Well Hi There

Remember me?  I’m this person who used to make costumes.  No really, I swear!  Then life got stressed, and I got stressed, and stress got stressed, and not much happened around here.

But taking a break, and having a SUPER easy Costume College (no teaching!  only went to three classes!  didn’t wear anything more complicated than 1960s!  relaxed and admired everyone else!) has reinspired me.

I have gotten back on the sewing wagon, but scarily enough, it’s been modern clothes.  I’ve been inspired to find a few patterns for clothes that I have a hard time finding off the rack (ie they don’t ever fit well), and doing a lot of work to perfect the pattern, and then bang out multiple versions in different fabrics.  I’ve only made one thing so far — a button-down blouse from a Simplicity Threads pattern — but I like it, and I’ve bought a lot of fabric (oops!) to make more.  But I promise not to get too sidetracked from costuming!

Also, this weekend the husband and I are going for the first time to Tiki Oasis, so I needed gear for that.  I found one fab vintage dress, but then I made myself a 1960s blouse and skirt as well.  Once again, I am reminded of how slowly I sew.  I worked for about 4-5 solid days (maybe 4-5 hours a day) on that sucker!  The only way I can sew well, is to sew slowly.  Okay, that includes patterning and all that, but still.  I’ll post photos when we’re back.

In other news, I finally downloaded the Fabric Stash iPhone app and have been cataloging all my fabric.  Dude (yes I’m from California), I have WAY too much fabric.  I am vowing to only* make things out of the stash for the forseeable future, although the perfect combination is have-some-of-the-supplies + have-an-event-to-wear-it-to.  For example, someday I really do want to make that 1909 suit… but I am so not attending any Edwardian events these days!  So, someday.

*Okay, of course there’s an exception.  I picked up a museum catalog while at CoCo which has a picture of this gorgeous 1914-16 evening dress, and I just had to have it.  It’s green and poufy and super exciting!  And I love the above-the-waistband ruffle, which may not be the best look on me, but it’s too good that I have to have it.  So I’ve started picking up supplies, and will post soon about my early mullings.  I’m thinking of wearing it to next year’s CoCo gala (because where else would I wear it?).

Otherwise, I need to get busy and finally start trimming my 1760s Brunswick so I can cross that off.  Otherwise, the plan for this year is to finally get to the Maja costume, and a 1780s green redingote-type jacket and stripey skirt.  It’s still almost all 18th century around here!

Oh, and I’ve been watching movies — got halfway through Excalibur last night and had a blast scorning the Stevie-Nicks-goes-to-Ren-Faire costuming.  Are the men NEVER allowed to take their armor off (even during sex)?  So expect more reviews soon!

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  • Reply Jen Thompson August 18, 2010 at 1:50 am

    Love, love, LOVE the green ‘teens dress!!! You are going to look amazing in that one!

  • Reply Carly August 18, 2010 at 3:16 am

    That green dress is amazing! I can’t wait to see it next year at CoCo, and I’ll be in a teens dress too, 1912, but still! :)
    P.S. I met you for a second this year, but was a little too shy to really say hi… so “hi”!

  • Reply kendra August 18, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Hi Carly – I remember you, you were wearing the beautiful blue and white robe a la turque! Yay for more teens dresses at next year’s gala — we’ll have to get a group shot!

  • Reply Bunny August 18, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Wow, cute green dress. Would look great on you. And thar be nottin’ wrong wid all-18th C-all-the-time….*ahem*

  • Reply Hana Marmota August 19, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Yes. A very, very pretty green dress, wonderful for you (if you’ll believe me…)
    Also, it pleases me to read that someone so prolific like you is actually a slow sewer. I’m a terribly slow sewer. So that gives me hope – and it should give you satisfaction, with the number – and above all, quality – of dresses you’ve already made. No need to rush it, if you can make it that good!

    Plus… for a reason, I imagined “stress stressed” like “stress stretched” – which would not be a bad thing at all….

  • Reply Jennifer August 22, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    Good for you Kendra. We all need these moments in our lives to recalibrate.

    One trick I’ve learned to getting outside the slow sewer mode is to use modern (gasp!) stretch fabrics. It really puts a historical seamstress out side of her element, which can be healthy. You have to use a machine, and seam finishing isn’t all that necessary because they don’t unravel. You need a surger to do it properly anyway, which I for one don’t own.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that most modern wear is costume, while most historic stuff was clothing. The quality of construction simply isn’t there to call modern wear clothing. Modern wear isn’t worth the effort to turn it into clothing. So don’t kill yourself.

    Another fun this is to make yourself something completely unique, without any patterns.

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