Tuesday, December 22, 2009

what a slacker!

Well I've been completely slacking on updating this, but so much has been going on! I should have time in the next few days to update everything. Maybe even later today! Off to find a crochet hook...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

airport ramblings

Alright, I fibbed. I didn't get around to adding photos last night. I got distracted with changing my 'greet the husband' outfit three different times, and doing last minute packing.
I'm now at the airport, and there is over an hour until my plane boards. I had planned on hitting traffic on the way, being that I was driving through three of Iowa's larger cities. I made great time, even with three stops. There was Walmart, McDonalds (the only time I buy it is when I'm flying, so I really don't feel guilty...well not too guilty) and Iowa's largest truck stop for a potty break.
I had trouble getting through security, they pulled my suitcase aside and searched it. I wasn't sure what had set it off this time, but they always check me for something ;) The guy was nice, and I told him to take his time, because I'm sure the last thing he wants to do is go digging through my unmentionables, but duty calls! He searched and searched, rescanned, and searched again. Then told me I was cleared and to have a nice day. Sitting here I realized I had forgotten to take out my ziplock bag with my bathroom liquids in it. Whoops! Guess he'd forgotten about it too, because it took him forever to figure out what he was supposed to find. Sorry Moline security department, I promise I will be better next time. Ha! He just brought me green bear, who had gotten misplaced during the searching. Honestly I still sleep with a teddy (my excuse is that I rarely share a bed with anyone) and would have cried if he'd been misplaced. Green Bear was won for me out of a vending machine by a customer of mine when I waitressed a few years ago. I take a photo of him when I get to the hotel in Orlando.
Unfortunately I don't have any decent photos of recent work, perhaps I will take some of the drawers I'm hoping to finish today, while waiting for my hubby to get in to Orlando.
Since this blog is called Saddles and Stitches, I will be talking about more than sewing I promise. I just got the curiculum and reading material for a home study course in Equine Sports Massage, so I will be updating on how that is working out. The farm I'm staying at right now has a 20-something year old quarter horse mare named Gigi. She has arthritis in her knees and a bad hock. Right now riding makes her sore, but driving actually helps her feel better. I'm curious to see if there are any massage techniques that will help alleviate her pain. On the farm there are three other horses. Simon, an Arab that looks like a typical ole mud pony; Bonesey a quirky Bask Arab, and my current war horse Peso Dios. Peso is typical of my favorite kind of horse. He has an attitude, but is more than willing to scoot when he needs to. I bought him in April of '08 and he has turned out to be a great horse. He's the father of my four year old, Quanto Dinero. Can you tell I was going through an odd naming phase? In addition to my two black arabs, I have a three year old Quarter-Arabian suprise, named Goober, who was a gift from theeDean's assistant when I was studying at Kirkwood; and the family pony Raspberry. I'm sure with time I will dedicate an article to each, but for now I'm going to leave it at this so I can crack open my massage book!
T-minus 40 minutes until my flight leaves!

Monday, November 2, 2009

getting there

With the plans of going to Florida, I'm out two day's of sewing at home. I'm planning on taking some hand sewing with to keep me busy though.
I've scaled back my list of things to do, and am getting done just what needs to be finished. The white dress(photos to come!) needs hooks and eyes, which are going in tomorrow and a hem. The dark plaid really pops against the white dress!
The berthe is on the pink and green silk, all that is left is attaching the bodice to the skirt, and I think I will add flowers to the berthe and possibly the skirt.
I'm cutting out the first pair of real men's drawers, and doing the three main seams by machine tomorrow morning. These are made out of heavy duty cotton, and will be cut off below his knees, per his request. The will have two china buttons, and cotton tape running through the hand sewn grommets to tighten them a bit in back.
for hand sewing I have the three petticoats that need hems. I think I may have been off on my math, babysitting will do that to my math skills I guess, so I may have to do a very narrow hem on them. If that's the case, I may do the bottom two by machine. The drawers need a waistband attached, and everything needs buttons and holes.
I also started a headdress that I'd like to finish before the ball. It's green silk ribbon, that will be pleated and goodness only knows what else.
I gifted my black ballet flats to my friend, Katie, because they'd stretched out and I was walking out of them. I couldn't imagine trying to dance in them. Now the hunt is on for something black, flat, matte, and affordable! I had considered making shoes, but alas, no time.
I will try to update again tonight with photos now that everything is coming together nicely! Off to finish packing. I will be in Orlando in 24 hours!

Monday, October 26, 2009

I'm bored with white!

I didn't work on anything with color today, it was white white white! Starting with sewing the main seams of 3 over hoop petticoats, and one privacy petticoat together. I hand gathered them for the waistbands, including one for the yoked-tucked version. With my wrists being sore from all the hand sewing I've been doing I called it a night after only working on sewing projects for 10 hours. Hopefully I will find time to get the waistbands attached and all but the tucked version hemmed.

I got a bug in my bonnet, so I drafted and cut out the first of the two nightgowns. I used an old white kind sized bed sheet, bleached back to prettiness! It worked nicely because it was just the right amount of fabric. It is much heavier than muslin so it will give a bit more modesty.

Tomorrow is going to be a great day! I'm heading up to meet my friend, Katie, and help her finish up everything she needs for the harvest ball. So far I've helped her make her petticoats, we've made a corset from a duct tape pattern we made of her, and I've talked her through making her drawers. She bought a used bridal hoop, the kind that are sold at the mainstream sutlers, and we've re-sized the hoops, and are going to put tucks and a waistband in it to fit her better. Tomorrow we have to get a good start on her chemise and draft her bodice for her party dress. Her fabric is a pink, purple, and white semi-sheer cotton plaid, so I'm refraining from calling it a ballgown. I'd also like to make it with a front closure so that she can put it on herself. We very rarely attend balls, and those that we do are not authentic events, so this dress will offer her more opportunities for her to wear it. I don't feel like I've accomplished much of anything photo worthy, so I will make sure to take photos of things as we go tomorrow.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

updates on the sheer and a sore finger

While working on the white gown, I was just finishing stitching back one side of the center back in preparation for the hook and eye tape my thread broke! Not at the end where I was just about to knot it, but in the middle! I haven't figured that one out yet. I then managed to sew 2/3's of the waistband on before realizing there was a twist in the waistband. I was trying a new way of setting the waistband without pins. I sewed the waistband to the back left and back right, leaving the center unstitched. This way I could use my gauging threads to ensure that it would fit. I finally successfully attached the waistband and am calling it quits on the white for the evening. Tomorrow I will attach some muslin to the top of the skirt interior to bulk it up for gauging, and draft the sleeves. I'd like to make double puff short sleeves with a narrow cuff. I need to get another set of undersleeves out of my voile, and 4 tuckers. With the left over I may try a gathered bertha to go with the dress.

I've made decisions regarding the bertha for my ballgown as well, I've decided to do a a shaped and pleated bertha with green bows. Hmm...I don't think I'm describing it near as well as I'm imagining it! I never piped the bodice when I made the dress last year. I'd like to pipe the bottom edge of the bodice, and the neckline. I also need to bone the bodice, and re-hem the skirt. It is hemmed to a nice height, but I don't like the finished product on the inside. So far I've only reset the waistband onto the skirt. So much to do!

As for the nightgowns, I've finally decided on styles for both of them. Since one is for myself, and the other for a friend I didn't want them to be identical. I'm going to do two versions of a yoke bodice, one with a triangular yoke, and the other with a slight curve. Both will have a self fabric frill attached and the yoke seam and 4 or 5 china buttons. Basic gathered sleeves, and maybe a self fabric frill at the cuffs as well. I need to sort through all my white cotton fabric and find my heavier stuff for the nightgowns, don't want to be showing off more than I bargained for in the mornings!

I've reattached the waistband on the silk ballgown, but it resulted in my finger being torn apart. I'm going to call it quits for hand sewing on my silk until I get sharper needles and a thimble that fits! I may still draft up a couple patterns before bed. I'm thinking that a yoked chemise, drawers, and petticoat set, to wear with my nicer dresses, would be just adorable! Hopefully I will have something more completed to show tomorrow!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

a timeline

My wonderful husband booked me a flight down to see him in Florida! The only hitch in the plan being that I fly back the day I'm supposed to leave for the Harvest Ball. That put my sewing into overdrive, and unfortunately I came up with the great idea of making one more thing before then. My list as of now consists of:
New chemise and drawers for me
3 new petticoats, one tucked
a bertha and tucker for my ballgown, along with resetting my waistband
helping Katie make her chemise and dress
making up a real set of drawers to go with the previous post
a wrapper
two nightgowns, from two different patterns
a white sheer party dress with plaid ribbon
replace the bottom rung on my cage, and 2 bones in my corset

So far I have this accomplished:
a pattern for one of the two nightgowns
the white party dress half way started
a pattern for the men's drawers

And I have 10 days to get it finished! yipes! Good thing I don't have a real job right now! Tomorrow I plan to finish the majority of the white dress(I'm waiting on the trim and hook and eye tape to come in the mail), cut out one of the nightgowns and pattern the other, fix my cage and corset, and hopefully start the 3 petticoats. I'll update, hopefully with photos of what I've accomplished. Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

a blustery day for sewing

I woke up today to the sound of wind whipping around the house, and rain beating at the windows. I love these kind of days! After drinking a cup of coffee I bundled up in my carhart and went out to do the barn chores. 3 of the 4 horses wanted to be caught, despite the nasty weather. They were turned out into the hay field, after a bit the last one conceded. After putting his grazing muzzle on and turning him out, the cats were fed and I rushed inside to get out of the wind and rain.

Today's s ewing projects were drafting up a pair of drawers for a friend, and trying out some nightgown pattern ideas. The drawers took little time, about 15 minutes to draft it, and an hour to cut an d sew a toile to send to him. The nightgowns, alas, are still in the planning stage in my head but it's early. We'll see where I end up tonight.