McCalls New Vintage Patterns - The Archive Collection
bookworm
motorharp
McCalls is finally hopping on the vintage bandwagon, which is great, because they have a long and consistent history of putting out lovely patterns since... the 20s? earlier? up through the 90s, when they did something weird to their sizing. Anyway, I use a lot of vintage McCalls patterns so I was excited by their announcement of their "Archive Collection".  The first two they've released are from 1933 and can be combined to make a suit, or an outfit.  I like that they are basic pieces you could totally use for everyday wear (but I do hope they release some of their fancier designs at some point!).

There's a blouse and jacket 6995.

M6995

The line drawing isn't too impressive, but again, these are good basic pieces.

The skirt 6993 is a little more interesting. What looks like a standard pleated skirt:
M6993

Has great waist details!
M6993dM6993

And then there's a sweet little skirt with a belt. This could be great for showing off a vintage buckle.

M6993a

These older skirts are so flattering - they always seem to just hang better, and I hope McCall's has managed to keep that feature and they continue to release some great vintage designs from their vast catalog.

And old list of kungfu movies I was supposed to see
bookworm
motorharp
This list is from "Reel Knockouts: Violent Women In Film" from the chapter titled: "If Her Stunning Beauty Doesn't Bring You to Your Knees, Her Deadly Drop Kick Will". I found this while cleaning. For posterity, or maybe if I'm ever stuck for something to watch

Ah Kam 1996
Angel 2 1988
Blonde Fury 1987
The Bride with White Hair 1993
Broken Oath 1977
Butterfly and Sword 1993
China O'Brien 1988
A Chinese Ghost Story 1987
City Cops 1988
City Hunter 1992
Come Drink with Me 1965
Dragon Inn 1992
Drunken Master II 1994
Executioners (aka Heroic Trio 2) 1993
Fong Sai Yuk 1993
The Heroic Trio 1992
The Inspector Wears Skirts 1984
In the LIne of Duty I: Royal Warriors 1987
Midnight Angel (aka Angel/Iron Angels) 1987
Moon Warriors 1993
My Young Auntie 1981
Naked Killer 1992
New Legend of Shaolin 1994
Outlaw Brothers 1988
Police Story 1985
Police Story III: Supercop 1992/1996
Project 8 (aka Supercop 2) 1993/1999

Raging Thunder 1989
Righting Wrongs 1986
Shanghai Express 1986
She Shoots Straight 1990
Swordsman II 1992
Swordsmand III: The East is Red 1993
Tai Chi Master 1993
Wing Chun 1994
Yes, Madam 1985
Tags: ,

The black and white skirt reveal finally!
bookworm
motorharp
Remember that floral skirt I was making where I very carefully planned out exactly where the flowers would go across the front and back?

Well, I put an invisible zipper in it, and it was maybe a little too tight. And as I mentioned before, that combination proved fatal and resulted in me standing in my bathroom, slightly weepy, wielding a pair of scissors and cutting myself out of my skirt. Man, once an invisible zipper gets stuck, there is no unsticking it.

In order to make the skirt less tight, I had to remove and make a new bottom border, and cut gores from the minimal scraps of remaining fabric (thankfully I kept them). So minimal that I paid no attention whatsoever to the grainlines.  Ok, I did, but just to say, "Wow, I really hope cutting this that skewed doesn't make it drape badly."

Here it is, on a windy and "I don't feel like getting out my tripod" day.  The photos are a little over-exposed, but you can sort of see the gores compare to my original mockup.1

DSCN2479black-white-flower-dress
Front

I constructed the gores the same way I originally constructed the skirt - I cut both fashion fabric and lining (I think it's a white rayon "Hang Loose" or something equally cleverly named) and serged them together, so it's really underlined, not lined.  That worked okay for this skirt, however, it was a little wrinkly after washing, and I probably wouldn't do it this way again. I'd probably line the skirt then sandwich both the lining and fashion fabric in the bottom border so they hang somewhat separately. Ha, I almost said "hang loose".


DSCN2484black-white-flower-dress-back-3
Back with a METAL zipper, thank you

To figure out where to start the gores, I ripped the seams up to where it released the tension across my hips, about 3" below the waistband. Then I just eyed how wide I wanted the gores at the bottom - about 5".  So I added 20" total to the bottom circumference. Luckily, I had bought enough of the black sateen to cut another bottom border.

DSCN2482
Pockets!


So the finished object doesn't quite match up with the original design, however, it's now much easier to ride my bike in this skirt now, and that's really what's important, right?


1. And, holy cats, can I ever remember to iron and use a lint roller before taking pictures?
Tags: ,

Replacing/refurbishing vintage lamp plug
bookworm
motorharp
A lamp I have started flickering and dimming, and I replaced the light socket, thinking that was the problem. It was in horrible shape - a cheap part made in China that I replaced probably 5 years ago - blackened and corroded. It didn't help (but was probably a good idea anyway), and I traced the problem to the plug where I could kind of sort of maneuver it half in and half out of the outlet and get it to light. Eventually, no amount of carefully jiggling of the plug made any difference. I really like the plug because it's vintage and adorable, and thinking older parts are better made and last longer, I'd simply take it apart and rewire it...Lots of pictures...Collapse )
Tags: , ,

Bike fixin'
bookworm
motorharp
The "Annual" Maintenance on my bike has now been moved way up in priority and received a title change to "Fixing my Bike" due to the shifter cable breaking and leaving my bike in the hardest gear.1 I could ride it as a single gear, but... meh.

I need to:
4/7 install new shifter cable (ordered today, should be here 4/5) - need to recheck how it's connected, instructions were... vague. I got it adjusted perfectly right out of the gate, which never happens. Then it started slipping on the ride home, so I'll be working a little harder on my way to work this morning, and hopefully have the energy to check it after getting home.  I missed the hole in the bolt the first time around that attaches the cable to the connector, so that is all working now.
4/1 inflate my tires
4/1? rebuild headset, or at least get new bearings Is it ok that I used 22 bearings on the bottom and 21 on the top? Must be, because it's moving smoother than ever and now there's no play in it.
4/9 re-grease the geared hub - didn't really regrease the hub, just put oil in the capped hole and in the end of the axle, wiped off grease on outside.
4/10 check the front axle It looks great! No longer getting bent during use.
4/14-15 grease/oil things - brakes and shifter cables, pivot points on brakes, pedals, bottom bracket, chain, bolt threads
4/14-15 adjust things - pedals, hanger set, brakes (check chain length and lubricate while overhauling hanger set). Either my chain ring or crank is bent, this needs to be fixed. Or maybe even the bottom bracket.

ETA: New chain or remove link from chain. Need to research this. My chain/pedal crank is not completely round? Sticks in some points. Twelve double links of a new chain are exactly 12". If more than 1/8" over, chain needs to be replaced. If replaced rear sprocket needs to be replaced or reground. Chain for internally geared bike may be lubricated with cycle oil by soaking it and then wiping off the excess.  My back sprocket has 19 teeth and front 48, book recommends 21 for a 46-tooth front front sprocket and 26-inch wheels.  I could certainly use a new front sprocket. Book also says best gearing is top gear 76-in, normal gear 57-in, and low 43-in.  Mine is 87-in, 65-in, and 49-in.  I like how hard the top gear is, so I'm not sure I'd want to change it. And the low gear is already too easy, I'm thinking 43 would make me eat the handlebars. Removing the chain requires no special tool, you can just pop off the master link. Nice. ETA: The chain is exactly the right length and the master link does indeed pop off and on. And can easily drop down things like drains.

1. Fortunately, AFTER I had ridden up the 1.4 mile hill and was at the pinnacle so I didn't quite give myself a heart attack getting the rest of the way home.
Tags:

Soundscape music
bookworm
motorharp
Fennesz makes dark and staticy things: The Liar.

Tim Hecker makes similar epic instrumentals and I have this bookmarked for a later listen.

Lots of new (to me) music
bookworm
motorharp
A Winged Victory for the Sullen playing Minuet for a Cheap Piano No. 1 has that intimate, closely recorded piano sound I like. Can't find a separate recording of it, but it's here on all songs considered. Very spare and relaxing.  Off their new EP out at the end of April titled Atomos VII.

Swans have a new album coming out mid-May. The song A Little God In My Hands is densely layered and dark and makes me want more.

I think I'd like to check out more Metronomy. Retro electronic music with a tiny tinge of sadness.  Boy Racer is one of their instrumentals.

The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger is Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl. Too Deep can be found again at all songs.  The kind of psychedelic rock I like. Album out late April.

More punk jazz? I thought The Lounge Lizards were the only ones.  Melt Yourself Down out of London may fill that hole.  Great sax and beats.  Oh! And they are on bandcamp! Be careful with the video below if you are at all epileptic. It's flashy.


I'm on the fence about Sylvan Esso.  I like the sounds they use, but not sure about how they use them. The street noise and the bass in Hey Mami is right up my alley.

Jambinai uses a geomungo amongst their metal guitars? And other traditional instruments? This Korean band creates dark landscapes that need a second (and third and xnth) listens. Time of Extinction is epic.

Described as a "garage rock version of Joy Division", Protomartyr is something I'd probably listen to in high school on a cloudy fall Saturday when I had nothing to do. Check out Maidenhead.
Tags:

Before and after - sewing desk
bookworm
motorharp
A sewing table I got in Jan of 2013(?) and started sanding right before I remembered to take "before" shots.  I haven't refinished anything this big before and I probably won't again.  Also, Old Stinky, the sewing machine I was going to put in it, didn't fit, so I wasn't concerned about using this as a learning project. It's a good sewing desk, though, to simply use with a stand-alone machine, with plenty of storage.


DSCN1479DSCN2391
Read more...Collapse )

New music
bookworm
motorharp
I liked a lot of the music on the latest All Songs podcast I listened to.

The Faint are back? I missed them the first time around.  Loud, and I love all the noise in it:



Perfect Pussy is classified as punk, and it reminds me of early 90s Sonic Youth. Lots of static and feedback.

Hundred Waters reminds me just a skosh of Bjork, but it's folky. I really like whatever instruments they're using.

Christina Vantzou makes atmospheric modern classical music and I like the dissonance in it.

The one song that blew me away, that I can't stop thinking about because of the beat, the amazing beat, is Elon Mentana by Clap! Clap! It's electronic dance music that sounds a little like it's from the turn of the century.

Tags:

Knights of Badassdom
bookworm
motorharp



If you are into LARPing, or not into LARPing, or like slasher-comedy flicks, get thee to a theater to see this if at all possible.  It was so incredibly entertaining, even though I wasn't able to hear quite a bit of the dialog, due to a couple reasons - the sound turned surprisingly low and the crowd (including myself) laughing. Oh, and the fact I'm deaf.  Wait, verily, that is three things.  I actually got a little hoarse because at one point I cheered louder than I usually would, or at all.

The movie showing was made possible by an SCA group The Shire of Hauksgarðr through Tugg.  It played at the Kiggins Theater in Vancouver, which is a very lovingly restored 1936 theater, and so easy to get to.  As I was waiting to get popcorn, a fellow line-stander filled me in on the restorations the owners had done - putting in less and new seats for more comfortable sitting, pouring a new concrete floor (!) to get the angle of the floor just right, putting a bar in upstairs, etc.  And I must say, those were the most comfortable theater seats I've ever sat in.  Most seats try to fold you into an uncomfortable fetal position like airplane seats, but these actually had lumbar support.  But they need to do something about the sound!

I would say about 75% of the audience was in costume and very boisterous. Everyone seemed to know everyone else. There was a lot of well-deserved laughter and cheering throughout the movie.

The movie itself is full of nerdy goodness.  Peter Dinklage, Ryan Kwanten, Summer Glau are the three people in the film I knew best for their strong nerd ties - Game of Thrones, True Blood, and everything, consecutively.  Steve Zahn isn't someone I usually associate with geeky things, but that didn't make him any less fun or funny to watch.  Then there were the people I recognized and needed to research a little more - Margarita Levieva from Revenge (THAT'S where I'd seen her before) was great as the demonic succubus (is there any other kind?), Jimmi Simpson from many many things, Brett Gipson who I thought I'd seen before but hadn't, as Gunther, did really well as a slightly lost soul who never 'breaks game' (I think that's the right term), and I can't figure out who the actor was at the beginning in the garage who looked familiar. I guess I'll have to wait for the DVD!

The other name I recognized was Bear McCreary. He's done the music for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Battlestar Galactica, Defiance, Eureka, and Terminator Sarah Connor Chronicles just to name a few.  He described the soundtrack as a “heavy metal fantasy concept album,”  and when he first read the script "my musical imagination filled with soaring bagpipes, drop-tuned distorted guitars, double kick drums, blaring horns, dulcimers and ethereal vocals – everything I love about music in one epic score." Yeah.

Here's a preview of the soundtrack:



McCreary has a blog where he talks about making music for movies, and here's his post about the Knights of Bassassdom that includes notation for each character's theme (warning: contains mild spoilers). Very cool!

I couldn't really find any information about the costumes, but I know that actual LARPers were used in the filming (and assume none of them were harmed :) ) so they probably had some input into that aspect.

This will definitely be a request for purchase at my library.  So much fun!

You are viewing motorharp