Saturday, September 30, 2006

Getting Closer To Being Done

Yay! Look! I've got the skirt cut out and pleated! It's not sewn yet, because I wanted to see how it would fit. But it's looking pretty good. So after I do a few errands I'll come back and sew the pleats down and then sew the skirt to the bodice. I'm really liking this dress. I hope some other people will too, and bid on it on ebay. I'm not sure what amount to start it at. I want it to be low enough that people will want to bid, but not so low that I can't get at least my money out of it. Preferably I'll get my time paid for too. The materials cost about $75.00. Luckily, I got the silvery green fabric on sale for only $8.99 a yard. So maybe I'll start it at $69.99. I'll decide later.

The Sea Maiden's Elizabethan Gown Bodice

I began the bodice for my ebay dress last sunday. Since I've decided to make it more of a court type gown rather than a wench dress I put an inner built in corset between the dressy fabric and the lining. This will give it that nice firm look and push the bust up, if that's what the wearer wants. And I sacrificed the velvet I had chosen for sleeves to use to bind the bodice edges. I think this gives it a richer look. I'm not sure if I want to use lacing rings on the inside for a closure or grommets along the edges. I'm kinda leaning toward the hidden lacing rings, because the silvery green fabric is prone to fraying and grommets are punched through all three layers. Making a hole in the outer faric might make it fray. Of course, I could use fray check...

I have only the dress makers dummy that fits my size --well, my former size. I've put on about 15 pounds since I made this, so it really isn't my size anymore. But back to what I was saying. The bodice is a tish smaller than the dress makers dummy. So this bodice will measure approx 31-32"" at the waist and 37-38" at the bust. Those measurements can be played with a bit. For instance, if the wearer wants to go for that busty, boobs- swelling-over-the-top look, her actual measurement should be a bit larger.

Now, I have to cut out the overskirt and pleat it and sew it to the bodice. What fun.


Okay, next entry in the dress diary. Last weekend I made the underskirt. I had only two yards of the lovely sea foam green satin, so I made the front panel out of that, and the back panel, which will be under the skirt of the dress, out of a dark green cotton sateen. I decided to make a regular waistband with hooks and eyes instead of the drawstring waistband I usually use for costumes. Elastic begins to droop after a while and although a drawstring allows for a fit of a variety of sizes, they usually come untied at one point or another and it's kind of a pain to hike your overskirt up to re-tie it. So, like I said, I'm going with hooks and eyes spaced over the side fastening. It will fit a waist measurement from 29" to 32". Maybe even a little bigger, if a safety pin is sued. The bodice of the dress is going to lace up the front, and if it isn't laced all the way closed it will fit up to a 34" waist.

I really like the way the light hits the satin. It gleams so nicely and looks so rich. The color makes me want to call this dress the "Sea Maiden's Gown" or maybe the "Mermaid Dress."

Friday, September 29, 2006

Sewing For Ebay

Now that the weather is cool enough to be able to have the iron, the sewing machine and the serger on all at the same time I've been sewing. Halloween is coming up in a month, so it's a good time to try to sell some garb on ebay. At first I thought I'd whip a simple dress together, but somehow the plan has grown to be a more sophisticated Elizabethan gown.

I decided to use my blog to keep a sort of dress diary of the construction. I've never kept a dress diary, and this dress isn't intended to be a serious attempt at authenticity. Most of the buyers on ebay aren't looking for an accurate replica of a gown from the 16th Century. So I'm going to make this dress pretty and elegant.

First, a week ago, I went through my fabric stash and pulled out stuff that I had bought intending to make myself something but never have. It was hard to choose, because every fabric I pulled out made me say "Ooh, I bought that for an Italian Renn (or Tudor, or cotehardie). But I finally settled on a very nice silvery green damask like fabric with darker green motifs woven into it. I had green cotton for lining, and a seafoam green satin for the underskirt, and a some really nice dark green velvet for sleeves and trim. See the picture? Aren't those great colors?

The dress has begun!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Couple Current projects

Daye's Unst Socks!

A friend said I should add more projects to my blog, so here's a couple. This is by no means all of what I've got going right now. But here's some I'm willing to share right now.

Purple Unst Socks! These are from Nancy Bush's Knitting On The Road book--a great book with sock patterns of various difficulty levels. I'd say the Unst socks are about a medium difficulty. I'm knitting these as part of a Knit-A-Long. I have one sock done and I'm about half way down the leg on the other. This is a pretty simple lace pattern. I'm not carrying the lace pattern down the top of the foot because I personally don't like the sometimes bumpy texture of lace pressing into my skin under my shoe. I'm making these for a friend--Hi, Daye!--and I think she'll like them. I offered to make her a pair of socks and she listed a couple colors she liked. Luckily, purple was one of her colors and I just happened to have a skein of purple wool blend yarn in my stash. I am enjoying knitting these. (I have another pair of socks in the works, and I am finding those to be very slow going. I have to force myself to work on those.)

Another project I have going is spinning up a couple ounces of gorgeously dyed silk. Aren't those colors marvelous? A friend bought this for me as a gift after I wasn't able to go with her to a fiber festival. As soon as I got this in the mail I rushed to finish spinning and plying some wool that was on the wheel because I couldn't wait to spin this. It spins like a dream! I love the feel of fiber sliding through my fingers. It is the best therapy I know of to help me deal with the stress of life. It's even better than knitting, because there is no counting.

So, those a couple of my projects. That doesn't include the shawl I'm knitting, or the afghan I'm crocheting, or the Viking tunic I'm embroidering, or the Elizabethan gown I'm sewing to sell on ebay... More about the dress soon.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I Love My Job...Not

Well, as of Monday September 18 I have been training for my new position. Management thinks the transisition is going very smoothly. Are they nuts? I just hope the system works better in live mode than testing mode. I just learned how to do my main job function yesterday. Well, learned it is a bit of a stretch. I learned how it's supposed to be done, just not how to do it. And starting in two days I will be doing this for real.

We have a person whose job title is Trainer. That's good, since we're all training for jobs we've never done in the new system. I've met her a couple times... We hadn't had any actual training until yesterday. For the first week and a half we were told where to find the manuals on the internal computer library, and that we should be studying these. The Trainer wrote up some quizzes for us to take. Open book. Yay! We can look in the manual for the answers. Of course, the manuals are over 2000 pages long, so it's kind of hard to look up the answers to these questions. I'm feeling supremely well trained, can you tell?

They are still constructing the new office around us. Hammers pounding. Power tools grinding away. Sawdust floating in the air does nothing for my allergies. I have a headache. My back hurts. I'm crabby and short tempered, and would give ten years of my life to be able to go home and forget that there is such a thing as Medicare DME.

OK. Done being crabby now.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Black Furry Basketball

I have two cats that are nearly opposites. One is tiny, dainty, skinny, with long white fur and impeccable lady-like manners. The other looks like a black furry basketball with legs. If she were human she'd be the fat woman drinking beer at the local dive, spitting on the floor while insulting every other woman in the joint. The basketball is named Black Magic Cat. The poor thing has had diarrhea for the last two days. She's so fat she can't properly clean herself, and I got to the point where I decided she must have a bath. So I filled the kitchen sink with warm water, got a washcloth and captured the cat.

Cats don't like baths. I'm sure that's not a surprise to you. Magic hardly ever miaows. She was screaming bloody murder the whole time, squirming and trying desperately to escape. (Why hasn't she been declawed yet?!) That cat practically outweighs me, and she was pretty sure that if she tried hard enough she could mop the floor with me. Finally I decided her bottom was clean, and relaxed my grip ever so slightly. The next thing I know, my shirt has been given air conditioning courtesy of one seriously torked off cat. My bra now has claw snags in it. You don't need to be fluent in feline to figure out that Magic knows every dirty word there is, and is stringing them all together in a symphony of outrage.

And being a cat, she has her ways of making her displeasure felt. While I was sanitizing the sink she found my favorite chair, the one I sit in to watch TV and knit, and plopped her wet bottom right in it. When I went into the living room, there she was, smugly smiling at me as she rubbed her soaking wet butt into my chair.


I love my cats.

Friday, September 08, 2006

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Crusades...

This past weekend was Labor Day Weekend. That is the traditional weekend for Castel Rouge's Gimli event. Castel Rouge is a barony in the Kingdom of Northshield, but you may recognize it more easily as Winnipeg Manitoba. Gimli is a small town on the shore of Lake Winnipeg. I've been attending the Gimli event almost every year since I joined the SCA. It is a relaxed event. There's a schedule that no one pays a lot of attention to. Friday night is given over to an after dark Baronial War Court and then we go down to the lake and shoot fire arrows over the water. We admire the Northern Lights that often make an appearance. We sleep in on Saturday morning, have brunch, wander around visiting friends, sitting on blankets, working on portable projects like embroidery or knitting or card weaving. After a while the fighters get into armor and fight for fun. There's archery, and classes and lots of down time to lay on a blanket under a tree and read or chat. If Royalty is there (most years, there is royalty) we will have court. There's a three hour long feast after that, and then people get down to partying. On Sunday we sleep late, have brunch, do archery, fighting, reading and sleeping. Monday we pack and head out.

This year on Friday night we had a little Harry Potter jeopardy game. The winner was Duke Tarrach alfson, who won a pair of hastily knit Slytherin socks. Well, not really Slytherin socks, just socks in green and white sripes. See the picture? He' s proud of those socks! he wore them all weekend!

This year a friend of mine, known in the Society as Hrodir Vigaggeir Toreson, was Knighted. This is a very big deal. The King had put him "on Vigil" back in May. Usually a peer-to-be is put on vigil and then knighted in only a Mmnth or less. But Hrodier wanted to be knighted in Castel Rouge, where he had spent alot of time and had lots of good friends. It was a moving ceremony. Hearing so many well respected people speak in his favor made me cry.

It was a really good weekend, even tho I picked up a little 24 hour stomach bug. But I'm really glad to have this weekend off, with nowhere that I have to go.

Questions about the Society for Creative Anachronism? I'd be glad to tell you what i know about it. Or go to


Well, I'm going to try my hand at blogging. We'll see how it goes :) I don't have much to say right now, but in the future I'll be chatting about some of my hobbies and what takes up my free time. I love to read, especially romance, fantasy, historical fiction and non-fiction, biographies and more. I spin wool and silk into yarn that I knit and embroider with. I make costumes for my main hobby: medieval re-creation.

More to come later!