Saturday, 28 September 2013

Doomed ... DOOOOOMed

I got to the train station with my suitcase to travel out to the Blue Mountains for a Subscription Regency ball.  Due to trackwork I was being collected at Penrith station as I literally won't be able to catch the rail-bus. (1) they never have enough buses for the people transferring from the train; (2) I can't stand for long (with my dodgy knee) and I can't sit unless I get 2 seats together so I can put my right leg up. There isn't enough room for a straight leg; (3) most of the rail-buses are old buses (cos usual services are operating) so there isn't luggage room.

I bought my train ticket early as I was meeting my friend C at the cafe near the station for brunch before catching the train and I wanted to be ready to go as soon as it was time.

Walking from the ticket machine to the cafe I see the platform information signs switch over to say there was trackwork between Blacktown Station to Lithgow  ie NO trains going past Blacktown to Penrith.  Completely UNLIKE the information on their website 2 weeks ago, when they usually have all the advance trackwork timetables working effectively. These things are long range planned.

The person giving me a lift was driving down from Katoomba to get me and it's unreasonable to ask her to drive to Blacktown!  But I won't make it onto the rail-bus. So I'm crying as my friend arrives for brunch - cos I can't get out there and have accommodation + the ball ticket paid for.  Plus now a train ticket.  All wasted, cos with less than 5 hours there's no refund for either.

I have brunch , feel reassured by C (who's had to catch a rail-bus or 2 herself in the past couple years) that it's actually going to be impossible for me to get on one, no matter how short the distance. And by short, the express bus would be at least 30 minutes. Closer to 40. *If* I could get on with a suitcase and stood for that long my good leg would ache too much tonight to enjoy the ball. Which I wouldn't be dancing at anyway.   Strike 1.

On my way home I go to the Metrobus stop in Park street. Except there's a street parade on George so the buses are diverted (they can't get across george st to it), and there's no info on where the replacement route is.   Strike 2.

Wheel my suitcase up to Eliz St and I can't get on a bus there either as its a 30C day and every man & his dog is on the bus as it goes past me to a beach.   Strike 3.
So I have to catch a taxi home, which adds to the cost of a failed weekend at a regency ball.   Strike 4.

I got home & cried. Again.

What a pricey weekend of disappointment.

I was already a bit unhappy that I was staying at a guest house on my own - everyone else had plans that didn't involve me.  I would have enjoyed myself when I got there anyway,  but now I won't be.

Friday, 27 September 2013

pre-ordering "Children of Hoarders"

There's a new book being published next January entitled "Children of Hoarders", and available for pre-order now at Personally I'm delighted that something is available now for people like me who grew up with a hoarder mother. Not all keep rotting food etc, that's a subset on it's own.

It's easy to not understand what an impact this has if your parent was hoarding while you're a child - it would be bad enough if it starts once you're a young adult. With time & distance I'm in a much better headspace about this than I was in the past but a younger friend has been dealing with it too, and is still in the head-churny stage. I went through that when I realised that not only was my mother a little bit difficult but that it had been an abusive relationship and was a lot wrong.

I do have some of the unhelpful thought patterns of hoarders (seeing the potential in things & feeling somewhat responsible for their becoming reality), but I've worked hard most of my life to overcome actual hoarding. I still have too much stuff, but having read "Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things" I know now recognise that those thought patterns are far from helpful & working through them.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

a Miss Fisher fashion contest

For aussies, the ABC TV are running a Miss Fisher Fashion Photo competition and all the details are on their website here. Directly from their website:
To enter, upload a portrait photo of yourself in your finest Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries-inspired attire, along with a title for your photo. The top 10 best dressed finalists will be guest judged by Producers Fiona Eagger and Deb Cox and Costume Designer Marion Boyce. For some 1920s fashion inspiration, visit the official Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries Pinterest page here. Entries open Thursday 22 August and close Wednesday 9 October. Read the full Terms and Conditions

going with 'shimmer' red rayon

Last night I ordered 5.5 yards (5m) of the shimmer red rayon from FFC. The reason for my choice is that it was about the same cost as the cotton, and I wasn't going to have to dye it. I'm already planning to dye some rayon/linen fabric for a skirt and it's getting too hot to be boiling up water in the copper to bucket over to my washing machine. There's no hot water plumbing in the laundry, so the only way to get a hot wash is to either buy a machine that heats the water (spendy) or heat up water in the gas-warmed copper. I'll have to crinkle pleat it, but that's not going to be a hassle. It'll dry fast in our hot weather when I do that process & may even chuck it in the dryer to help it. And presuming the 'shimmer' remains it'll look more like the original costumes.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

seeking affordable crinkled red cotton or rayon

I'm going to a friend's Doctor Who 50th Anniversary party later this year. Yayyy, however as it's at the end of November I'm going to need a cool costume.  We've already had a 30C day in the first week of official spring, so it's looking like being a stinker summer.

I've got blue pique cotton for Clara's blue & black bustle gown, however that will be insanely too warm to wear - closed neck & long sleeves are to be avoided.  I do want to do a weeping angel at some point, but the makeup is likely to sweat off {squick}.

Another costume is the sybilline sisterhood from The Fires of Pompeii.

Here's a closeup

I'm thinking a cotton or rayon for comfort, and a red crinkle cheesecloth would be really good for our climate. BUT, do you think I can find any?  gahhhh.  May visit spotlight again, but it's so frustrating.

I have found a red silk crinkle chiffon, but spendy & silk is an insulator. Plus I'd need to line it, adding to cost.

Fashion Fabrics Club have a brickred crinkle rayon - int'l postage will double the cost & then it's brick red. Not paying that for the wrong colour.

So I'm not sure whether I could go for their other rayon crushed red as it's crushed and ?shimmers?
It is a better red, and I could broomstick crush the dress after it's made to better effect.  Hmm, if I can't find red cheesecloth in the next week I can see myself ordering this & practising drawing eyes on the backs of my hands.

Hmmm, I just checked Lincrap's website and they have white, black & pearl cotton cheesecloth. 120cm wide at $7.99.   I can dye it in my washing machine. So I need to work out how much I need, and allow a little for shrinkage.  Dye cost will add another $25 to it, sadly. But at least I ought to be able to get it.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

opening night of the Viking! exhibition

I enjoyed being part of the opening ceremony for Viking! at the ANMM and in the pic the hyperlink is to, I'm holding one of the flaming torches.  yes, despite my limping gait, I was allowed to carry one.  I didn't get a pic of me in my new garb, though here is one with me (taken by Lily Smith) in which I think I look preggers. Dang hormones causing crazy bloat!

After the performance we formed a guard of honour so that the guests could go through to see the exhibition & after a while we were let loose to join in the eating, drinking & chatting with the guests.  It was amusing to me that we swarmed to the BBQ table and then the soup & cheese tables - and the wine.  Cheese!  delicious cheese and I enjoyed the fish/prawn/veg soup though I suspect there was barley in it. Though I'm already bloated enough that it's not possible for me to tell if it there was and it's affected my poor innards.  I had some lovely chats with others -  local re-enactors and some know from closer to Canberra, a craft blogger and event ticket holders. 

 I did a selfie of me at the light-rail station at the start of my trip home afterwards.  It reminds me that these colours are soooo unflattering, and I look tired. Cos I have been tired for a couple of weeks. I'm finally being able to sleep in a new position for almost a whole night.

I've thought of making a braid to go around the edges of my new gown & embroidering the seams.  First I need to take it in a little, and then overdye to darker tones.  These colours are achievable with natural dyes but they don't suit me

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

promised pics of hand sewn things

An inside view of the shift/gown 

The almost complete green apron gown - a yellower green in real life. If only it was as the photo, cos then it'd be ok. I've only one set of shoulder straps to go. Even the seams finishes are neatened quite nicely.

And as a pork knuckle has just finished roasting in my oven, I'm going to have a late dinner and do the strap tomorrow

snail pace hand sewing in progress

I'll have pics in a day or so to share - maybe even some later tonight.

I spent saturday sitting on a comfy sofa, occasionally being snuggled by delightful dogs, while I cracked on with the viking shift. Completely hand sewed the keyhole neck with facing, assembled the sleeves and inserted both of them. When I reached my tolerance point - after neck & 1 sleeve - I had a break while re-stringing my viking necklace.

On Sunday I had a friends pop in for coffee and to collect 2x plastic drawer sets that I don't need now my Ikea drawers are set up under my cutting table. Funnily enough she'd given me a single 4-drawer thing a couple of years ago which I'm still using, and now they've moved they can use my two similar ones.

I then met another friend for lunch & a movie (Elysium which I thought was patchy) and came home to do laundry & dither over the apron gown. I couldn't face anymore hand sewing that day, which isn't suprising. I rummaged into the giveaway bag of fabric and pulled out a length of bright grass green linen to turn into a viking apron gown. I'll need to subdue the green with a coffee rinse as it's not a shade I can find linen in vegetable dyes. Silk perhaps, but not linen.

On the shift gown, what's left to do is the side seams & hem, and last night I used the sewing machine to side seam from the sleeves to hem. I'll hand stitch the seam down, so it'll look the same on the outside as the sleeves etc. I also machined the seams for the apron gown, and hand hemmed the top edge.

At lunchtime today I did half the bottom edge. It's a much better quality fabric and so much easier to hand sew. Plus I'm using silk thread for it. tonight I'll finish the apron gown, so that I can tone down the green and have it dry in time to take to work on Thursday morning. And I can finish the shift gown hem tomorrow night.

I'll cut up my current apron gown (all machine sewn) so I can have a new cap or scarf for Thursday night. One way to disguise my short modern haircut.

Friday, 13 September 2013

dark ages viking - time to upgrade to a hand sewn ensemble

Tomorrow I'm going to be sitting on a sofa watching Game of Thrones season 3 while hand sewing a new viking shift/tunic.

The only reason I'm doing so much handwork is that next Thursday it's the opening night of the national maritime museum's new exhibition - Vikings - Beyond the Legend. To quote from the exhibiton page on their website:

The fascinating world of Vikings is revealed in the international blockbuster Vikings - Beyond the legend - open for a limited season.

This must-see exhibition draws on recent archaeological discoveries and nearly 500 rare artefacts to shed new light on the Viking way of life while challenging stereotypes of Vikings as ferocious, plundering pagans in horned helmets.

Many of the artefacts have never been seen in Australia such as the oldest known Scandinavian crucifix, finely crafted bronze and silver jewellery, exquisite gold and silver pendants, small statuettes of Norse gods, and Viking swords dating from 700-1100AD.

Visitors can also see an eight metre replica of the Viking boat Krampmacken, and step on board the Jorgen Jorgenson - a newly restored reconstruction of the late 9th century Gokstad ship.

I got the chance to get a ticket to the opening night by wearing my dark ages viking, but it needs a few fixes

My current shift/tunic is machine sewn so not re-enactment level. That and it's too short And I'm so unwilling to unpick machine sewing and hand sew it again, that I'm going to belt through a rough hand sewing of a better fitting blue linen shift. Plus it uses up stash :D It's not as shade of blue that suits me that well, but it's going to be done and I can dye it darker before I wear it again, and as I'm going to use cotton thread for stitching that will dye too.

If I get it done quickly (not easily cos I'll bleat like a stuck pig the entire time), I might make another apron style overdress And let's be honest, for hand sewing I really need a deadline or I'll avoid it like the plague. It's all about using stash - and I like having dark ages viking in the cupboard now that I have all the accessories.

Must find that dang belt!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

A shoe making course in Sydney

I'd heard that Birdsall Leather had shoe classes as well as there other leather workshop classes. I need to go there this saturday to get some neatsfoot oil, and while I looked up the opening hours, I found their page for workshop classes.
Learn to make a pair of custom made shoes from start to finish......including open toes, closed toes, high heels, flat heels or wedges! (Boots excluded for beginners) Birdsall Leather & Craft are conducting a six- week course with master Italian shoemaker, Mario Dato who has over 50 years experience. Cost is inclusive of: 6 week tuition Leather and components Use of all tools & equipment Tools to keep: shoe hammer, lasting pincers, tack knife, magic pen & apron - value: over $150!! Bring a notepad and pen and your own tools if you have them. Any extra tools needed can be purchased at Birdsalls. Bookings are Essential - Positions are limited so please be quick to avoid disappointment. When: Commencing Saturday 26th October, 2013 for 2 x 3-week blocks (Saturday mornings) Time: 9.00am to 1.30pm Where: Birdsall’s downstairs workshop Cost: $695.00 for a 6 day workshop and a pair of shoes! How: Contact the team on 02 9316 6299 or Payment in full is required by October 12, 2013.

After looking at my shoemaking things on the weekend, it's tempting to sign up again to make something new.

Monday, 9 September 2013

using a stash pattern, but I may need to repurchase it anyway.

Today needing a 1930s jacket pattern surged to the front of my addictive-sewing lobe. Assuming there's a lobe of the brain reserved for obsessive sewing!

 So I popped onto Etsy to see what was available, only to notice that erm, a Butterick Retro pattern #6329 appears for sale more than once, and is already safely in my stash. So I'm not going to buy another 1930s jacket pattern but instead use the one I've had since 1999.

*hrmmmm* UH-OHHHHH It appears that I toiled this pattern in August 2008. I had no memory of this. Nor do I know where the pattern pieces and toile are. I may have to repurchase the pattern cos it seems I liked it!

Sunday, 8 September 2013

too much stuff!

I've not yet read Buried in Treasures - a workbook for dealing with hoarding, although reading Stuff last year helped me recognise some of my unhelpful thought patterns.  And often once I recognise something I can deal with it more practically. At least mine is small scale beginner hoarder level.  I never let it get past that, but as I've had 20 months of poor health I got behind in my culling.  Stuff was really interesting to read as I've a couple of things that hoarders have - a difficulty in letting go of things, and seeing potential in things that others don't.

The inspection of my storage room is tomorrow morning - eek - and I did some tidying but simply tossed a sheet over the mess on the sofa. I want to get rid of the sofa, but can't until the stuff on it is cleared.

I've got 2 bags of fabric/quilt books etc to give to the Fabric Cave - couldn't make it there today so it'll have to be next month; and 2 plastic drawer sets (my patterns used to be in) are going to a friend in a couple of weeks.  I was going to haul the empty tubs up to the charity shop, as well as a magazine rack but it was hard rubbish day ... an aussie phrase for when the local council collects stuff that won't fit in your regular rubbish collections. My council does them 3 times a year, some do them once a year.

Anyway I took that opportunity to haul those things to the footpath (empty tubs, a magazine rack & a desktop A4 document organiser) and when I took up a bag of videotapes & some very old bolsters the decent stuff had already been taken to new homes.  Works for me!

I brought upstairs some bags of paperwork to cull.  Yeah typical paper problem for hoarders.
So a small start to getting my peace of mind back after 20 months of not having the health & energy to tackle them.

bloomer steampunk is a winner

Yesterday I was able to go to the ASG 'industry day' thanks to the kindness of one of the other members, who's blog is Petite and Sewing. There was trackwork on the line to Wollongong, and I could never ever have sat on a railbus - physically incapable until my knee improves.

In the morning, there were a couple of  program parts by people, a couple of textile and other medium artists, and a woman who'd written a how to draft bodices (24 I think) from a basic shell that fits.  And in the arvo the parade with some of the stashbusting entrants.  There were some fabulous entries, and I was approx 60 metres short of standing a chance to win.

The winner had made 90-something metres and only 15cm ie 6" more yardage than the 2nd place winner.

I got to give a few words explaining steampunk, and spruik costuming & the ACG. yayyy.

To my huge suprise I won the judges choice of 'most unusual' for my bloomer steampunk :D  I got to pick from a table with some books and fabric - 1 from each.   This was my choice - I nearly said no to more fabric.  If I can't think of something good to use this as, I'll give it away. it's 2.5m of 150cm wide.  I also picked the DVD instead of the books. It covers stuff I already know but will be interesting to see and to loan to newer costumers.

If I've got this right, the stashbusting comp was started when a local member died suddenly early this year, and to quote the presenter "she won" ie who dies with the most fabric wins.  So I'm not sure if these came from her stash - they've been selling it off for some time.  It was originally a local group comp but became a statewide one.

Friday, 6 September 2013

dye recipe for my very pale pink line/rayon

This post is more a memory aid for myself, so I don't have to google it yet again. I've previously looked it up & failed to write it anywhere.

I've got some pale pink linen/rayon herringbone fabric that I want to make a summer skirt from. However pale pink doesn't actually suit me. I got it as it's going to be easy to dye a darker plum or wine or berry colour that does suit me. It's going to be more random colour than specific, and I'll use iDye for natural fabrics. Mainly cos it's easy to get, and the other dye I could get from ebay says it needs to be used with soda ash, but (i) they don't sell that also and (ii) I can't seem to find anyone who does, or who says what it's also known as.

So my recipe is 1 violet and 0.5 black.

oooh, I have sewed more than I thought since May

Last Sunday I tallied up my stash sewing entry for the Australian Sewing Guild stashbusting competition, and put my hand up for the parade at the ASG day this Saturday.

I never seemed to get the full rules so had to do a quick revision once I saw them on Kristy's blog lower your presser foot. They are: the projects had to be wearable, made since January 1 2013; from fabric that was in the stash prior to March 2013.  So, my revised total is 37.05m, and if I'd been able to include my curtains (finished in April) it would be 44.85m.

 That's a decent enough number especially when you consider that due to my evol and now former gallbladder, all this 37.05m stash sewing was sewn between early May to 3rd August!

Imagine if I'd been able to sew the whole year :D Also ineligible other than my curtains (7.8m), I also sewed another 7m with the hobbit apron & Catelyn gown. These weren't bought before March.
And if I'd got the buttonholes/buttons done on that 4 year ufo blouse, i could have counted that too. Eh, I still did well.
What I like about this parade is that I'm not going to be demanded to perform like a seal when the entry requirements *don't* require it. I can simply hobble around in my outfit. I don't even need to enter the parade, but I figure that I might as well showcase costume sewing.

All my sewing this year - other than the curtains - have been costumes! No wonder my work clothing is sadly diminishing. here's a teaser pic of the fabric I found in my stash for my next summer lawn blouse. Though I need to dye some linen/rayon herringbone a burgundy or plum colour.

And I'll re-use my self drafted pattern. I found it a couple of days ago {happy dance}

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

sorry for the silence

I've been a little bit sidetracked from posting here, when I do have event pictures and fabric bought (eep) to share.

The early need to job hunt has taken the wind out of my sails. I got a 5 week temp job with the same organisation, which is great as I continue to accrue annual leave and have sick leave until 30th September.

I've applied for a few jobs - only the ones that really interest me as I can temp until something decent turns up. Plus I forgot about one and missed the deadline. meh.

Sadly I won't be sewing for a couple of weeks, as I had a 'lesion' removed from my right knee. It was originally diagnosed as a lipoma (benign tumour), and because I was getting repeated skin infections the advice was to leave it as it was likely to get infected too. That issue seems to be finally under control, so I made the appointment for another skin check and was told that it was a dermatofibroma. Also benign, and usually not removed but as it was on the knee it was a good idea. I've already landed on it more than once when tripping over something, and OWWWWIE!

So the skin surgeon took one look at it and asked what it was. She said it wasn't like other dermatofibromas and that the pathology results might have more of an answer. Mainly to determine it wasn't a Bad Thing.

I seriously underestimated what it would entail. i knew it was large but hadn't realised it was 12mm (half an inch). Nor that I'd be wearing a knee support/brace thingy for THREE MONTHS!!! Mainly to ensure that I don't damage it in an accident (specialist had that happen with at least 1 patient) as knee skin is much more mobile than an area like the shin or calf.

so I'm hobbling along and unable to sit on the bus - cos I can't yet bend my knee to fit into the space.

I'd better post about the things that I can over the next couple of weeks.