'x8' square of tile for hours on end, but it's better than a kennel or putting them in their carriers for the day :/

Depending on space/noise/interruptions, I may try to do some washing-machine dyeing and/or test my hypothesis that it IS possible to get a smock and a shift out of only 5 yards of linen. Wish me luck.


Aug. 19th, 2007 09:52 pm
anotheranon: (Default)
I'm surprised to report I actually did a whole lot this weekend.

Today (as I do every Sunday), I fenced - modern this time, in the morning. I'm finding that it still takes me awhile to get my mental game going in the mornings, and am wondering whether I need to just resign myself to the fact that the first couple of bouts will be a wash. I have a competition next Saturday morning against people who are ALL much better than me, I'm sure, yet despite this and even contrary to my usual cynicism, I can't shake the feeling that I'm La Maupin reincarnated when I'm on the strip - I may get squashed like a little bug, but damn, I'll look good out there! :P

After fencing spent 2 hours in my stinky gym clothes cleaning the kitchen - floor, counters, under the range, everything except the top of the fridge and inside the stove. I do not remember the last time I did this (I am a lousy housekeeper) but it looks good NOW :)

Also sewed a bit, but not on the vest, which is on hold until I can find buckles for the side straps. So far most of what comes up under "buckle" on Google is the size of my head and only looks good with a ten-gallon hat (emphatically not what I'm looking for). So, I'm working on my long-range Elizabethan/16th century wardrobe project, making a shirt (suitable for mens or women's clothing), a quick and easy deal with lots of hand sewing, which gives me the opportunity to..

Watch teevee - I think it's fair to count D. and I among the number of Stargate fans now :P Also checking out [ profile] jlsjlsjls' recent "'cos I felt like it" gift, season 1 of Da Vinci's Inquest - enjoying pretty well so far, with lots of familiar faces.

Also been reading a lot, but some of the books are so beefy they warrant posts of their own, all in good time.
anotheranon: (Default)
What era? Gacked from seamstrix and others )

This weekend I wore a pair of flats that I'd had in the closet for 3 years, just to see if I could be comfortable in something other than sneakers. Turns out I am, so I went out and got some "practice" (i.e. cheap) ballet flats and nearly-flat mary janes as a summer alternative to my almost constant sneakers/loafers (I LURVE sneakers, but have way, way too many!)

Relating to the quiz above, if you like Regency, stock up on ballet flats now - they're everywhere at every price point, and are surprisingly comfy if they have enough padding in the sole.

I'm getting ever more finicky about my shoes - no matter how dangerous or dramatic (heels! pointy toes!) I have little patience for anything that squeezes my toes or puts me off balance no matter how cute it is. This necessarily limits my shoe intake, and happily so - I have a strong "Imelda Marcos" gene, but limited closet space :P

Having said this, I need something like these. No, they probably aren't historically accurate but they'd look damn sharp with the venetians...


Aug. 10th, 2007 08:47 pm
anotheranon: (Default)
Some odds and ends that I forgot about:

D. and I went to see the Great Britons exhibit last weekend. I wanted to go particularly for the Elizabeth I "Ditchley" portrait and was not disappointed. My mind's eye always thinks that the famous portraits I see in books are going to be about the same size as a rock star poster (~2'x3'); it's some sort of hangover from my childhood. In reality, the Ditchley portrait is nearly life size and full of pearls, puffs and other rich detail that just isn't captured in a book. Indeed, all of the paintings (including several others that I knew of but had never seen in person) gave more than anything on a printed piece of paper.

D. enjoyed it as well - he knows little of art history but when put in an exhibit he readily identifies what he likes and why. So that was a nice little outing.

I finally broke down and admitted the truth: footwear has a huge impact on fencing style, so I got a pair of fencing sneakers. The difference is remarkable - crosstrainer soles felt like I was dragging wedges of foam by comparison, and I feel noticeably more surefooted. I didn't get the Super Expensive Olympic Quality(TM) shoe but I'm still taking care of these - they only come out at club.

Now I'm looking at getting a pair cheapie leather soled shoes (ballet slippers, most likely) as some of those rapier pivoting movements just won't work in rubber soles (many thoughts re: historic movement and the effect of clothing thereon, but that will be another time).

D. got me some pretty jewelry for our anniversary, which he did not need to do but that I am grateful for just the same. Over the past few years my style has become increasingly "wash and wear" but I still lurve a little shiny, feminine thing here and there. One of these is a peridot bracelet - not a color I'd have chosen for myself, but the fresh light green ... my eye likes.

Indeed, I've started looking a bit shabby, IMHO, because I'm so reluctant to throw out what still fits (even if I don't like it anymore) and even more reluctant to buy new clothes - I'm such a snob about fit and it seems like such an extravagance, and most summer fashions aren't appropriate for my needs anyway, and... maybe I'm just rationalizing. I'm debating whether to go out (budget) shopping tomorrow.

Found (astoundingly) a local street style blog and the good news that black denim is back in style, though the ex-pseudo-goth in me wonders if it ever really went out....
anotheranon: (jollyroger)
Haven't been sitting idle - dig the new pix!

final pattern )

front coming together.. )

back variations )

Other notes: I think the base color looks nice but lacks depth. [ profile] dreamtigress volunteered her time (thanks!) and did some experiments with samples I sent; she recommends a varnish of acrylic gloss mixed with brown leather dye. Taking one thing at a time, I'm going to wait until I've finished the construction phase before starting the surface embellishment phase, but I have the products on hand and will try and post pix of test scraps.

Crossposted to [ profile] dressdiaries

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