Sometimes I struggle with sleeplessness. If I have an obligation, I cope until the obligation is met and then I slug it up until it is time to go back to bed. If I don’t have an obligation, I still get up, because sleeping all day assures me that I will have another terrible sleep night, but, instead, I slug it up all day, even though this may cost me personal plans.
Today cost me personal plans. ::sigh::
It’s been quiet around here for nearly a year because my school workload is crazy heavy. School will be ending soon, though, so I want to take at least a little bit to follow up on the creative things I enjoy doing, and have not been able to do with any regularity since 1 May 2017.
First off, last year’s garden was terrible. There’s just nothing else to be said about it. One of the strawberries I was so jubilant about in May of last year died in the ground and I am waiting to see if the other will come back this year. The alpine strawberries should be back, as should the 2 or three varieties I bought from Steins several years ago. Will the old variety strawberry that made it through last summer make it through the winter? We shall see, as I have been too busy to check the garden for what is coming up.
I know, right?
It’s 3/24, and I have not already spent hours examining every corner of my property for items that may be poking their little heads out of the ground. It’s cold today, and I am already tired, so am not likely to go looking today. Another slug-it-up activity I should try to accomplish today is going through my seeds and deciding what to plant this year.
Because I have not done that yet. Not only that, but I bought NO NEW SEEDS this year.
I KNOW, RIGHT? Don’t you want to ask who is writing this? This pod person at the keyboard is surely not your old goofy friend Admin.
I SEWED A THING. . . .
… and I need to keep track of what I did, because I do not know when I will next construct an outfit.
Man, it must be more than a year, now, since I acquired some patterns for kirtles that I thought I might like better than my current set. Specifically, I purchased Burda 7977, Burda 7468, and Butterick B6146. Meet Butterick B6146.
View B, with very minor alterations, makes a suitable, simple kirtle for just about any era. View A is suitable for eras that use sleeveless, fitted kirtles.
So of course I screwed it up.
These are the pieces one needs, laid out. Pretty simple, 5 pieces, easy to eliminate the back opening and move the opening to the side. The red linen-like material does not have a directional pattern, so no need to account for that; the dress took about 4.5 yards of 55″ cloth. I cut the dress out in accordance with the size that the fitting chart told me I would need.
That was my first bad decision.
I decided that I wanted the neck to be squared off instead of v neck, which worked out to be a giantly fortuitous decision later in the process, but was not without its problems. This alteration was easy to make; I just cut the center front and the center back panels straight across at the top of the piece to the center fold line instead of following the v opening of the pattern. Hopefully I will remember what that means if ever I make this again.
I also made a change to the back center panel by placing it on the fold instead of cutting it as two seperate pieces–again, eliminates the zipper, and lacing from the side will be easy to add.
That would be exactly all of the changes I made.
Sewed it together, put it on for adjustment. Okay, I expected the pattern to be a little bit big on me, because they usually add more ease to the pattern than a person usually needs in order to wear the clothing comforably; this allows a seamstress to take the pattern in rather than dispose of something too small.
But this? I was drowning in it. I was sewing by myself, and so had to adjust it by grabbing handfuls at the back and repeatedly sewing the back seams in and in and in; I ended up adjusting the pattern in by 6-8 inches. I did not adjust the side or the front, because I could not get them adjusted in a way that did not alter the way the front hung. One of the consequences of this was that the back neck got so screwed up that if it had been a v-neck rather than a square neck, the dress might have been beyond my poor skills to repair. The straight neck let me just adjust the neck with the seams. And I did not add a lacing opening, because this just pops over my head. Opening it up is going to upset the hang of the dress at this point, anyway. Hey, you know, just because I sew does not mean I am any good at it. I own up to my weaknesses!
Unfortunately, I messed up when I sewed the facing into the neckline, but that was my poor skill. I can fix that, I just have to decide how I want to do it.
So, it is now done enough to wear, I just have to wear a partlet of some sort over the neckline, of constantly have someone tuck the facing in for me.
I intended to make this a Donna Troy dress, and I decided that I would stamp the yellow stars on the dress, but the curve of the dress makes it pretty near impossible to stamp a chevron comprised of mullets of five from the hip to the center front of the dress, so I’m either going to have to make a different Donna Troy dress, or I am going to have to applique the stars.
I set it up to wear, and have it hanging for whatever next SCA event I can actually manage to get to.
The current set up has two black pin-on sleeves (impossible to see in this picture, but they are pinned on to the red sleeves), a yellow partlet (since I can’t manage yellow stars), a black belt, a linen coif, a medallion, and a off-white cotton chemise.
So my thoughts for the next time I use this pattern (and I will, because I still have 6 yards of red, 11 yards of black, and three yards of yellow linen-like cloth to experiment with and this is really an easy, fast pattern) are that I will just go ahead and cut it to a smaller size, use the v necks as cut, sew the facings in on each piece and just deal with the seam bulk that will create, possibly french seam the dress (because one does not sew linen without finishing the seams, and the zigzag method I used this time dragged a bunch of linen threads into the bobbin mechanism, screwing up my machine), and if I decide to decorate the linen by stamping it, I may have to do this as an all-over pattern while the cloth is still flat.
I think I am going to try to make something from every pattern I have that I can currently use. I will never use the pattends I bought in the 70’s and 80’s again, I am afraid. I would like to have a new wardrobe, and it seems like a good idea to use my patterns and cloth before I spend more money on ready to wear. I can see what I still like, sell or donate what I don’t, and lighten my physical possession burden by tossing out the useless, donating the clothing I won’t wear any more, and selling the “will never use.”