[sticky post]Obligatory sticky entry saying "Yes, I really do still update this."
Hello, people.

Due to life circumstances, my journal now mostly consists of monthly summary posts, which I don't make public.  You can, however, respond to this post if you want to be included in the group people who can read my "friends only" entries.  Just let me know how found my journal.


Why I listen to so much music
This is a quote from an All Songs Considered podcast with Sylvan Esso talking about why they listen to music that sounds nothing like the music they make, and pretty much nails why I listen to so much music. And the quote was too long for twitter.

"It's a record that's just so perfectly representative of the artist that made it, and it feels like such a pure missive or expression from that person and it doesn't sound like anybody else could make it. My favorite part about records like that ... is that they don't make you want to make music like that, what they make you want to do is make an even better record that sounds like you." ~Nick Sanborn http://n.pr/1HSjKZH
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I just couldn't wait for the end of the month
Yesterday, since it was cool, I did a bunch of hot stuff:

- made zucchini chips, tomato chewies, roasted sweet potatoes in the oven
- dyed two sweaters on the stovetop with dye that I managed to order so it arrived yesterday, the one cool day this summer
- laundry
- harp
- fiddle
- rode my bike to leather store to get suede to make slipper soles to turn felted wool socks with holes in the soles into slippers
- went to fabric store to replace leather needles and get buttons for one of the sweaters.
- Cut and sewed the leather, punched holes around the edge, and crocheted around the soles of the slippers

The amount of stuff in my knitting basket is now level with the top as opposed to a foot above it.

And this sweater came out great!

On the list for today is buy new camera! So I can stop having to use my ipod!

As well as get motivated to rewire my headphones so I can move forward with critial listening and editing of harp music and maybe not be depressed about that anymore.

Eyelet muslin
I've got the muslin for my harp dress more or less all pinned up.
So far:
- I've had to adjust the shoulders to be more square (no surprise)

- I put darts in the back V neck because my back is so flat.

- the skirt is hard to draft - is it a-line? is it straight? how are the darts folded?

- I don't think I have enough fabric in the skirt - it's maybe not as full as I'd like? I think I need another 10 inches in width all around, at least. It definitely doesn't look like the above picture. Right now it's 60" in circumference. I will have to muslin with the brocade, too. I may not have a choice in fabric design placement, ulp.

- the underarm gusset definitely needs to be two pieces as Gertie has you draft in her book "Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing".

- I was going to put a side zip in, but that would interfere with pockets and I don't want to try to do that with a gusset, either - too much bulk. But putting an invisible zip in the back in a v-neck is making me leery.

Also, this dress is really hot. Not as in "I look awesome" but as in the fabric is heavy. This could be a problem if I suddenly develop the ability to sweat. Right now, it's just uncomfortable.

But wow are kimono sleeves the most comfortable thing to play harp in ever. Even better than raglan sleeves.

ETA: Whoa. I just figured out the darts, and measured, and I need about 50" for the front and back panels, ie 100" (~2.75 yds) circumference. That's 40" more than what I have in the muslin.  I have 4 yards of the brocade, and it's only 30" wide. That means the skirt will be cut on the lengthwise grain. Unless I piece it. Which could present some interesting design opportunities.

But what to do with the muslin skirt? I could just put a normal waistline on it and gather it? Ho hum.

I also had a thought about what to line the muslin with. Since it's eyelet, I thought putting a dark fabric underneath could be interesting, but then I thought I'd want it to "pop" and wondered if I could find something fluorescent. THEN I thought: REFLECTIVE FABRIC. Now that would sparkle on stage.

Things to do when it's too hot to move
The mid-90° weather is suppose to last through next Thursday, so I'm going to commit a list of things to do that don't require a lot of movement to lj, so that when I feel I'm too hot to do anything but sit at my computer and drool into my cereal bowl, I'll have an immediate reminder1:

- quarterly planning
- putting quarterly planning on calendar
- knitting (did quite a bit yesterday)
- hand sewing rolled hem on scarf
- take apart Chinese frogs to see how they're made
- shop for new camera, dangit

1 And keep the list around for the 2nd (currently), and, I'm assuming, 3rd and 4th heat waves.

Adorably cute dress model
I stayed up late taping this together:

Reeeally need to get a new camera

It made me giggle.

Next up is drawing the style lines on the dress and cutting it back apart to get a sense of what the pattern pieces will look like, as well as where the seamlines will be so I can figure out how to arrange the fabric design.

The pattern is Vogue 9712 and includes a petticoat pattern.
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Frankendress Round 2
Ok, the special collar looked horrible.Collapse )
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Laying in bed this morning, I started to think about another dress to try, which got me out of bed early1.  I really like the fabric I found at Mill End2:

The fabric is a pretty thick brocade, which would work really well for the skirt on this lucluc skater dress, which is made out of a very thick polyester - it almost looks like a sports/performance/polypropylene fabric3.

I don't want a sleeveless chicken-wing dress, so I was thinking what I could do differently with the bodice.  A cheongsam top might look ok, and doesn't have the set-in sleeves that would cut into my shoulders, but I couldn't fit them together well in my mind, and making the sleeves longer à la the 40s dress I just tried didn't thrill me, either.  I looked at some of my dress idea images this morning, and liked the neckline on this one:

I think the neckline could work really well with that skirt. And I could probably change the sleeves if necessary. And I could possibly add the pockets on the curved waistline and delineate everything with some sort of contrasting trim 4.

Now I just need to draw this and croquis it!

1. Yay!
2. Which will, of course, probably be gone by the time I get there.
3. I also found it interesting that the red and black versions have a completely different waistlines.
4. The double bias tape on cheongsams?

How Chinese Frogs are made
Since my camera is broken, I'm going to try to use my words to make pictures. ha.

I took apart two different frogs - one that I ordered off the web and arrived from China (black), and one I took off a cheongsam dress (black and green).

The black one was made of single fold satin bias tape and copper wire that looked to be about 22-24 gauge, but was much stiffer than the silver wire I use to make jewelry.  The decorative part (flower) was bent into shape and the loop and ball part were completely separate and hand sewn onto the ends of the flower, kind of sandwiched in between the two sides of the bias. The loop and ball did not contain the wire.  It was a single length of bias tape, the wire in the fold and the turned-under edges stitched together.  The center folds/points of the flower were stitched together to draw them tightly together.

The black and green had similar construction, but used two lengths of satin bias tape - the green was single fold, and the black was simply a strip folded in half with raw edges.  They were also glued/starched to be even more stiff.  I don't know if the bias tapes were starched and dried, or starched and folded when wet.  The green tape only was used to make the ball and loop, and was an extension of the flower, so only one raw edge of the ball/loop was attached to the flower and sandwiched between the bias tape.

I'd be interested in making my own designs - it seems pretty easy.

Fabric choice
I like this jaquard fabric from BigZFabric on etsy - it seems like it would drape well as it's "lightweight". But I need to croquis it to see if it would work on me.
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