[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.


More dress ideas
Here's an idea for a black and gold dress to match my harp:

Anthropologie dress by Beth Bowley

The style of dress on the left would be a good choice for not having my arms bare.
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Mad Max
Mad Max Fury Road is a beautiful, beautiful film.

The sets (The attention to detail was amazing! I want a hand-built motorcycle with tapestry covered gas tank!), the clothes (I want Furiosa's pants!), and the cinematography (I kind of want to go through a sandstorm now).

Just "wow".

Like G.R.R. Martin said (much better, of course) though, I missed the usual voice-over at the end. For me, it would have given the movie that tiny bit of poignancy that would have pushed it over the edge into a truly complete work of art.

ETA: And while looking through images (this car is REAL) from the film I learned George Miller filmed Mad Max: Furiosa at the same time as Fury Road. What, what, what?!?

Cynthia Rowley denim dress
I found another dress I like - this one is a little more casual and would work for daytime gigs.

Although it's sleeveless, I like the line of this dress.  I think cap sleeves could be added and still look good.

I can't figure out what kind of mesh they are using. Or how the denim is attached to the mesh. However, it looks like the stretch denim is cut on the bias. It also doesn't look like they used darts to shape it, which would make sense if the whole thing was very stretchy.

This fabric-making technique would maybe work well in other styles of dresses, as seen here in EvaDress's 1939 gown. A blog post about the original dress that inspired her, as well as how she made the fabric is here.

ETA Oh! And Lorelai's dress from "They Shoot Gilmores, Don't They?" dance marathon:

I should look through my vintage patterns to see if this would work for any patterns I already have.  Another thing to add to the to do list.  Or the TADA! list. :)

EvaDress 40s Fling Contest is the perfect excuse!
EvaDress is having a contest to sew something from their 40s collection of patterns. And I need nicer clothes for performing on the harp!  What a fortuitous coincidence.

The contest runs from April 16 to June 1 and you can post your project on the facebook page that's linked above.

I chose the pattern D40-3863, view 1. This dress style works well for playing harp because it doesn't have an armscye right at the shoulder, so there's nothing to bind when I'm reaching my arms forward.  Straight skirts don't work for sitting behind the harp, and this one looks to be A-line, and the wrap will probably give me even more room.  The higher neckline of view 1 seems to work better on me. And the long sleeves are good for hiding chicken wings. =P  Although, it looks like the sleeves could easily be left off, if desired.

I want to get an asian jacquard in either a black and gold combination to match my harp, or some sort of emerald green. Or some combination of the two.  I think it will suit that dress well.  However, I have no idea if that's something that will look good on stage.  Do any of you know anything about dressing for the stage?  Patterned fabric, yea or nay?

Then I thought some sort of embroidery would look lovely, even though I swore after my western shirt I would never do embroidery again, especially on black fabric.

I've already gone shopping for the jacquard, but my usual fabric store changed their line of asian jacquards: they all have religious symbols integrated into the patterns.  Um, just chrysanthemums for me, thanks.

Since I haven't even found the fabric yet, I have a feeling that I will be behind on this project. On top of that, my lack of facebooking means I won't be able to easily post my results, and possibly won't enter.  But I can still use the timeline!

Then in the midst of this planning, McCall came out with their latest Archive Collection patterns...

Droooool.  This would be a perfect dress, too.  I don't know when/if I'd ever need something quite that fancy, though.
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New fair-isle socks!

I finished these last week - the bulk of the work on the second sock being done while I was hacking my lungs out on the couch. I figured get the torturous stuff (I haaaate colorwork) out of the way while I'm already feeling tortured.  I waited to photograph them until after washing because I wanted to see what would happen to them.  They seem to have relaxed a bit.

In fact, they've relaxed so much they don't quite stay up - I had a heck of a time photographing them so they stripes were even.   They might stay up under tall, tight boots, though.  I made them in size large for the legs and size medium for the feet. I think I could go down a size in the legs if I make these again.


And thank you, livejournal, for once again deleting my post. As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, I used a pattern called Talia from Pom Pom Quarterly, Issue 3: Winter 2012 and three different yarns, two of which, Jawoll Superwash in blue and Socka in brown, I picked up at Knittn' Kitten, a local craft thrift store, and Stroll Sock Yarn in Dove Heather from Knit Picks.

And I have enough yarn left over for another pair of socks or two! Albeit much shorter socks.

It's not glue, it's me
A couple summers ago, I bought a cheongsam dress at a yard sale that was way too small. After trying unsuccessfully to design something else to make it into, I set it aside thinking I could make some kind of Asian inspired, hard-sided (as opposed to soft and slouchy) purse at some point.  I had no idea how to make a purse like that or what it might be inside it to make it sturdy.

eBay listing by mountains2dbeach
more views of the purse in the listing

I found this purse at the thrift store and started taking it apart. Or trying to take it apart. I started with the bottom of the purse since it was sewn together and got nowhere. I read up on how purses with clasps are made - they're glued into the clasp - and how to remove glue - rubbing alcohol was what I had on hand - and went to work.  The rubbing alcohol did the trick, but only because it dissolved the cardboard.  Yes, this entire purse was made with cardboard.  The lining is glued to cardboard, there is another piece of cardboard outside of that, then the outside fabric is stitched to cardboard and glued. The bottom piece is stitched to cardboard and glued.

I felt like I did when I found out shoes are made with a lot of cardboard. Horrified, because "everything's cheap these days!" and "shoddy construction, etc!" and excited because "hey, I have cardboard, I can totally make these myself!".
Read more...Collapse )
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Fixing a 1980s Sanyo VCR2700 Betamax
I've had an earworm off and on for probably the past decade (or two, ahem). I used to record a lot of video shows, one in particular called "Spin Off!". It was on a local access cable station, I think. There was a band - can't remember the name, only that the lead singer was a girl with the haircut I wanted (pageboy) and played guitar, and had a petticoated skirt I wanted. And the only lyrics I can remember are "get what you wanted, what you want-te-hed" (I also remembered the chord changes). She kind of sounded like Siouxsie. Googling provided not a thing.

The tapes are... Betamax! I've been moving around the old family Betamax, which hasn't worked in decades, saying "One day I'll fix this so I can find out who it was that sang that song that I've only had the fragment in my brain since 1996 AUUUUGH!"

I took apart the Sanyo as much as I could and noticed what I thought was a lot of grease on some pulleys and gears. "Weird," I thought, "why would you grease that." Then I found a piece of something in amongst the grease. It was not grease, it was the belt. MELTED. No wonder it wasn't working.
This stuff does NOT come off the hands easily, people!

I cleaned the pulleys with rubbing alcohol - that seemed to be the only thing that would dissolve the muck - and slapped on a rubber band as a tester, and LO AND BEHOLD IT WORKED! That is what the problem was!

And do you know, there are places that sell parts for these things?!? I'm buying a Sanyo Betamax Belt Kit from Studio Sound Electronics.

And here's the video that I was looking for: http://youtu.be/WJ5ACG0Y3P4?t=1m7s. (I'm not embedding it because 1) livejournal, and 2) you can't embed videos and start them at a particular time. The rest of the video is basically cuts to the host saying what's coming up next and being slightly obnoxious in a bar.  (The interview with Strummer is good, though.))

Luckily, I watched "Tape 4" first, and found this within the first few videos, as I messed up the loading mechanism somehow. (Of course.) But some kind people have put the service manual online so I'm all set!  Woohoo!

ETA: The service manual is for the European models, however the mechanical stuff can't be too different, right?

McCalls New Vintage Patterns - The Archive Collection
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.


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:

Has great waist details!

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


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
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
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