Friday, January 28, 2011

Time To Start What I've Been Putting Off and Other News.

I hate doing repairs on things...Especially replacing zippers in jackets.  Even more so when the jacket's I'm fixing smell like stale cigarette smoke.


Oh well, it's money.  I have 3 to fix by Saturday.  No problem. 

Instead of doing zippers I have been playing at drafting a pair of breeches for the hubster.  He actually told me that before I can make anymore girly dress stuff I have to make him an outfit.  Yippee!  I have him hooked.  I picked up a dark green ladies long jacket at the thrift store for 6.50 which should have more than enough fabric to make a Frock coat for the hubster.  I'm also gonna try and keep my eyes out for a large enough pair of fine wale corduroy pants to make the breeches after they have been muslin'd and fit. 

I also have to finish cutting out the stays for Sam and sew up the prototype.  Hopefully I can do a better job at taking pics and blogging about the process.


Monday, January 24, 2011

The Lego Cake.

Boy have I been busy working on this an that lately.  I finally got the 18th C Polonaise done, so I'm free to work on other sewing projects now.  Yippee....

Recently my oldest son had a birthday...he requested a lego themed party and of course one of the main things he wanted was a lego shaped cake.  Its not my best work BUT I did what I could with the limited supplies I had.  Everyone enjoyed it!

Hope you do too!

I made the rounds with a cookie cutter and "dirty" iced them before forming the fondant over top.
I used the Plain Eggless cake recipe, an Italian buttercream, and fondant.

It has a few dents in it, thanks to my wonderful kids who couldn't stop touching it.....

"I'm just looking"

"Ya, with your fingers"

One of my favorite sayings "Look with your eyes, NOT your fingers"


THe nightmare is over!

WOW!  Its all I can say...the Zone front Polonaise from hell is finished.  I'm starting to like it.  I think! LOL. 

I have been so lax in updating the progress of the dress so I probably will do a few different posts.  I don't want to make this one to long.

So I perused my last entries to see where I had left off on chronicling the polonaise....I have been very bad!  lol.  Well I ended up getting the Peach petticoat finished and spent hours upon hours on hand sewing running stitches and gathering and tacking the 10 meters of ruffle that went on the bottom of it.  I also pinked both the top and the bottom edge of the ruffle.  I think in hindsight I will be trimming off the "hairs" that have developed on it and using some Fray check, just so that the edges can stay nice and fresh.  I added the ruffle because the petticoat was about 3 inches too short, for my tastes anyways.   I know I could have gotten away with the hem being short as most of the fashion plates and extant garments I've found show the gowns to be ankle length, but I wanted to be able to hide my shoes since I have nothing that remotely comes close to the typical Louis style.

I had to make a new bum roll as the one I currently have is for a Victorian bustle and wouldn't work.  I went with a petal shape as I wanted the back of the skirt to be supported when I gathered it.  I thinks its pretty cute!
I had so many problems with this dress and I was frustrated with myself both in my draping and fitting.  Although in my defense one can only do so much with a mannequin and pin to oneself is a bit tricky.  I tried the gown on when I was almost finished, all I head left to do was finish taking the rest of the trim on the zone.   TO my dismay I had almost no movement in the sleeve.  It was too tight across the bicep and pulled when I tried to move.  I also forgot to add any kind of seam allowance to the neckline and the result was it was to wide and showed the straps of my stays and part of my chemise underneath.  The whole top felt very uncomfortable.  I had just enough fabric to re cut the sleeves, but only after I altered a pattern for a modern sleeve into the shape of a 18th c type sleeve.  After I had done about 6 or 7 new sleeve mock ups and finished tweaking as much as I could I re cut the new ones and sewed them in place.  I also realized that I had cut the armhole to low on the bodice which contributed to the pulling on the bicep and limited range of motion.

Before I did the sleeve however I cut apart the top of the bodice and made new straps to widen the shoulders so it didn't fall off the shoulder.  I wish I had stopped and taken pictures of it, but I was frustrated and annoyed I just wanted to get it done! 

So then I finally get the sleeves done, the rest of the trim attached and I try in on for the final fit.....AND  IT DOESN"T!!!!!!!

Oh my F"N GAWD!!!!!

I took it off, threw it on the floor and kicked the bathroom door a few times....okay...ALOT!  I'm happy to report the door is solid and still in one piece.  I have to be honest I contemplated cutting up the dress into a thousand different pieces.  Yes I was THAT insane with frustration and anger.  After I calmed down I looked at the best way to fix the dress...AGAIN!  I ended up taking it in in the center front.  It was the easiest way.  While I was taking it in I also decided to put in a piece of boning to keep the front straight so it wouldn't wrinkle.  I hate sewing hook and eyes so I found a piece of hook and eye tape and used that and hand sewed eyes instead of the eyelets I did before.  The eyes worked so much better.

The stays also had a transformation.  I cut the straps off and ended up sewing pieces of fabric in between the tabs.  I found that when I was wearing them it was digging in where the tabs opened up.   I also noticed that when they settled into place at my waist they were too short.  more of an under bust version rather than over bust.  I also had to take them in so they were tighter, since I had lost weight since I first started making them.  I most likely won't finish this set of stays.  They were a mock up to begin with so I know the changes I'll have to make to the "good" pair.

When I finally got to put on the gown an all of the accouterments I left out the chemise.  I don't like the way it fits...I plan on reworking the pattern into something that's not so voluminous.

In the end I finally got a gown that can be worn....Which I did to my first 18th c event.  More on that with some nice pics of myself and the hubby all decked out....

Stay tuned!

P.S....I forgot to mention that during this horridness of constructing, deconstructing, wonderful boys decided to have a chocolate pudding war (my sewing room is the dining room since it's the only room in the house with a table) and slopped it all over the dress.   I managed to get out the chocolate, but boy was I mad....

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

In Silence.....

I've decided to try something.  To be silent.  No talking, to communicate through movement, body language and facial expressions.  It may seem strange but I need to do something like this.  I get stressed out very easily and when I get stressed out I get anxious, irritated and angry.  It feels like I am this way ALL the time.  I don't like how I am when I am like this.

I yell and scream. 
I'm not calm, I'm not at peace. 

I'm hoping that silence will give me a chance to learn how to control my reaction to those triggers that make me angry.  Because by not yelling and  screaming I can learn to do it another way.

I've been silent for about an hour now.  I am finding it hard....I have a tightness in my chest and throat.  I'm freaking out, it's weird.....panicky.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

It's The New Year, Therefore You Should Have Resolutions....

That most likely you  WILL break in the next month!  Not that I don't believe you have the capability to stick to it, but because I know you are secretly hoping that the New Year means you will be a completely different person!  Talk about setting yourself up for failure!

Everyone talks about how the New Year is gonna be great!  That great things will happen, that somehow your life will change so dramatically that none of the previous years Drama, bad karma, negative energy and thought will automatically stop on the dot at 12:00 am January 1st.  Maybe I'm being pessimistic, and maybe I'm being a little harsh, but I know for my experience this past year that it's very hard to have those expectationsa nd succeed!  You have years and years and years of being this person and now you want to change at the drop of a hat?  Not gonna happen.

Now I don't have all the answers, I more than likely never will.  But there are some things that I have learned in this past year that have helped me through and that I would like to work on more this year.  So here is my year in review...sorta.

In January my husband asked for a divorce.  After 11 years and 4 kids.  My friends were shocked, both at my reaction and at the possibility of a divorce.  I on the other hand decided that if this was the way the universe was gonna play out my life then who was I to get all stressed out about it.  Things happen for a reason and this was happening.  It turned out we had a wonderful friend who helped both my husband and I out through informal councelling.  He is the most random person, other than me, that I know, and his approach was just the most perfect fit to our problems.  What I and My husband learned from him was that I am not a mind reader neither is my husband and learning how to express those needs  to each other is the secret to a successful marriage.  If we get to be 80 and still love each other enough to change each others adult diapers, then I think we did a great job. 

Some how my wonderful SIL decided to abduct 3 of our kids and we decided to to plan our honeymoon.  We've been married for 5 years and figured that it was about time we took some time for ourselves.  We started planning in March, we bought our tickets and booked our rooms....Cook Islands here we come!  What a fabulous time we had.  It was such an odd trip.  No kids, just us, learning how to be a couple again.  It was definitely strange.  Since the beginning of our relationship we had always had some sort of responsibility or expectation put on us, and for these two weeks we had nothing, no school, no job, no family, no kids.    It made me realize that we haven't really taken the time to enjoy ourselves.  Could we have picked a cheaper way to learn how to enjoy ourselves?

Most likely....

Was it worth it?


This year has also been a big year for me.  I've learned so much about myself that it's frightening!  Most of you know my mood swings, my temper, my depression, my anxiety, the list could go on.  I'm not or wasn't a happy person, I'm not balanced.....  I've been doing a lot of introspective work this year.  Its tougher that it looks.  Which is why I say at the beginning of the post that that i say if you think your gonna change just because it's the New Year and you expect results right away, you are setting yourself up for a big fall.  I've been working on myself for at least a year....and am no where near where I wanna be.  I am however better than I was. 

This year I will continue in the search for that better part of me, so if it seems that my behavior is a little strange to you, then you're just gonna have to accept that this is me changing to suit myself and not you.  I more than likely become very selfish, not in a destructive way, but in a " I have to take care of myself, before I can take care of anyone else" way.  I hope you understand. 

Have a Happy New Year...I know I won't.  It's gonna be difficult and sad, and frustrating, and I'm gonna have days that I hate it.  At least I know what to expect, but this is the path I have set out for myself and I know the reward at the end of it will be far greater than the shit that happens on the way.