jennil: (Default)
Just finished packing for JA Fest! Hair is washed, house is tidied, and I'm ready to go. . . Except for sewing! So much still to do. . .

But I did add ties to my petticoat so am hoping that solves the problem of dressing myself as far as petticoats go, and I packed my 95% finished blue bib-front dress, even though I've been told it is completely inaccurate because "nobody ever wore a solid color dress unless it was wool." Not sure how you actually can prove a wild statement like that, but whatever. Some people know everything about everything, you know? At any rate, I can get into this one myself, and I literally just need to add the bib-front and ties, hem the skirt, and it's done! My only concern is that I might be too hot in it, so I did also pack my old dotted swiss dress, even though I've worn it so many times, and also it is ridiculously tight. For the ball, I'm bringing the Wicked Puffy dress. And, of course, the mourning dress, which is still not done, eep! I had a horrendous headache for most of today and could not handle the math or logic surrounding pleats, so I tried to gather instead, and could not for the life of me do it without the thread knotting terribly in the middle. Ugh! So that dress is in two pieces in my bag, but I can make it work!

The day was not a total waste because I decided I would just do things that I could sit quietly and not really have to use too much brain power, with my head being all fuzzy from pain. So now I have two nearly-finished reticules, and a necklace to wear with my mourning dress! I also cut strips to bind the neckline of my second shift, but if I don't get around to that, I will just wash the other one in the sink Saturday night and hope it dries.

The only issues I really could not resolve were that my coral necklace has gone astray (and needs repairs anyhow), and I definitely don't have time to knot a new one, and I have no appropriate shoes to wear for the ball that won't leave me in horrendous pain. I thought perhaps my yellow shoes with the puff on them, which I used to wear for this era, but they are missing, and anyhow, I wore them in bad weather and they are stained now. So, I'll wear a more-sparkley-than-planned necklace for Saturday day, and I'll wear boots with my evening dress. At least the boots are pink? ;)

I'm not bringing my laptop so won't be posting again until after JA Fest. I will, however, be posting on my Instagram, and indeed, I've posted a picture of my newly made necklace there, and am far too tired and lazy to load it for posting here, sorry!

Anyhow. . . Off to catch a few hours of sleep before I get up ridiculously early to head to the airport!
jennil: (Default)
That's right, 2.5 sewing days left. . . And I have zero finished new items. HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

I'm making it sound bad, but joking aside, I have actually been making all kinds of progress. It's just that I'm bouncing around between projects so nothing is at 100%. Here's the current situation (and don't mind me while I sort of think-while-I-type, as much to organize my own thoughts as to share them with others, ha ha ha!)

Underpinnings: I have enough to survive! But ideally, I'd like to bind the neckline of the second shift, so that I can actually wear it, and I'd like to bind my stays. In the unlikely event that I have spare time, I'd finish my short stays, which are done except finishing setting in the gussets (and then binding them of course). I thought I would need new petticoats, but it turns out my old petticoats almost fit - close enough that I can just add new hooks/eyes on the VERY edges of the back and make do - and I think I don't need the black petticoat after all, because I rather like the look of my semi-sheer mourning dress over the white petticoat.

Saturday Day Ensemble: Okay, so this is the one I'm feeling a lack of confidence about. This is the dress that I'm doing some embroidery on, but it feels like, with everything else I'm working on, the embroidery just isn't going to get finished. (Well the embroidery was not going to be finished for this event anyhow, but now I'm thinking even my pared-down embroidery might not quite make it). So, I think I will have to wear my old dotted swiss dress, which is unfortunate because I've gained back almost all the weight I lost shortly before I wore it last time, so I suspect it is going to be a very tight squeeze! Accessory-wise, I'm on track to actually have some! I'm particularly excited about the reticule, which started life as a sample for the embroidered dress. So, even if I don't get my embroidered dress, I get the matching reticule, at least!

Saturday Ball Ensemble: My original plan was the Fig Leaf 220 dress in shot green silk taffeta, but I set that plan aside ages ago, and planned to wear the embroidered day dress, but just switch out the accessories. However, not having the embroidered dress means I need a different one for the ball! I have the Wicked Puffy dress I made a while back, but again, I feel like that's not likely to fit, especially since the sleeves were already a close fit, and recently I've had an issue with even some of t-shirt sleeves being too tight. (Note to self: Get back on track with the Weight Watchers!!!!!) So my current plan is to finish off a UFO I found in my UFO bin. It's a simple dress in a white voile with subtle white and metallic silver stripes, and it just needs the skirts joined to the waistband, cuffs or hems on the bottom of the sleeve, and a hem on the skirt. (For once, it's a blessing that I left it partially unfinished, because now I don't have the issue with the sleeves being too snug!) Other than the dress, I just need to do one other thing, and that's replace some buttons on my long gloves, but that's a quick job! I might go ahead and make a new necklace for this ensemble, if time allows, but if not, I do have things I could wear, so it's not really important.

Sunday Ensemble: I think I'm most excited about this one, out of everything, and indeed have been spending the most non-embroidery time on it! The dress is in great shape, needing only sleeves and skirts (and that's what I'll be working on right after I post this!) That probably sounds like a lot, but skirt seams are fast, and the sleeves are already patterned and ready to cut out and go. . . The bodice was the time-consuming thing as I carefully finished all the seams due to the semi-sheer nature of the fabric, combined with my intention to wear it over a white petticoat! Trimmings for the dress are up in the air. I was more or less planning to assemble it and then see what I have left for fabric and what I felt like doing - and/or what I have time for! Also I have some accessories that are almost done. I need to make a necklace, and I really want a bonnet but I think that's not going to happen! I'll see how everything else goes today and tomorrow. . .

Miscellaneous: I have a chemisette that just needs a ruffle, and figure I'll just wear that for both day ensembles. I have two parasols, and plan to just use them as is, even though they're crappy synthetic costume parasols. They are on the list to someday cover, but I just don't feel like trying to do that in this short amount of time. All the snotty costumers can judge me all they want, but I'm using them because I care more about protecting myself from the sun than I do what snotty costumers think of me. ;)

I think that's pretty much it! I do have to try on my stockings to make sure I'm not too fat even for those, but I'm not too worried because I think I read that there is at least one seller who will have stockings, and even if not, oh well, I'll be bare-legged! Oh, and I'm not sure what to wear for shoes for the ball, because my old-lady-foot-problems mean I have had to give up cheap ballet flats. I guess I'll probably just have to wear my boots, which will look silly, but oh well! I'd rather have the wrong-looking shoe than be crippled with pain for the rest of the trip. And I mean, in real life they are jazz dance shoes, so actually they're a good choice for a dance, right? ;)

The only other thing I might do, which is incredibly crazy, is to cut out another dress and make it on Friday, on planes/in the airport while waiting for the connecting flight. It really just depends on how the mourning dress turns out, and if I'm as happy with the fit as I think I am (based on the mock-up). If so, I'll cut out a day dress and give it a go. It only took me a few hours to make the mourning dress bodice, and the fabric I'm thinking of for the second dress is not sheer, so it should go even faster because I can just leave it unfinished inside and worry about that some other day. I could maybe even cheat and machine sew the skirt seams before I go, to save time. I don't know. We'll see how crazy I'm feeling (and also how many other things I think I can get done end up needing to be taken with me and worked on)!

I haven't had this much fun driving myself crazy with last-minute sewing insanity in a long time. ;)
jennil: (Default)
First, I'd like to quote my post from earlier today:

"This one I know for sure I received, because I recall washing it so it would be ready to go."

Now, may I present you with the following:

Which is to say, I found the fabric! But it is definitely not pre-washed! I gave up on ever finding it, and went on to order more, but just couldn't bring myself to spend another $30 when I have no income right now, and have two trips coming up, plus unexpected vet bill madness (more on that some other day, because if I delve into it now, I'll have a panic attack). So I said to myself, just forget it. I'll wear a white petticoat and that will be that. Not more than three minutes later, I decided to look at those two fabrics I had not yet pre-washed, that were still in plastic. . . Ha ha ha ha ha OMG what is wrong with me!!!
jennil: (Default)
Well my embroidery is flying along, but I did hit a bit of a snag. . . See, I've actually been planning this dress for a while, and had ordered the threads for it back in May. At the time, when I received the threads, I was annoyed when I looked at all my greens that the darkest one just didn't seem quite dark enough. Why didn't they make a darker green?!? I embroidered a sample using what I had, and it was pretty good, but I still wished the darkest green could have been a hair darker.

Yesterday, I was sorting the greens on a thread organizer, since I'm ready to start on them, and I suddenly realized I didn't have the full range of colors that I ordered. There should have been a half dozen shades, but I had only five. What was missing? Yup, the darkest green! ARGH! I don't want to blame it on the place I ordered from and claim they didn't put it in my order, but also, all the colors for this project have been in a big zip lock since the moment the threads arrived. When I started the sample I made, I took the colors I wanted and put them directly in a small zip lock, but still kept the two together. And also, I'm insanely paranoid and never leave so much as a scrap of thread laying around because Woody consumes thread. Not licks it, not chews it, but swallows it, and it's very dangerous so I'm paranoid and never take a chance. So it seems unlikely that I received it and misplaced it somehow. However, I did go through my embroidery drawer, just in case. No luck. It would be my own fault even if they did leave it out of my order, because I should have been on point with checking to make sure everything was received.

At any rate, I went back to the shop I ordered from and ordered the missing color. I got an email shortly thereafter that it is out of stock. Of course! So I am trying to cancel that and meanwhile found it on eBay. I hate buying anything like this from eBay because you never know if it is going to show up smelling like cigarettes, wood stoves, perfume - all things I've personally experienced in my eBay adventures, by the way! But, I'm desperate, and I feel like eBay sellers are typically quicker to ship, where small business craft supply shops tend to take days or even weeks to pack up even the smallest of orders. It says it is supposed to arrive on or before 7/11. That really doesn't leave me much time, especially considering that I can't assemble half the bodice/sleeves until the embroidery is done! But I'll just do the best I can to work around that color and get everything else done, and if it seems like it's not showing up, I'll use the lighter shade, even though it will bother me forever, ugh. It's all so annoying because I ordered these threads well ahead of time!

In other news. . .

I am also missing the black cotton for my petticoat for the mourning ensemble. This one I know for sure I received, because I recall washing it so it would be ready to go. However, it was not on my fabric shelves where it belongs, nor was it on the little tower of "things I'm working on for JA Fest." I even went spelunking into the depths of my sewing room closet in case I stuffed it in there (even though I know I didn't), and of course, turned up nothing. I know I washed it with a bunch of red and dark colored small kitty blankets, so I'm wondering if I folded it up in one of those. It was only a few yards and a very lightweight cotton, while the kitty blankets are typically puffy, staticky numbers, so it's entirely possible. But still. . . This is also annoying, because I also planned well ahead of time for this as well!

Honestly, sometimes I think it was better when I just ordered things at the last minute, because there is very obviously a black hole in my sewing room, and/or mischievous elves who enjoy hiding things. . .
jennil: (Default)
Well, I've cut out the actual dress for my Saturday dress, and partially assembled it. . . And have begun embroidering it. . .

jennil: (Default)
Last week was an insanely busy week for me with vet and doctor appointments, among other things, so progress was not as fast as I'd hoped, but I did get a little something done!

Here is an almost-finished shift. I need to hem the bottom (setting that aside for now because I'll be going to a cookout this week, and hems are a great thing to take along) and bind the neck (which means figuring out what fabric I used for this and I'm really not sure where I put it!) Such a relief to have a second shift, for me as well as anyone I may see at JA Fest. . . You're welcome for making a second shift so I don't stink to high heaven and therefore become utterly unpleasant to hang around with! ;)

Also, I had a bit of a birthday miracle! I decided not to waste time using ready-made patterns which are generally crafted for boobless, anorexic people, and decided to just draft my own pattern, as I have a good idea these days of how pattern pieces should look to fit over my unwieldy body. So, I gave it a go. . . And it worked on the first try, with just minor tweaks to the length of the bodice! And it's the style that has the shoulder strap, bodice front, and side back all cut in one single piece!

So today, I'll be drafting the sleeves to go with this bodice, and then starting the actual dress. Hooray!

Also, I looked over my planned projects for JA Fest and it was just a little too crazy, even for me. ;) I decided I don't actually need to dress up for Friday shopping, and that my dress for Saturday day could just have the undersleeves removed and accessories changed out and become my ball dress for that evening. So actually, I just need two dresses - this one for Saturday, and the mourning dress for Sunday. And they can both use this awesome bodice pattern as their base. So great! I feel super confidant that I can get these both done in the next two weeks, and think I might even have time for one or two small accessories.

Okay, enough blogging for now, and back to the sewing!
jennil: (Default)
I don't really understand where all my sewing time has gone, and how it's now three weeks from Jane Austen Fest! But then again, I look around my sewing room and there has been actual progress, it's just that I've been spreading myself too thin and so have lots of patterns, drafts, and pieces of things, instead of having finished things that I can look at and say, "there is where my time went!" The good news is, I have three back-up dresses (one evening and one day that are done, and another day that is at like 90%), finished stays (well okay they are not bound but when have I ever bound a corset/stays before at least three wearings?), one shift (and I could wear my late 18c shift as a second shift if I just pin or baste the sleeves up to be shorter), two bonnets, lots of reticules, and all the stockings/shoes I need. So I know I'll be okay, but. . .

Do you think I can make three dresses (already been through initial patterning/fitting on all two and ready for second draft/fitting on two of them today), a bonnet (already patterned), a reticule (already patterned), a shift (already cut out), and short stays (like 80% done) in three weeks? It sounds insane but with the patternings/fittings already well under way, and that tending to be what takes me forever. . . It just seems like maybe I could do it. Next week, I have a bunch of "real life" things to do, but today through Friday, I actually have an open schedule (aside from the usual housekeeping and daily programming study, of course!) So let's see what I can do with three days. . . I'll report back here daily because that will hopefully keep me focused on the sewing instead of falling down the rabbit hole of programming fun, which is a hazard I face now that school introduced me to all kinds of programming languages and adventures! A good problem to have, but just not when JA Fest is three weeks away. . . ;)


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