gracedpalmer: (Default)
On meds attempt number two and beginning to despair for a number of reasons I won't enumerate here because I don't have them completely figured out. Getting about 4 to 6 hours of actual sleep per night is further complicating the attempt to actually do that. I am tempted to give up and go back to relying on exercise and coffee.

I have, however, been doing more things than I usually manage in October. One of them was going to the Griffin's Needle 24-hour costuming event in Madison. Here )are some photos of me being very tired and sewing things.
gracedpalmer: ((default))
Putting these up before I lose my nerve again.
Read more... )
gracedpalmer: ((default))
So! I've had myself a longish weekend. Went down to Waukegan to visit [profile] ladydrake and go to a costumed showing of Labyrinth on Friday. I have photos, but am lazy at the moment and not posting them. Also having some appearance issues, as sometimes happens with pictures. I will get over them eventually.

As my little purple corset has been on its way out for a while, I am making a new, more properly constructed one from its corpse. Coutil strength layer and steel boning this time, instead of misc sport solid and cable ties. On the plus side, that underbust has lasted me roughly 3 years. Making this one a little taller to see if it'll fight with my bra a little less.

For my own reference:
Have been depressed for the past several days, probably for most of the last week, judging by my groceries situation and the number of dirty dishes in the sink. Momentum very low, though not in a lot of emotional pain. Condition of apartment makes me want to set it on fire and start over. Eventually I'll get enough momentum to clean it properly.

2 weeks to the equinox. Also just about 2 weeks till the time change, which I hate. It doesn't matter which way it goes - time change always makes me really weird. At least I'm getting more evening sun this time.

Time to get moving.
gracedpalmer: (Default)
Oh, we are not eighteen anymore. Five of us (myself, [livejournal.com profile] samadi, [livejournal.com profile] jmpierce, [livejournal.com profile] ladydrake and her boyfriend Cris, who does not have an lj to the best of my knowledge) all went to Griffin's Needle this weekend. This is a costuming deathmarch SCA event about an hour and a half away. Sewing started at 10 pm Friday night, and stopped at 6 pm Saturday evening. The goal is to make a whole outfit from the skin out (underwear on out) in this time period.

We decided to make some garb for me. I feel a little guilty about this, because I got a lot of stuff out of it, but no one else wanted to have it made for them. We could just as easily have made [livejournal.com profile] ladydrake's purple and green Florentine, for instance. But anyhow - the goal was a full early 16th century German woman's costume, tradesman class, from the Augsburg area.

We were not a total success. There are issues with the bodice pattern, and we had to get really creative with piecing because my fabric shrank more than it should have. There was enough to get the job done, if I had not borked the patterning. Let this be said: you should not make your test dress in linen/rayon if the finished pieces are going to be in light wool and very firm silk twill.

There will need to be some interesting re-piecing to get the shoulders and arms of the overdress to work, and I'm not totally happy with the undergown, either. This is no one's fault but mine, however. I did the patterning and cutting. Everyone else did lots and lots of hand stitching, and their work is beautiful. It's just that the result isn't quite the shape I expected it to be. The accessories (linen stockings, hemd, and wulsthaube) are beautiful. When I regain my brains, I hope to take photos of them.

I was worried about my documentation, because I don't know how to write it. I took the approach of treating it like a paper from school, which left me feeling like it wasn't terribly good, since my logic isn't spelled out as clearly as it should be and could be questioned as faulty, my citations are a little schizophrenic, and I made some blanket assertions I didn't back up with a cite.

Apparently, I should not have been worried. We entered as intermediate or advanced, were placed in advanced by the person running the event, and all three of our judges told us that we entered the wrong category and should have entered as Pyxis (an authenticity-oriented category that discourages sewing machines and modern shortcuts.) Also, I have been requested to send copies of the documentation to two of them.

I'll probably clean it up before it goes out - some parts of it were written the day before the event, and I'm really rather embarrassed by those. Perhaps I will be able to clean it up enough to web it? I feel a little weird about that, because most of it's not original work - it's heavily based on things I've read online on others' websites and journals, and on the German Ren group, but I can't remember who said what. I don't want to look like I'm taking credit!

The rules weren't too clear, so it looked like people in that category were required to make all accessories, including footwear, and we have no leatherworkers, so it seemed inappropriate. This was apparently incorrect. The point is moot, beacuse I've inadvertantly exhausted all my friends, so we shan't be back (I'd be willing to go again, perhaps in several years, but this is not really a "do it alone" event. I don't sew -that- fast!)

So yeah, mixed feelings in the end. I had a good time. Everyone with me was really good. The reaction to our efforts was strongly approving. But I feel like I really fell short and messed up in a lot of places that I should not have. All the mistakes can be fixed (to one degree or another) but they should not have been made in the first place, were I competent.

No pictures were taken - we were too busy and distracted. If any appear online later (there was an official photographer, but our end result wasn't all that impressive, so it probably didn't get photoed) I'll link them.

Also, I really wish that costuming events didn't require improv presentations. I'm a competent seamstress, but I never want to enter anything I make in a con show (and this event was problematic at the end, too) because they make you give a speech and be an actor to boot. [livejournal.com profile] samadi and [livejournal.com profile] ladydrake were really the only thing that saved me.

Today, I will not get much done, though I do need to put some attention to the cleaning of the apartment, since it's trashed. I may spend most of the day poking my new nonfunctional tiredness. So far we've discovered that while I'm well-slept, interesting parts of me hurt, I'm still subject to mood swings (sorry about last night, guys - but it's not like I was the only one who was frustrated, confused, and hair-trigger) and my motivation is made of slowness. Let's see what new damage sleep dep hath caused!

If I am very good, I will start on some art in prep for Windycon. Since my monitor went kerput, art has mostly fallen by the wayside (I was being lazy and doing all my practice onscreen). I must try to get going again, so that I can be like a real person. Of course, if I'm working on convention art, I'll still be shirking my sketchbook. I now have a 23" Samsung. It is a widescreen, which makes me feel like I've been cheated of the top quarter of my monitor, but it is at least almost as tall as the old one. No more turning on the computer and hoping that you get more than a blinky flicker.

Eventually, I may reply to all the emails I've been ignoring. I've been a very poor correspondent.

Ok, time to get off this before I go back into wondering why I have hobbies in the first place. That goes nowhere good. I should work up some clockwork animals, instead.
gracedpalmer: (Default)
Done:
bodice pattern revised and tested
Orange silk twill skirt made
Blue circle skirt guarded and finished
Red cotton twill skirt cut out
Skeleton of Griffin's Needle documentation made
Hook and eye and needles for event purchased

Still to do:
Find safflower (probably requires full apartment clean)
find silk thread (ditto)
buy linen thread? (will the seller ever get back to me?)
Sew red skirt
Dip red and orange skirts to dull color (maybe - depends on whether I want to spend the winter stop sign red or not)
Cut out and sew new tops
Put away laundry
Much dyeing, documentation writing, and pattern testing
Make winter coat
Clean apartment very much

MIscellaney

Aug. 2nd, 2009 11:41 pm
gracedpalmer: (Default)
Today I made a skirt from start to finish - about four yards of eggplant linen, nearly a full circle. This was possible only by dint of using my machine on the long seams. I feel rather as though this is cheating, but on the other hand - skirt! Still 200+" of hemming, plus pleating, buttons and buttonholes, etc. Fingers are sore now. It's mostly for day to day use, but will made a decent underskirt for event wear as well. More skirts is always better, after all.

I've been doing too little, otherwise. Apartment is tornadoed and some tolerable art remains unfinished (I am still not at a point where I can like anything I make, but at least finishing it would be wise). Was doing okay, but someone important to me has recently been a bit of an ass in a way that remains unresolved, so that's pretty much torpedoed the productivity. Cryptic Grace is cryptic. I've been reading a lot of books, so as to pretend everything is ok.

Finished the Gormenghast trilogy tonight. I'd heretofore only ever read the first book. The second is equally impenetrable, and the third is outright surrealism, with minimal continuity (Titus is in it, and some things happen to him. The significance of these things is anybody's guess.) Also read Inventing the Victorians, which is lovely (telegraph spam!) and have been craving some of [livejournal.com profile] barbara_hambly's older stuff (the Antryg stuff and the Sun Wolf books are both childhood favorites). Of course, I have exactly two books of this, and neither are in the same series. I used to have more, but a move ate them sometime along the way. There may need to be a bookstore trip.

The CSA has finally begun to get going, though it seems to be a bad year or a less generous farm. I remember being buried alive in green beans by this time last year, and the spoils just aren't as good, even if last Friday did yield a mighty borscht. Also, I need to give in and eat some more salad before the lettuce colonizes my refrigerator. Broke down a couple of weeks back and bought some regular yeast for days when I feel lazy or haven't planned properly. Bread in a mere two hours seems almost like cheating now.

Haven't managed to put the rest of the stripes on the Bumblebee Dress. I need to dig out the yellow linen again, and I'm not sure where I put it, or the remainder of my giant Ebay thread collection. There are far too many projects in progress! I've figured out how to get more wear out of my combat boots, as well. I wear them all crooked, and cutting them even again with my coping saw takes a long time, but it keeps me from turning my ankles.

Must make more things before the summer is out. Winter will turn me into a ball of useless once more, and I want to have gotten enough done before it comes. Argh!
gracedpalmer: (Default)
Back from the event, minus some nap and recovery time. I am not as resilient as once I was, and it's time to start implementing a preventative maintenance plan of sleep and hydration, it seems.

The pavilion is doing reasonably well with just the crow's feet and center pole, but no wooden structure inside. It's a bit like this one , but without the ropes running through the canopy.

However, my door attachments, which have always been jury rigged, could use work. They're the cause of the need for an emergency take down during the high winds and thunderstorm early Friday morning. I woke up and both doors were open, which had turned my pavilion into something that very much wanted to fly away, and caused me to lose one stake.

That meant that the formerly taut roof was now saggy and leaky. So the walls were pulled off, the stuff carted to the car for dryness' sake, and I was up a lot earlier than intended. The roof pulled a couple of stakes later and went over shortly. However, a tip-over in this design is non-disastrous, and putting it up later was simple and pleasant. The rest of the weekend was non eventful, tent wise, though I was pretty cold Saturday night. We ran the weather gamut this weekend.

Bumblebee dress Mark I was worn throughout the event, though I spent a lot of time in field hand mode when in camp, since two layers and no hat is cooler than three with hat. I require more aprons. Also, the support bodice had not been worn for an extended period of time in the heat before, and has stretched an important inch or so. The back will need to be taken in a bit.

Photos )

I got to take a very nice recipe redaction class, which was a lot of fun, and the Baronial Open House remains a tasty occasion. Sadly, dance was quite disappointing, with what I feel was a poorly chosen set and drawn out, inefficient teaching before hand. Also, it was on the warm side most of the time, and I let myself get dehydrated, so I had a headache most of the weekend. Hopefully I was not too much of a bitch to people.

Camp is turning out very nice, and we're getting a decent ratio of canvas to nylon these days: two red pavilions, a pair of white wall tents and a wedge, plus a couple of shade flies. Hopefully by next year I'll be able to bring a little bit of furniture, since the tent should be past all really major renovations by then. :)

The next question, of course, is whether or not I'm crazy enough to do this .
gracedpalmer: (Default)
Border Skirmish was a good practice for the longer camping event later in the summer. The pavilion got converted to ropes only a little earlier than expected, since a previous, more optimistic version of myself apparently ditched the hub that the spokes sat in sometime in the past year. My pavilion used to be a 12' round of this type: http://home.adelphi.edu/~sbloch/sca/tents/kuijt.article/ which I have never really been comfortable in the documentation for, and which requires a fairly large amount of support structure, though less than the sidepole type of tent.

It is currently a 12 foot round of approximately this type: http://home.adelphi.edu/sbloch/sca/tents/firstkr.html though my guy lines don't run through the roof. The crow's feet are currently extremely jury-rigged, since it was a bit of a last minute decision.

In addition, my old center pole, made from three 4' pieces of 3-4" diameter bamboo, was completely borked. Cutting the damaged part from last year off did not work, as the cracks only tried to work higher. I spent the first night in the Emergency Tent, a tiny, tiny dome tent bought about eight years ago. Fortunately, there was a man there selling these: http://store.colemans.com/cart/pole-4-fiberglass-used-6-poles-p-1477.html

I spent a little time pondering the use of something so incredibly modern, but I've been using bamboo, which while natural, isn't what you'd call authentic. And this is less obtrusive, stronger, lighter, and pre-jointed. Moving to hardwood would be very difficult, given my lack of woodworking facilities and the fact that I drive a Prius. And a bright red cotton canvas tent can only be so period accurate to start with.

Moving to this configuration has significantly reduced the amount of wood I have to carry, and has made [livejournal.com profile] samadi, who usually holds my center pole while I stake the tent, incredibly happy. The tent now goes up in ~15-20 minutes with two people.

The weekends for the next three weeks will be devoted to working on clothing, and perhaps reworking the ropes on the pavilion to a better configuration. At the moment, it has a bit of sag. More toes and a better distribution on the crow's feet should help that.

In other news, it was very cold and rainy - the first event to be that chilly. I lamented my lack of an overdress (time and effort constraints meant I went in two petticoats and a support bodice like these washerwomen: http://www.hermetics.org/solis/solis21.html and the maid in Susanna at the Baths: http://www.wga.hu/art/a/altdorfe/1/4susanna.jpg (1582 and 1526 respectively). I think that I have some wool on the lighter side, so I'll be making a woolen petticoat for cold days in the future, as well as finishing my overgown. Wore the wulsthaube (white mushroom shaped hat) and got a reasonable number of compliments on that.

No photos, I'm afraid. I bought batteries for my camera, then failed to charge them!

SCA musings

Jun. 6th, 2009 06:52 pm
gracedpalmer: (Default)
Yellow onion skins in vinegar (with possible iron contamination - the enamel is chipping off my dyepot) turn silk the precise shade I think of as Steampunk Brown. I must consider this for the future.

Turmeric is also the only thing I have that dyes linen. My underskirt is now a fabulous shade of dandelion. I am pleased.

Pavilion has been hemmed and the sides taken in. It will probably have to go to the next event as the (probably) tremendously unperiod spoked wheel type, however, since I have not yet figured out how to make the leather grommets shown here (http://www.greydragon.org/pavilions/basel.html) to attach rope hooks.

Much to be done! Ack!

The Colors

Dec. 3rd, 2008 12:39 am
gracedpalmer: (Default)
color musings )
gracedpalmer: (stupid)
I'm thinking about making a haori sort of thing. Some kind of big, lined, rectangular-construction robe that'll fit on top of everything, no matter what I'm wearing. Today I dyed some greyish purple flannel more of a light plum/dark mauve, and I was intending to use my remaining Dylon to turn some of my mushroom colored linen sage for the shell.
However, while looking for the linen, I found a bunch of black twill I hadn't remembered I had, as well as a maroon flat sheet. Hmm. Goth haori? On the way, I also dug up a miscellaneous bin, in which I'd packed my spare air mattress pump (wish I'd remembered that before buying a new one), a bunch of leather, some videos, pigeon wings, and winter clothing.

Apparently it takes me all of three months to completely forget I own winter clothing. It's like my birthday. My apartment is giving me presents! The Cruxshadows agree with me.

Now I must make chubby woman in haori sketches to figure out what will be used for what purpose. The black and red could also easily go into some more skirts, since my black ones are getting quite ragged and I could use a nice one. Or I could make a purple and green something else.
gracedpalmer: (Default)
Well, that's all the hemden repaired (hemds? Hemd? fear my Germglish.) Some of them are definitely getting ratty, but there's no time to replace them. Also, I'm still not completely sure exactly what's period for these gowns. Evidence is suggesting it's something a bit like the classic Italian camicia (at least for the Augsburg area), but there's very little to go on.
Onward to the gowns, or gown. I think the pink and green one might actually fit properly at last. Or, as well as it's going to. The red and yellow one will need significant alterations. Eventually, they'll probably be donated to someone in need of loud clothing, because I'm hoping to end up with more authentic stuff. But that will take much time to make, and I'll need something to wear in between. Recent evidence suggests I should also take my stuff up a social class or so, which will require greater tidiness, creation of a steuchlein, nicer aprons, etc.
I really also ought to try to get proper doors on my tent, as it's never had them yet.
gracedpalmer: (Default)
I do -not- need to make a really authentic 16th century Augsburg outfit before I am A. finished losing weight and B. make a major move.
How about a hat, brain? Or finish one of those many, many projects you've already started? It's not like we even -have- tropical weight wool in the house.
gracedpalmer: (Default)
Well, here's the result of the impulse corset I was talking about yesterday. No purple zippers were available, so I used black, and I ended up with cable ties as boning. However, the buckling at the back there suggests I need to rip off a little bit of binding and put some more boning and a couple of gussets in. I suspect the lack of adequate width at the back hip is why the lacing's uneven at the bottom, too. This pattern is very symmetrical, front to back, so that's not really surprising.

I may throw a few very light bones (smaller zip ties) in the front to take care of those horizontal wrinkling. Boning things on the seams, as is most common with corsetry, never seems to work for me. Wall to wall boning is clearly the way to go! Since this was made primarily as a functional corset, for back support, it takes next to nothing off my waist. I'm hovering around a 38" waist naturally, and measured somewhere around 37" with the corset on. I can reduce more than that by holding my breath :P

pictures )
If folks are interested, I'll post instructions on how to put together one of these. They're relatively simple (no bust to deal with) and I use a different patterning method than most I've found online.
gracedpalmer: (Default)
Today has been a day of interesting sewing accidents. I'm putting together a quickie underbust corset, so that when I have back aches from bad posture, I don't have to fiddle with my bra, as I would with an overbust. Underbusts are easy to fit. I grabbed a chunk of purple poly/cotton twil that'd been sitting around in my fabric stash from making garb for someone else ages ago, and set to ironing it out flat for cutting.

Now, it should be noted that I've recently given up steam irons. This is because I am too incompetent to use them properly - I always under or over fill, and end up slopping water on something before I'm done. I currently have a very small travel iron that appears to be about 50 years old, which I got from Habitat for Humanity for about three dollars. It's old enough that the only synthetic it has a setting for is rayon.

Because I'm not using an iron with built in steam, I've taken to using a spray bottle instead. I laid out my fabric on the table, heated up the iron, and gave the cloth a spritz. Which smelled surprisingly swimming pool like. This should have been a clue, but I continued, and spritzed about half the length before I realized that this was not the iron bottle. This was a cleaning bottle with 50% bleach solution in it. My purple fabric is now speckled with pretty pink spots. Fortunately, this is no disaster, because this is a utility corset, and the effect is still reasonably attractive. So I went ahead and spritzed the rest of the length, let it dry and the spots finish developing, etc.

On to stage two. With the correct bottle, I set to ironing. However, things seemed weirdly sticky. Ah, of course. When I got the fabric out, it was very crisp, rather like the finish from the fabric store was still on it (they put various treatments on fabric at the store, which is why some things that can be washed are dry clean only - you'll wash out the finish). Since it was going to be a corset, I didn't bother washing it - corsets rarely get laundered, and never in the machine. Normally, if it's a garment that'll go in the machine, I wash it on the hottest setting I can. The theory is that nothing worse will happen to it ever again. Of course, this fabric has to be one with a size that dissolves when moistened and heated, rather than with soap and soaking. Eventually I got the fabric laundered, but I've had to clean the iron twice.

All the chunks are now together, and awaiting seam pressing. Then I'll get to dig out my grommets, run to the store for a zipper, and put the boning in. I'm still undecided whether I'm going to go with zip ties or cord, however. Both have their merits (this corset is going to be far too humble for steel - corselette might be a better term).

Onward!
gracedpalmer: (Default)
The last day of the trip is the right time to blog the first day, right? Sadly, I'm afraid it's not because it's been one long run of fast paced adventure that I haven't written. I'm just very lazy. Also, I had one of the worst air travel experiences to date.

things that happened! )
gracedpalmer: (Default)
Alright, this is just a general question for curiousity purposes at the moment. Ladies (and male bodied folks that dress female) - what are your underbust, waist, and hip measurements, and how far is it from the bottom of your bra-band (underbust) to your waist. Since this has been a problem on other forums, waist is herein defined as the smallest part of your torso. It is -not- where you wear your jeans!
If you don't know, or don't want to say, that's fine. But you are contributing to a wealth of costuming knowledge!

If this does what I want it to (might be a while, says cryptic-lady) I'll survey the gentlemen later.

Today I...

Dec. 30th, 2007 01:54 am
gracedpalmer: (Default)
Finished Nghi's skirt. Need to give it another run through the washer, as Tempest has strategically shed all his white fur onto it.
Dyed my hair pinkish red (needs more on the length, though, as it's not so bright as the top). This necessitated washing it the normal way, with lots of shampoo all the way down, to strip it. Even after the killer conditioner that comes with hair dye, my hair has neither been so flyway nor so dry and brittle feeling in months. How did I stand this? If it continues, I shall have to oil.
Made pumpkin bread
Burnt some miscellaneous nut and fruit bread
Watched anime

Now I am downswinging sharply. Stupid winter.
Brain, you'd best not keep me up tonight.
gracedpalmer: (Default)
What I wore to club the other night.Read more... )
gracedpalmer: (cranky)
I haven't been working on articles much this week. The queue's pretty dead, and I have other things that need done (for money, even). However, my brain refuses to accept this, and thinks I've been slacking all day. So, what I've done today, in an attempt to reduce anxiety enough to go to sleep )

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