auntiemeesh: (Default)
Saturday afternoon was mostly just crazy-making levels of frustration. I wanted to make a pair of spats/gaiters for my outfit, and had found a couple of how-tos online. I don't know if I was just tired or my ability to conceptualize and modify was completely turned off, but it just didn't work. I spent five hours drawing out the patterns, cutting out various configurations on an old sheet, but nothing went together in such a way that it would fit my leg and shoe. Blah.

So I gave up for the day and went to a birthday party instead. Because the party was at [livejournal.com profile] eve11's place, I took some small crafting projects along. It was a lovely evening celebrating her boyfriend's birthday. Yummy food, entertaining people and a big bonfire at the end of the evening.

Yesterday morning we picked up some auto-body filler so I could start working on my pocket watch. I found a completely dead and ugly watch at Goodwill a little while ago. It had engraved lettering on the front commemorating a Bob Dylan concert tour. The watch face itself also celebrates the concert tour. Not much I can do about that at the moment, I'll have to keep the watch closed until I figure out how to get inside it to change that out. But I filled in all the engraved lettering on the front and painted the whole thing copper. The plan is to put some Gallifreyan writing on it at some point in the next week.

I also borrowed Eve's pattern for Victorian leggings. I cut them down to size and ended up with these:



The perfectionist in me hates these things because they're all kinds of red-hot mess, but they fit and they look okay if you don't look too closely.
auntiemeesh: (sewing woman)
Today's task was to fix up my hat.

A simple task, done simply. )
auntiemeesh: (Default)
What the jacket looked like with sleeves:



Follow the cut for more )

Up next: gaiters.
auntiemeesh: (sewing woman)
Today I engaged in an epic battle with bias tape. There was a small skirmish with buttonholes as well, but the bias tape was the true enemy. It's difficult to say who won. The bias tape is all roughly where I intended it to be, but it looks a bit like a blind three year old put it there. I'll call it a draw and ask that no one look too closely.

The sleeves are still sort of up in the air. I took them off and I can move my arms in the coat, but it maybe doesn't look quite as good as it would with sleeves. I'm toying with the idea of putting them back on with lacing, but I have to do a little research on the best way to do that. My first instinct is to just throw a bunch of grommets at the damn thing and be done with it, but that might not be best. Anyway, that's for another day. I've spent eight hours wrestling with that blasted bias tape today. I'm done.
auntiemeesh: (sewing woman)
I had a brilliant idea on the way home from work this evening. I was ruminating on how to best protect my kitties from my crafting (and vice versa) when I suddenly remembered that I have this lovely picnic basket sitting in my closet. Someone gave it to me years ago and I loved it, but I never go on picnics.

So I pulled it out of the closet and opened it up. As I remembered, it's fabric lined with a side pocket and various snap straps on the inside of the lid. (Also *bonus* plates, mugs and silverware for four!) It's a perfect size to hold all the fabric, notions and other things I need for an ongoing project. At some point I will have to take off the snappy straps which are designed for mugs and plates and replace them with something designed to hold my thread box. But that can come later. I'm super pleased with this find/idea!
auntiemeesh: (sewing woman)
That is the question. My coat is all put together (sans buttons and trim) but I don't like the way it fits across the shoulders now that the sleeves are on. My original idea for the jacket was sleeveless, so I'm thinking about taking the sleeves off and seeing how it looks like that. I can always put them back on again if I don't like it.

I have to be a little more disciplined in my approach to sewing this weekend. First off, household chores and grocery shopping must take precedence or they'll never happen. Second, no sewing late into the night. When I start feeling tired, I need to stop. But I'm excited. It's all starting to come together very nicely.
auntiemeesh: (Default)
Every costume I work on teaches me new sewing skills. Today I learned how to understitch a lining. The pattern directions were useless and the picture misleading, so thank goodness for Youtube. I understand the reasons for understitching, but the mechanics nearly broke my brain. I think I actually had to create a bubble of inverted space/time in order to do it, but I got it done. Attaching the one sleeve I got done was even worse. Well, strictly speaking, attaching the sleeve was fiddly but not that hard. Figuring out what they wanted me to do with the sleeve lining and then successfully doing it was a bitch. In theory the whole thing was supposed to be slip stitched in order to hide the inside sleeve seam. But my slip-stitching skills are minimal at best and I was tired, so I didn't even try to make the stitches invisible. They're mostly tiny, but they're not all that neat and they're definitely not invisible. But I'm now down to one sleeve, buttons and trim. Yay!

The cats were extremely well-behaved through the whole sewing process. I had Zoe locked up briefly yesterday and Mal for a half hour or so today, but otherwise, they kept their excitable little paws (and teeth) to themselves.

I also spent about an hour and a half on the phone with big brother M and his wife. Lil A is starting daycare in a couple of weeks and they wanted some advice on transitioning him. I can't believe he's already old enough to be starting in a toddler room!
auntiemeesh: (to do)
It's 9:30pm and I'm just now getting around to remembering that I should eat something. It's been a busy day.

*Got my hair colored and trimmed. That should hold me for another four months or so.

*Went to the grocery store. Got all the way to the head of the checkout line before I remembered that my debit card wasn't in my wallet. D'oh! I had enough cash for the essentials, but I'll have to go back tomorrow if I want to have enough food to eat this week. This, btw, was the first warning sign that Stupid Meeshie Brain (SMB), which I've been suffering from all week, was still in full effect. Thank goodness I made sure to have cash for my hair, otherwise it could have been very awkward/bad/awful.

*I put together the lining for my bustier and got the whole thing put together. Got the zipper in and tried it on - it fits perfectly around the waist but was a little big around at the top. I put in a dart on either side and that seems to have mostly fixed the problem. The other problem with it is that I have love handles at the waist. Specifically, the one on the right side is a little bigger than the one on the left, so it pushes the bustier up on one side, making the top look lopsided. Other than very targeted fat-shaving, I'm not entirely sure what to do about that problem . But, it's mostly done. I need to do a bit of slip-stitching still this evening, but it's a functional garment at this point and I'm thrilled with it.

*Washed a ton of laundry. Five loads! Unfortunately, the last two of those loads were blankets. Cat hair laden blankets. All that cat hair clogged up the drain-sink's drain, leading to another adventure with a mop as I endeavored to clean up all the standing water (another attack of SMB led to me not ever even thinking to check the drains). But the last blanket is in the drier and everything else is folded and put away.

*Stripped the bed, washed the blankets and stuff, and vacuumed the mattress. There have been no more bug bites since the initial ones Wednesday night/Thursday morning but I'm taking no chances. If any more bites occur after this, I'll by a handheld steam cleaner and use that on the mattress. Of course, after the disaster with the blankets, I haven't tried to wash the pillows. But, SMB again, I did five loads of laundry and failed to wash any of my dishcloths so I will be doing more laundry tomorrow. I may sleep without the pillows tonight and throw them into the evil machine in the morning.

*And now I'm eating some Chunky Chili soup, which tastes even more abysmal than usual. I have a feeling Mal is going to get more than his fair share of this dreck. Time to put on some mindless tv and get to slip-stitching.

Things

Jul. 29th, 2011 07:48 am
auntiemeesh: (Default)
*I had an awesome run yesterday. I wanted to test my slow self a little bit, so I tried to do a ten minute mile. Did it in 9:58, then went on to finish my three miles in 31:25, my best time ever by almost a minute. Woot!

*In not entirely coincidental news, my left calf is tight and sore. I'll need to baby it for a little while so it doesn't get worse.

*The all-over itchiness is easing up, at least on the legs. My arms are still pretty bad. And now I have mystery bug bites on my legs. After some reading up, I'm concerned they may be bedbug bites.

*Again, in not entirely coincidental news, I'll be doing a thorough cleaning this weekend.

*Progress is slow on the steampunk fem Five costume, but it's still progress. The bustier is taking forever, mainly because of trying to sew the boning casings onto princess seams in something like a straight line without bunching up the outer fabric or messing up the casings. But! I've ordered my decorative vegetable, so it's all good. Thank goodness for niche Etsy shops.
auntiemeesh: (Default)
Yesterday, [livejournal.com profile] eve11 picked me up from work and we set off on a little weekend adventure. A quick stop at Joann's for interfacing (me) and fabric (her), and Ichiban's for sushi before heading to her place. Last night I started putting together the mock-up of the bustier for my Steampunk FemFive outfit. I finished it up this morning and it looks like it will fit well - I was a little concerned that it would be too small, but the size I picked seems to be just right.

This morning we are just relaxing and looking at patterns until Eve's boyfriend gets back from his shooting match. Then we're off to Piedmont Lake in Ohio, where we'll spend the rest of today and tomorrow on a houseboat with D's friend J. I bought sunscreen and bugspray, which pretty much guarantees that it will be cloudy and rainy all weekend. At least the heat is starting to break. It's not supposed to get above mid-eighties in Ohio, which sounds heavenly after the last few days.
auntiemeesh: (Default)
So, there's been a change of costuming plans. I'm putting my fem Fifth Doctor on the shelf for the time being and focusing on a new challenge. I've got a Kwik Sew coverall pattern on order from Amazon (men's shapeless coveralls - it's going to be interesting to see how I can adapt this just to fit my height/weight proportions, let alone adapt it to have the look I want) and about six yards of muslin on order from Joann's. Time to get to work mocking up a usable pattern. Note to self: I probably also need to buy a bunch of tracing paper. Oh, and I also ordered a sample of a clothing grade vinyl that might do for the fabric. I'm not feeling a hundred percent confident that I'll ever see that though, since I never got an email confirmation of my order. I did write down the order conf. number, so I'll have to give them a call tomorrow and make sure nothing went wrong with my request - I probably just entered my email wrong, but you never know.

Things I learned this weekend:

* Simplicity costume patterns are very strong on fantasy and period outfits, not so much on scifi.

* Finding patterns for coveralls in general is difficult. Finding patterns for women's coveralls is nearly impossible. And the one place I did find a women's pattern, didn't have online purchasing. I'd have to leave a message on their answering machine with all my info. Yeah, I don't feel real comfy with that.

* Some people's ideas of practicality amaze me. I came across a thread on a sewing forum, with a woman asking for a coverall pattern. Another woman chimed in with her desire to take such a pattern and make herself a coverall for when she did her barn chores. Seems perfectly reasonable until she said she wanted to make it in silk organza. I'm guessing denim and other such fabrics would be far too rough on her milky white, buttery soft skin. And I'm also guessing that when she says doing barn chores, she means supervising someone else doing barn chores.
auntiemeesh: (sewing woman)
Sewing weekend with [livejournal.com profile] eve11 went really well! No internet for the whole weekend while I sewed. Thirteen or fourteen hours of dedicated work got me through the bodice and sleeves, which are all finished and attached. My fingers are, once again, sore. Even with the thimble, I still managed to make myself bleed several times (only once on the fabric, and then only a tiny bit, on the lining, phew!)

Eve's kitties are a little older than mine and much more relaxed around sewing projects. They both wanted to snooze on the fabrics and instructions, but neither of them really wanted to play with the fabric and instructions. I got home, spread things out, and Mal immediately started attacking the fabric. And then Zoe wanted to play hide and seek under the bunched up skirt pieces I was working on.

It was a high calorie weekend. I really need to stop at the store on the way home from work tomorrow and buy salad stuffs, because I ate a ton of deliciously fatty foods this week, ending with take out gnocchi (almost drowning in olive oil, yum) and part of a chocolate brownie. So delicious, but so not part of my diet. My dress will fit if I stay the same weight, or continue to lose. If I regain any weight, it's not going to work so well. So, tomorrow I'm back to salads and very light meals.

And now, I'm exhausted. I can barely keep my eyes open and see no reason to try. I'm off to beddy-bye now, in the hopes of actually sleeping for a change.
auntiemeesh: (Default)
The downside of babysitting is that sometimes when I get home, I'm not really ready for bed, even though it's pretty late. I was planning to get up early and go running tomorrow, which means I should hit the hay, but alas. I'm not tired. Or, tired, but not ready to be done with the day, yet. Also, I had a small bit of diet soda after eight, so I'm probably just doomed.

Tomorrow will be a busy day. Get my hair done, buy groceries, do some housework, and then get started on those blasted corset tabs that are going to make my fingers cry before the end.
auntiemeesh: (sewing woman)
Okay, for those of you who know about these things (I'm hoping one or two of you do, at least), I need to know if the tabs on the bottom of this corset pattern serve a necessary purpose or are mostly just decorative. I was hoping to leave them off if they aren't necessary. Thanks in advance for any and all help/suggestions.

http://www.simplicity.com/p-1576-costumes.aspx - Sorry for the link, I had a pic but it was too small, you could barely see what I was talking about.
auntiemeesh: (sewing woman)
It got hot today but it was still coolish when I got up at 7. A bit of puttering around and I was on the road. Hit Starbucks first, then got my groceries and got home by 9:30 am. Puttered around more and didn't get much done until after noon.

All the corset pieces are cut out, the lining and fabric are attached, the boning channels are sewn onto the front and side pieces, the contrast binding is almost ready. I was a little worried that the canvas lining would be too heavy for the needle that came with my sewing machine, but she handled it like a dream. I'm a little bit in love with my new sewing machine. I don't like to think how long it would have taken to put all those channels in by hand. It's bad enough that all the binding will need to be sewn on by hand with a slip stitch. That will probably be all I do tomorrow. But for now, my shoulder is really unhappy - I've iced it twice today already and the ice pack is sadly melted.

I cooked today, sort of. Curry couscous from a box, chicken breast strips and broccoli, both from the freezer. Very yummy with leftovers for another day. Tomorrow I want to make strawberry shortcake. Mmm, such a lovely summer treat.

And now, I'm drinking a cup of tea to soothe my irritated throat before going to bed. These early mornings make for early evenings, as well.
auntiemeesh: (Default)
Been a mixed bag sort of day. Got home after midnight and slept in late (after 10). Felt really sluggy all morning but finally picked up a bit midafternoon. After much deliberation on sizing, I cut out the pattern pieces for the corset, but haven't yet cut the fabric. That will be a project for tomorrow. Conked my temple pretty hard on the bottom corner of the freezer as I was browsing in / cleaning out the fridge. No goose-egg, at least, and it only hurt for a few minutes, but it's still sore to the touch.

I've been watching my calorie intake and struggling to find a good balance between low enough for weight-loss and high enough to stay healthy. Tonight I had to make myself a pbj sandwich because after supper I was only clocking in at around 800 calories. I blame today's lack of appetite on my cold and hope that tomorrow I'll actually have some interest in food again.

I want to see a movie but my movie theater of choice closed down some months ago. The one left in Squirrel Hill is the one that shows more intellectual, artsy, independent and foreign movies. They are trying to make a nod to all the folks left without access to popular movies, but not very successfully, in my opinion. I want the A-Team, they're willing to give me Knight and Day (boresville) and Twilight (stab my eyes out with a fork before watching). Guess I'll do without the movie.
auntiemeesh: (sewing woman)
Progress report for Saturday, August 29.

*Sewed facing into bodice.
*tried bodice on.
*panicked when bodice seemed at least one full size too large.
*pinned shoulders and side seams, felt reassured that I could take it in if necessary
*sewed buttonholes into skirt front.
*realized I'd sewn the buttonholes into the wrong spot (after already slashing through the fabric.
*couldn't figure out a way to fix it, so cut out a new skirt panel.
*sewed buttonholes again, in right place this time.
*sewed skirt panels (four in total) together.
*basted in pleats.
*pinned skirt and bodice together (after removing pins in side seams).
*tried it on and found the bodice fits somewhat better once attached to the skirt.

The buttonhole fiasco was a huge momentum killer. I spent a long time trying to find a way to fix things without having to cut a new piece, and maybe there is a way that I simply failed to find. But I had three gaping buttonholes about an inch off from where I needed them. And I had plenty of leftover fabric, luckily, so I just went with it and cut a new piece.

I didn't do a great job with the self-facings in the button section on the skirt, so it hangs a little awkwardly right there in the front. I'm hoping it doesn't look as bad to everyone else as it does to me, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

Tomorrow I'll sew the skirt and bodice together, get the buttons on, put in the grosgrain ribbon belt, attach the buttons and hem up the bottom. I'm feeling much better about things now that it actually has a dress shape.
auntiemeesh: (sewing woman)
Progress report for Friday, August 28

I'm too tired for specific bullet points tonight. But. I've got the facing hemmed and sewed to the front of the bodice, and pinned all along the arm and neck seams. This was not without its own difficulties. I sewed the facing to the bodice on both sides and only realized I had it all twisted up when I went to iron the seams down. Had to rip one side out and redo it. But tomorrow morning I'll be all ready to sew the facing into place. And then there will only be one or two more steps before the bodice is finished. Then on to the skirt, which I (perhaps very optimistically) think will go quickly. And then I have to attempt to put the two together, and hope they fit. *crosses fingers*

Today was long. It started early, with meetings from 8:30 until noon. And then moved on to housekeeping type stuff, trying to get all our toys and furniture washed, etc. Cleaning days are usually at least a little bit fun. We turn on the radio and entertain each other with nonsense as we work. But today, the other two women I was working with had both retreated behind their iPods, leaving us all in our own little bubbles. Not as much fun, I have to say. I think on Monday I'm going to institute a 'no iPods' rule.

After work some of us went out to get a bite to eat at Eat-n-Park. Not exactly the most exciting place, but it was, as always, fun to see people away from work. And I got all caught up on the lastest juicy gossip. Excellent.
auntiemeesh: (sewing woman)
Progress report for Thursday, August 27.

*pinned and sewed both back darts
*pressed back darts
*sewed back pieces together
*pressed center back seam
*sewed front bodice pieces to back bodice
*pressed side seams
*sewed back facing pieces together
*sewed front facings to back facings
*staystitched bottom edge of facing
*clipped/notched and pinned bottom seam allowance of facing

That's enough for one night, I think. I can no longer see straight, and I still have to come up with a five minute presentation to give at a meeting tomorrow. I should probably work on that. And then get up early tomorrow to go in for a day of no kids, but lots of early morning meetings. My favorite. /sarcasm
auntiemeesh: (sewing woman)
Progress report for Wednesday, August 26.

*put in a movie and ate yummy food
*bucked up and faced the Evil Sewing Machine
*put new needle in, adjusted tension on thread spool, checked bobbin, totally triumphed over Evil Machine
*finished sewing buttonholes
*slashed holes and turned inside
*pressed
*tacked ends down and trimmed
*pinned one dart in the bodice back

Have I mentioned that I'm not keen on this type of buttonhole? A rectangle of cloth lays over the spot for the button hole, then you sew a rectangle on the spot. Slash through the middle of both layers, turn the top rectangle to the underside. This covers all the raw edges, but it leaves (at least when someone as inexpert as me does it) a rather awkward looking rectangular hole in the fabric. Not terribly pretty, but I'm hoping it won't be too bad once everything is all finished.

I decided to stop with the back half pinned, because really I'm just too tired tonight. But I finally feel as if I'm in position to make some slightly more speedy progress, finally. The buttonholes were, I think, the trickiest thing I'll have to do. I have three more, on the skirt, but now that I at least sort of know how to do them, they should go much quicker. I won't be done tomorrow, as I'd originally hoped, but maybe by Saturday afternoon. It would be so nice.

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