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The Ramblings of a Seamstress, Gardener, Chicken Keeper, and Housewife

Proof of My Adventures (and Misadventures!)

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Sewing Plans and Organizational Stuff

I'm a list maker.  I don't always write them down, but they're always kicking around in my head.  Sometimes they get too long or too detailed, and that's when I grab my pen and paper.  It's still my preferred method in spite of living in this technological age.  There's something about physically crossing off the completed items that is just so satisfying!

I'm going to try something different this time and put my list here.  Seems like a lot of us sewing types have been bitten by the organization bug lately, so maybe we can all organize together!  My list is long and wordy...you've been warned!

-Curtains for the kitchen door.  Those curtain rods aren't going to magically grow curtains, unfortunately.  The afternoon sun just blazes in, and it's time to do something about it.
-Stand mixer cover.  I'm tired of having to re-wash dusty mixing attachments and the bowl, which really means I don't do near enough baking.  Maybe I should add that to another list?
-Clothing repair.  Ben has a shirt that needs a button, and I have dresses with adjustable spaghetti straps that have broken plastic sliders (ouch!)  These could be easily mended while relaxing in front of the TV in the evenings.  I need to make that happen.

Customer Order-Surcoat and Shirt
-Completion date: late August.
-Color scheme of black and tan.  Shirt fabrics can be pulled from my stash, and possibly the surcoat fabrics as well.  I'd like to shop around the fabric district before I finalize my decisions because I really had something more damask-y in mind for the surcoat.  May try to do that later this week.

Customer Order-Quilted Gambeson
-Completion date: the sooner the better, but no later than the end of August.
-Color scheme of black, but possibly tan quilting?  This is for a dear friend, and I'm sure she'll love whatever I make.  It just needs to look awesome.  I need to get black cotton sateen, or possibly pick up some sateen sheets from Target.  I've already got cotton batting, and I have an idea for the pattern I'll use as well.  I need to find out if she wants a zipper closure or something else.

CoLow Mourning Party Dress
-Completion date: July 27th.So, this is where it's getting tricky for me.  I know what I want to make, but do I have the time?  If I chicken out decide there's not enough time to do it right and still maintain my sanity, my backup plan is to go vintage-style.
-Chemise for under the corset.  Can you believe I haven't made one of these yet, in spite of all the Victorian events I've been to?  Yeah, I'm appalled too.  The necessity of this became apparent the last time I wore my corset and got abrasions from the pressure, mostly around the top and bottom edges.  Not fun, and so not happening again.  Stash fabric will do nicely.
-1880's style corset.  The one I've been wearing is really more modern in styling, and I'd like something that gives a more accurate silhouette.  Amazingly enough, I have everything I need in my stash.
-Natural form petticoat.  I've got a great bustle petti, but my inspiration dress is more natural form.  I might be able to loosen the ties in the bustle and make it work, but if not then I need something new.  I've got stash fabric for it, but might prefer to buy the Truly Victorian pattern instead of messing with drafting one or scaling up from a book.
-The dress itself.  I managed to find some brocade on eBay that is similar enough.  The downside is that it's only 45"x60".  That will be cutting it close!  I also need the rest of the fabric.  I'll probably pick up some cotton sateen from JoAnn's with a coupon.  That just leaves buttons (need to check the stash), lace, and ribbon (stash?)
-Accessories!  I've got black granny boots, so that's covered.  Target has some great knee high socks in a dark gray and black stripe, so I'll pick up a pair of those.  I've been watching eBay for a jet brooch, but I haven't found the right balance of price and pleasing design.  This might be a good thing to look for at an estate sale.  I'll whip up a pair of earrings with stuff I've got on hand already.  Black fan, check.  Black gloves...may not bother with it since we'll be playing cards and grabbing the occasional beverage from the hotel bar.  The hat/bonnet...I've got a black straw hat to unpick for its braid, so I just need to come up with a pattern.  In looking at fashion plates, I see more small bonnets than true hats.  Lynn McMasters has a pattern that may be perfect.  I've got some black lace, tulle, and beads in the stash for decoration.  I'll need some wide black ribbon though.

GenCon Indy Costumes
-Completion date: August 16th.
This is a whole other can of worms!  Ben may not even be able to go now because two of his plumbers are having surgery right before we were scheduled to leave.  There aren't enough backup employees to cover the projects, so unless they manage to get ahead between now and then he'll probably have to stay home.  I'm not sure I want to go while he has to stay home and work...doesn't seem like the right thing to do.  One of our friends was going to dress up with us and she's soooo excited about it, so our not going would be a disappointment to her as well.  It's a rotten possibility, and I'm really hoping it doesn't happen.  I had 3 possibilities in mind for themes but I haven't gotten much feedback from anyone...so here they are in all their glory!

Jedi/Sith (Old Republic Style)
-Ben wants to dress as a Jedi Knight with some armoring pieces.  Since I know nothing about vacuforming, I'll need to source the pieces and figure out the best way to rough them up to look like they've been lived in.  Fabrics aren't an issue because my stash is full of natural-looking woven fabrics that would be perfect.  I've got some patterns from the Big 3 to base some of the pieces on, so no problem there.  Finding decently priced English riding boots has been a challenge, so I thought I'd make leather spats to look like boot tops and he could wear them with whatever brown shoes he's already got.
-Chris will wear whatever I make for her.  She's really that easy-going!
-After thinking about it, I decided it would be more fun to dress as a Sith because it seems like I'd have more room to design something figure flattering.  Jedi robes are very iconic, but they add so much bulk at the waist.  The darker Sith style would allow me to design something with curves, and that's more 'me.'  I'd also want contact lenses and makeup.

18th Century Ladies & Gent (Pirate Optional)
-Ben has a coat, pants, and boots but would need a shirt and tricorn.  He's got a sword belt (that he'd have to wear without the sword according to the rules of the Con) and I'd want to make a waist sash for him to wear under it.  Shirt fabric is in the stash, and I found this felt tricorn on eBay.  I'll deal with trimmings after I get the hat.
-Chris needs everything from the skin out!  We are drastically different sizes, so nothing of mine will work for her.  That means shift, stays, panniers or bumroll, petticoats, dress or jacket, stomacher (?), wig, hat, shoes, and stockings (those socks at Target come in white, and they're rayon so I could dye them.)  I think I have enough stash fabric to do everything, I just need to spend some time in there brainstorming.  I forsee many fittings in her future.
-I've got options, so I'm not stressing too much.  I want to wear my Gainsborough hat for sure, and it needs a new trim band.  I'd love to have something new, but I need to be realistic.  The zone-front gown I wore to last year's Georgian picnic needs some fitting issues corrected...the waist is too low, the front needs a placket so I can pin it closed more easily, I wasn't entirely happy with how the zone came out so I may add some trim and hope that balances it visually, the sleevils need to be conquered, it needs a new bumroll (I think I overstuffed the last one and I've since repurposed its innards), it needs more petticoats, and it needs a new sash (or perhaps just extensions on the current sash.)  Wow, now I wonder if it would be easier to just start from scratch.  At least I have my wig, though after seeing the pics I think I need to do a little restyling and add some long tresses to the back instead of relying on my own hair to do the trick.  It will inevitably fail at some point during the hot muggy Indiana day.  It's also the perfect opportunity to try out my new Kensington shoes!

Aes Sedai and Asha'man from Wheel of Time
-Ben has the dragon and sword pins already because we've dressed up in this theme before.  That was nearly a decade ago, and neither one of us can squeeze into our previous outfits.  So, that means a new jacket for him.  Last time I modified this pattern with great success, so I'll just do that again.  I don't think I have black fabric in the stash, but dyeing might be an option.  Otherwise I'll find something suitable while I'm shopping for the other stuff I've already mentioned.  He's got pants, boots, and a belt so that's all good.
-Chris wants something that makes her look sexy, but she hates green unless it's of the lime variety.  That poses a challenge if I want to be true to the lore.  I've got lots of goodies in my stash, so really I just need to brainstorm a bit more.  She'll need a shawl with the flame appliqued on it and with the appropriate color fringe.  Bonus points if I can get her to buy a gold serpent ring.  Hopefully she'll have some shoes that work, or she'll be able to find some.
-I have no issues with green, and I happen to have plenty of green taffeta, satin, silk, and brocade to choose from.  I found some great beaded shoes on eBay (since shoes are Serious Business after all) and I bet I still have my old shawl somewhere...if I can find it I'll salvage the fringe and make a new one.  I've also got a serpent ring.  I'll want to make a hairpiece similar to this one I found on Etsy and some cool hair ornaments or a headpiece.

Customer Order-Winter Court Garb
-Completion date: end of October.
-We haven't discussed style at all, so this is more of a placeholder than a real plan.  I do know it needs to travel well, preferably be washable, and survive the cold of a rural Indiana night in November, which is where and when the event is being held.  I've made this coat for myself out of an upholstery weight velvet with a thick fleece lining, and it was the warmest I'd ever been at a November event.  Sadly that pattern is OOP and kinda pricy now, but it really is beautiful made up.  I'd modify the sleeves to be closer fitting since the customer is very petite.  I've also got this pattern which I've never made before, but it looks like the high necked version would fit the bill nicely.

I've definitely got a full plate right now!  Nothing like seeing it all in black and white to make it obvious.  Almost all of it has me inspired, which makes it a whole lot more fun to do!

Edited 8/2 to reflect completed items.

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Does she Have to be green ajah? Also, they didn't always wear dresses of their ajah color. Did they? I seem to remember some variation here and there.

Praises for the WoT costumes! I have a Grey shawl that needs nicer fringe. Actually, I'd love to remake it with nicer fabric and put the vines on it. I wore it with my Bourgereau dress one year to Dragon Con. Actually, I'd love to remake it with nicer fabric and embroider it with vines. Did you ever hang out on Dragonmount? I was Grey Head there on the community side for a few years. Hence my shawl color.

It's been a while since I read the series, so it's entirely possible they did sometimes vary their dress colors. Now I may have to re-read everything from the beginning to refresh my memory! Sadly without having read any of the books, her enthusiasm for that theme was pretty low so we're going the 18th century route. Definitely going to keep a list of WoT costume ideas going so I can revisit it next year...maybe for CLW as well! Maybe a fantasy or favorite character party...

I was just an occasional visitor on Dragonmount. That's cool that you were the Grey Head there!

Speaking of WoT costumes, I came across this on facebook and thought it was pretty cool.

Oh wow! It's been several years since I've been active there and so I don't recognize those folks, but those are probably the best WoT costumes I've seen in a long while! That Jordan Con is run by the same folks who run the WoT track at Dragon Con. Jennifer was the Amyrlin at Dragonmount for many many years. She does an Amazing job at Dragon Con with that track and I've heard great things about Jordan Con. Mostly because Dragonmount has such a good relationship with Harriet and TOR, so she can pull the higher calibre names associated with the fandom. I wanna go some time! At one point she hinted at making it a travelling con and said that Dallas was first on her list to host. I'm kind of hoping she still wants to do that because I totally want in on that action!

I'm All For having a fandom event! I'm going to work on putting something together for Sci-fi fandom later this year. Now that I know I have at least one partner in crime for Fantasy, maybe I can work on that next. And you're right, it would make a great theme for a CLW party!

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