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I've had a bit of a garb emergency. I found out FRIDAY I need to play a noble character this WEDNESDAY. And I need to be dressed and ready to go an hour after I finish a full day of work, and half an hour of that is taken up with a subway ride. So I've been sewing like a madwoman all weekend trying to get the costume ready. And I did it! Hooray! Pictures and costume notes! YAAAAAAAAY!Collapse )
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My Mom cleaned my room while I was at work.

I don't know where anything is.


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I went to Tim Hortons after work today. Surprise, surprise.

As I stood in line, I noticed a man. He was standing by the bar-type counter they have along the one wall, where there are tall chairs for seating. The man was south Asian, and wore a maroon turban with a yellow feather in the front. He wore grey sweatpants tucked into his socks. He wore a tweed sports coat with a large and expertly rendered pencil drawing of an eye carefully safety pinned to the back.

He had a wrapped drinking straw delicately placed in his right ear. For some reason I find the fact that it was still in it's wrapper even odder than if it had just been a plain unwrapped straw.

He stood at the bar-type counter, where there were three extra large Tim Hortons cups stacked inside one another, with a largish metal globe placed on top, along with a couple of shopping bags. Periodically, he would leave his cups and his globe and his shopping bag, and he would shuffle across the Tim Hortons to an unmanned till. There, he would gently, lovingly place his hand on the UV counterfeit bill detector. After petting the counterfeit bill detector a few times, he would cross the Tim Hortons again and return to his odd assortment of items, the straw in his ear drooping, but still resolutely perched in his ear canal. And there he would stand for a while, upright and proud, before returning again to the counterfeit bill detector and reassuring it that it was not forgotten. Thus, the cycle continued until I finally got my tea and left.

I love Toronto.
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"Woe is me!" I spake unto myself. "For soon it is the month of October, when a young lass's thoughts turn to Hallowe'en, and what costume she should wear! There are but these four weeks until such garments must be donned, and i'faith I wish a new costume for myself."

"But woe, oh woe, and woe again, for I am mid-sewing of another costume, one which fits not the time or season of Hallowe'en, for it doth bear a farthingale, and I should fit not into most bars, nor in sooth through most doors."

(Why the heck am I writing this all Shakespeare-y? Oh well. Too late to go back now.)

I turned mine thoughts to this most terrible puzzle. To complete the costume at hand, and wear old weeds for the festivities, or to blindly turn from the once loved gown and smile on some sunnier garb?

Should I prove fickle and turn from the path as has been laid, wither should I wander? In what manner of clothes should I attire myself? My mind a blank at the thought of something new.

Should I stay honest and true to the goal that I have set, there are many fears yet to be faced. The sleeve, the cartridge pleat, the piled fabric. These demons have slain greater seamstresses than I.

I journeyed forth to the Land of Fabric, to take some solace and inspiration there. My hands found themselves rifling the leaves of an old text, the Fall 2009 Simplicity Catalogue.

Inspiration! An image seen many times before, being in many catalogues past. It married to a memory of mismeasured fabric, many yards of purple velvet, more than needed for the frock coat for which they were bought.

What the image, you ask?


Okay, enough with the historicalness (that's what the designer of this clearly said!). I'm going to do essentially a mockup of the blue gown bodice and sleeves in the leftover purple velvet from my pirate coat. I'm going to also make up the accessories that will be for the actual gown- namely the undersleeves, the partlet and the hat. Then I'm going to attach a skimpy little skirt and, in the great traditions of costumes like Sexy Referee and Sexy Carpenter declare myself to be Sexy Anne of Cleves.*

That way, I get
a)practice sewing, cutting and pinning before trying to sew my expensive velveteen!
b)to make a mockup that actually has a purpose!
c)to work on both the gown AND the halloween costume
d)a lot of giggles, because I think this idea is HILARIOUS.

*Other traditional costumes I found,
-Sexy FBI agent
-Sexy Bumblebee
-Sexy Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz
-Sexy Deputy Sheriff (not Sheriff... DEPUTY Sheriff)
-Sexy Freddy Kreuger
-Sexy Spiderman
-Sexy Robin
-Sexy Jane Jetson
-Sexy Eskimo
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That was a really really tiring faire. Rainy on Sunday, and still pretty chilly on Saturday. Also, the costume was a lot heavier than I'm used to. It didn't help that trying to hold back all my usual peasant-y impulses I ended up tense as a bowstring. I really don't think that I'm cut out for court, at least not as a proper lady. Now, Jane Boleyn is another question. The Boleyns are almost as far away from proper as you can get.

So I'm half way through making a court gown without a lot of desire right now to play court. Ah well. It was always mainly a test of my own skills to see if I actually can sew it.

Today's advancement on the court project is drafting the sleeve! Yay! I was a wee bit scared about this part. Bodices I've done before, but I've sewn a grand total of six inset sleeves in my life- two shirts and my pirate coat. One of the shirts has the left sleeve on the right side and vice versa, and the pirate coat is a big ol' mess. I can't check the quality of the other set of sleeves, since they're on a shirt I made for the sisterly one, and it is therefore in Toronto. I'm not counting the square sleeves on my tunics and chemises, since there's no curves or anything.

So of course, now I'm trying to draft my own sleeves. And I also have to draft the arm holes that go with them. I think I have a working sleeve pattern, but I need to do a mockup of the gown bodice to see how it works. That can be tomorrow's project.
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Oof. Long day at the faire, mostly due to rain. But I kinda feel like posting something... Ooh! Pictures!

Here's some pictures from the Royal Medieval Faire last weekend! I was only there for maybe an hour and a half, so I only saw three shows, but they were pretty good.

Also things are coming along on my Tudor ensemble! Yay!

Underthings! (shirt/chemise drafted by me, hoop skirt adapted from the Simplicity pattern, hair is up for funsies.)
From Tudor Gown

Kirtle (drafted entirely by me, baby!)
From Tudor Gown

Now I just have to do the overgown and all the little accessory things like hats and fake sleeves and so on. Woo!
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Sunday, while going for Timmy's with DJ after rehearsal I locked my keys in the car. This was inauspicious.

Monday, two litres of milk that were supposed to be good to the end of the week spoiled, a loaf of bread bought two days prior was mouldy almost straight through, the train was delayed by a half hour, making me late for work, so I had to STAY late, and then the train was late and no longer an express going back home.

Tuesday, I forgot my lunch and I found out we have a staff meeting at the head office on Friday, which, in rush hour traffic, will be approximately a two hour drive. The day is spent calling grumpy people and telling them no, they can't have their appointments. Also, I bought a carton of milk.

Wednesday, it is discovered that the NEW carton of milk had SPRUNG A LEAK and there was milk all over the bottom of the fridge. Also, forgot lunch AGAIN. Get home, discover that my dog is really sick- needs-an-operation sick, in fact.

This week has royally sucked and I DEMAND a do over.
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I totally meant to spend the night sewing, but I didn't. Instead I did... uh, well, pretty much jack all. Whee!

[Unknown LJ tag]However, the rest of the week I was REALLY productive. I have all of the inner layers of my kirtle bodice sewn up, including the boning channels. Eleven boning chanels, to be precise. The last bodice I made had only six, but my good bodice has what feels like twelve. We'll see how this works.

I also have the pretty pretty yellow brocade all pre-washed. At one point in my head it was going to be the fabric for the actual gown, also known as the main dress that you see. Then I realized that I am a pasty blonde and that much yellow would make me look like a daffodil gone horribly horribly wrong. So it's the kirtle, or under dress. However, since the kirtle doesn't have sleeves and a train, I've got a LOT of extra fabric. I honestly can't remember just how much fabric I bought (I purchased it nearly a year ago, now) but I think there's enough for another major project. The thing is, I probably won't want it! It's sort of like how I have all that purple velvet left over. I've got a pirate coat made from it, having something else in purple velvet might be overkill.

Also, I just realized- this gown is going to be in my high school (and grade school, for that matter) team colours. Go Wild Cats!

I also bought fake pearls for the trim. I love pearls. I have a whole drawer in my jewelery box overflowing with them. So I wanted pearl trim on the neckline of the kirtle. I know that freshwater pearls can be purchased at Michael's but they're not particularly nice pearls; they're lumpy and have weird grooves on them. Oh, I'm sorry. They have "character." I wanted proper spherical pearls, so fake is the way to go. But even fake glass pearls can go for around four bucks for two 16" strands. Plus shipping. Yeesh.

However, this week I went to Dollarama on my lunch break. In the cutesy little fake jewelery section, tucked away amongst the plastic rings and the "thing on a string" necklaces, were glass pearl necklaces. Fifty inch strands of 8 mm glass pearls.

One dollar each.

I've held them up to a strand I have of REAL pearls. I can barely tell the difference, and only from up close. Since these are going to be going along my chest, very few people should be that close.

I bought three strands, two in white and one in black. It took a heck of a lot of willpower not to buy more.

So. No sewing tomorrow (Friday night is go-see-the-boy night! Yay!) but lots of sewing for the long weekend. Yay!

Now I just have to figure out how to line the stupid thing... I hate lining...
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This line is absolutely brilliant, and there's nobody around to share it with, but it made me honestly guffaw, so I'm sharing it with the internet! Please not, all --ings are from the book.

"I'm gonna get medieval on his arse."
There were more pressing problems, but this one intrigued Mr. Pin.
"How, exactly?" he said
"I thought mabye a maypole," said Mr. Tulip reflectively. "An' then a display of country dancing, land tillage under the three-field system, several plagues and, if my --ing hand ain't too tired, the invention of the --ing horse collar."

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-When using 3/8" tubing for boning instead of hoop steel, use 1 1/2" wide twill tape.
-When sewing the twill tape down, sew it on the inside of the skirt
-Sew the edges of the twill tape 1" apart. That way, there is a tube on the inside of the skirt and the outside of the skirt is flat. That way there's no hoop bleed through!

And just as a side note to myself, the Simplicity pattern is kind of short on me. Not surprising, since it's meant for somebody who's 5'6", and I'm closer to 5'8".

And yes, when I sew I use imperial measurements. I also use imperial when cooking. But I measure distances in kilometers. I! Am! Canadian!

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