Category Archives: Sewing

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Made with cloth, needle, and thread.

Going to a Renfaire

Turns out that I am going to a RenFaire in August.  A dear friend of mine has offered me a place to stay in Santa Rosa while I visit La Primera and family. When I told him the dates, he said, “There’s a small RenFaire in San Jose the first weekend in August, we can go!” Harry and I do faire together, he was my assistant director for Heart of the Forest Faire (HOTF), and I was his for Dickens’ Fair. When Harry says let’s go to a faire, he doesn’t mean buy a ticket and wander around. He means let’s go and participate. The great and honorable guild of St. Swithens’ will be starting it’s come back tour, right now it looks like a trio, but we can build on that. Remember the Elizabethan smock that I made in January? It’s been joined by a new corset, a skirt, and my Sunday best bodice from HOTF. I just finished a second ...

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Me Made May and Me

It’s time for Me Made May, I love the idea of having an entirely Me Made wardrobe. A wardrobe that fits and is uniquely me.  The idea of posting outfits and modeling them feel narcissistic, though I understand it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s nice to see real people wearing things that they made, not just the vintage wearing community or the super seamstress who makes a dress a day, normal people living real lives and wearing normal clothes. I like being accountable, it helps me with follow through, but I don’t want to feel compelled to do something right now. So maybe next year? Right now, I have a primarily store bought wardrobe, in the last 3 months I have bought more clothes than I did in the previous ten years. Why? Mainly because I was unhappy. My whole life feels different without Duke. I am going out more, I go to Door 54 for the Monday and ...

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Mermaid Tails

Awhile back I saved this pin, to my Pinterest board “Things 2 make and sew 4 my grandchildren”.  There isn’t a lot of space in my daughter’s home, she is more into giving them experiences rather than more stuff, so I do more pinning than making.  The mermaid tails looked like something they would use, that would be unique, and fun to sew. Basically, they are a stylized snug sack/sleeping bag, remember them? So first I sent her a link to the pattern, asking her if she thought the kids would want one. No use making something if there is no interest in using it. She wrote back that the littles (aged 4 and 5) would love them. Off I went to the fabric store in search of polar fleece. With the weather frequently reaching 90º F, polar fleece was fast disappearing from the fabric stores. Good thing I asked, because they picked different prints than I would have. The littlest ...

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Elizabethan Smock: Less procrastinating than I thought.

I finished my Elizabethan smock! I even hand sewed the entire thing using run and fell seams. I’m particularly proud of the underarm gussets. I had a hard time getting around to starting this project. Usually I would just make a simple raglan sleeve peasant style smock with a drawstring for Renaissance Faire garb but the costuming  guidelines for Much Ado about Sebastopol have this caveat “Drawstring or elasticized necklines and sleeve cuffs are not acceptable”. Just reading the guidelines made me anxious, not that I had any of my costuming saved except my corset, peasant bodice, and middle class bodice. It’s a whole different look, a more historically accurate one, but zounds, it’s scary to start all over doing things differently. All good costumes start from the inside out, so hence this smock. The Challenge: Procrastination Material: Linen cotton blend Pattern:   Self drafted using the directions on the Tudor Costume Page guide  Year: 1560’s approximately Notions: all purpose thread, 100 % cotton embroidery ...

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Procrastination January begins

Now that January is here I’m having a hard time deciding what my sewing project will be. Originally I planned on finishing my 1920s one hour dress, but now I am not so sure that I care enough to finish it. I’ve decided to make an Elizabethan smock. The fitting really only applies to the shoulders, the costuming guidelines for Much Ado About Sebastopol  encourage you to wear a square necked smock rather than the gathered peasant blouse type that I usually made for RenFaire. This fits the procrastination theme because my first thought on reading the costuming guidelines was, “OMG, this is totally different than what I used to make for RPFN. ”  I found the idea paralyzing. Options aren’t lacking however, the challenge includes using  fabric that has been languishing in your stash which I have no lack of; or projects that you have put off starting. Yeah, there are more than a few of those. My main sticking ...

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The Historical Sew Monthly

2016 is the year that I am going to join The Historical Sew Monthly. I figure by January I should be able to sew again.  January’s theme is procrastination- so I am going to finish my One-hour dress. I’m planning on attending the 2016 Dickens’ Fair and of course I need clothes. I don’t even know if my corset will fit and it makes no sense to try it on until after I am done with all my surgeries, but there are plenty of other things that I can make that won’t require that much fitting, like underpinnings. Now I have to figure out how to put the participant button on my sidebar. Since I can’t figure out how to make the RSS feed work, it may take me awhile, though there is a Facebook page I can join to post my stuff on. I think adding some more structure to my life will help me, and focusing on sewing ...

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Redecorate the terraza part 1

Worn around the edges, faded from the sun. Not to mention half undone and shredded by the cat. Not words to inspire confidence, certainly no way that I want to invite anyone over. Our friends don’t really mind, they know that I went through a rough patch the last few years, but it’s time to take the bull by the horns and redecorate the terraza! This is the space at it’s worst. If we’re going to do before and after shots, I’m taking a page from the professionals and providing you with the worse possible before photos.  Here it is from the other side. Just for fun, another couple of angles. Part of me thinks that I should make off white neutral slip covers and provide pops of color with throw pillows.  That would be the most versatile. However, since this is an outdoor space that gets a lot of sun, I’m drawn to using more color.  The talavera pots ...

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The Opera and the 1 hour dress

Thursday, on a whim, I purchased tickets to the opening night of The Marriage of Figero. One of the things I love about living in Merida, is the availability of culture. There is a symphony, both the Russian and Cuban Ballet have performed here, there are lots of museums, and there are art galleries. Admittedly, I don’t attend all those things, but I like being around the people who do. Occasionally, Husband and I will go to the symphony, I’ve been to a couple of string recitals,and we periodically do other cultural things. Now that I have my INAPAM card, I’m eligible for all sorts of discounts, including a 25% one on opera tickets. For less than twenty dollars each, my friend, Carol and I sat in heaven. The 3rd row balcony seats in the newly refurbished Peon Contreras Opera House. Opening night was yesterday, after spending the morning at the Hospital O’Horan (I’ve enrolled in Seguro Popular, but this ...

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Style upgrade- looking my best at 60

After viewing some selfies that I took to show off my new hair color, I realized that I needed to do a style upgrade. I’m not looking my best at 60. I haven’t had a haircut since my chemo ended in April 2014, the back is way too long but the sides are okay. Mostly, I need to start wearing makeup again.  My glasses got an upgrade, more modern, plastic frames, which helps amazingly. In the interest of full disclosure, this is the photoshopped version, though the hair really looks like this.  It’s violet and magenta KUUL hair color cream. So far this is my favorite, I also tried out the green which is more of a teal color. The biggest problem with green and the violet is that they clash too much with my wardrobe and are really too bright for me. Oh, I also have some plata (silver) for when I need to be more conservative,it results in ...

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Testing, testing, testing- pattern testing

Pattern testing is a great way to stretch my boundaries, for example, though I’ve been sewing for decades I seldom put in zips or use knits. Tomorrow, I’ll post about more modern sewing. For a long time my sewing was historical in nature and zippers are a bit modern and so are knit fabrics. The 1912 project was a good place for me to dip my toes in the pattern test world. Alas, the blog is no longer available, but here is my version of the princess slip . More photos can be found here and here. I also made the E0162 skirt, but the photo of the actual skirt didn’t survive my computer crash.       The E01991 blouse didn’t fit me very well, later, I found out it was due to not understanding the vintage pattern instructions. I wrote a post on the 1912 blog but alas it also is no more. However, I do have two photos of ...

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