Tuesday, 31 December 2013

An End to Procrastination (Socks)

For a brief, foolish moment there I really though I was going to make it out of 2013 without my annual chest infection. What I got instead was a dose so bad that after arriving on Christmas Eve, I somewhat feel like the holiday has passed me by and all the sewing plans I had with it.

Well, as energy started returning I at least got my procrastination socks finished, I would like to think they're a nice metaphor for the new year, but with the amount of projects I've given myself, I'm already quite worried that I've bitten off more than I can chew.

One project at a time. Tomorrow starts with the next Realm of Venus competition! Really should have made my final decision on my project design by now...

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Regency Progress

On the advise of friends who've made these dresses before me, I gave up on attempting to draft the pattern mysself, and am now using patterns from Sense and Sensibility Patterns.

For the dress, I'm using the elegant ladys closet pattern, and will be combining the wrap front with the short sleeves to make an evening look with the gold coloured chiffon I have. If I find something nice in a light cotton, I might do up a day dress too. But the wrap front I hope will allow me to do a little ruching with the chiffon and create some extra texture.

I've also selected the spencer pattern, because passing up the chance to recreate this, as I may have mentioned before, would be a sin. Also, I think I might have developed a little something regarding goldwork.

So far the patterns are printed, laid out and taped together, with Suzie once again reprising her role as faithful paperweight...for a short while at least.The patterns are now cut out in my size (bust sizings seperate from pattern dress sizings? I think these might be my new favourite patterns!), and I just need to find the time to do up a quick mock up before I cut into the good fabric.

Just 11 weeks left to go until the costuming weekend away. Lots of time, right?

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Lye Making - Attempt the Second

Things are slowly starting to move again. December and me, we're not getting along very well this year.

But as a silver lining, one of my contacts finally came through, and I've gotten access to a local orchards apple wood cuttings. So far I've collected two car boots and one back seats worth of wood, and discovered that green wood really is difficult to get burning. Given that one of my concerns regarding the last lye attempt was that the wood was too old and dry, I wanted to try and burn this lot at maximum sap. Incidentally, the minimum drying time is approximately 2 days in the boot of the car during "I though this was winter" temperatures, followed by 2 days indoors in a heated home. And even at that the wood was still fighting with me somewhat, and the fire tried going out twice.

But now the grate is cooling, and all the wood has successfully been reduced to fine, whiteish ash. I'll leave it there three days, then scoop it into a bucket to keep. I'm due a few more loads of wood in January when the orchard pruning restarts, and I want to wait until I have as large an amout as possible so I know how many leaching attempts I'll be able to make.

Monday, 2 December 2013


Well, my procrastination socks are coming along nicely.

No, that's not all I've been doing lately, but what I have been doing has nothing to show for it.

This week has seen my attempts at drafting a regency dress pattern end in frustration. I mean, really, punching myself in the nose as I attempted to adjust the mock up was the last straw. A follow up attempt to make a simple A line skirt also turned out just Not Right. Bah.

So now I'm waiting on printer ink for my finally-decided-to-start-working-again-printer to arrive so I can print out my newly aquired Regency dress epattern, and It Will Work This Time, Damnit. I'm also hoping to pick up an entire car load of apple wood for a second attempt at lye extraction. And possibly some carving if the wood pieces I'm given are large enough.

Until then, I have to keep myself out of trouble. It's not like I don't have plenty to be doing, but let's see what I can get finished off this week.