Tuesday, April 10, 2012

AWOL, but Not Entirely Idle

The reason I neglected to post last week (on the off chance any of my Gentle Readers wondered) was that I took a little trip down Memory Lane to reconnect with an old friend.
Tintin and Snowy on yet another exciting adventure!
I am speaking, of course, of the animated TV series (circa 1991-3) based on Hergé's graphic novels, The Adventures of Tintin, which Peter and I used to watch when Nickelodeon ran the show.
While the animation was jerkier, and Snowy's barking/growling less convincing, than I remembered (the picture was blurry, too, but that's probably because Mister Laptop isn't meant to play movies like the Roku-box)...I say, despite those slight flaws, on the whole it was fun to watch an old favorite again, and I was surprised how interesting and entertaining a less-than-half-hour flick could be. Also , it was so refreshing to see something where the worst thing out of anyone's mouth was, “you fool!” (although of course that still isn't very nice). OK, so there are some shots fired, punches thrown, people knocked out and an explosion or two. But being in cartoon format, it's not frightening at all, and no one is seriously hurt (no blood, nor even a bruise to be seen). This is a kids' show, after all, and made back when people still understood how to make good kids' shows, on the whole.

But lest you think I've done nothing but watch old cartoons, let me show you some pictures of what else I've been doing....

Black Mary-Janes: Thrifted; Black Sweater-tights: Hand-me-down from Mom; Red Coral Choker : Wild Rose Designs
At long last, I was able to wear “Jubilee” and have my long-suffering brother do a photo shoot. It happened to be Resurrection Sunday, actually, when this dress made its debut—and a loverly, sunny(ish) Resurrection Sunday, at that! Please excuse the uncomfortable expression on my face; it was chilly out, and the wind was drying out my eyes! Not fun. But at least y'all can see what this dress looks like on me.
I was going to make the sleeves puffed, but when I gathered them, they were so restrictive I could hardly lift my arms above my head! My theory is that it's because the armholes ended up a wee bit low from adding to the shoulders. For this year, though, I'll just live with it...but I intend to tweak it some more next year, after (Lord willing) I've gotten caught up with my other sewing. I've decided I want to get a lot of things to the Wearable stage, rather than spending the whole year tweaking a few things to death. :-P
On the up-side, though, it's one of the more comfortable dresses I've made myself (despite the armhole-thing); in fact, I wore it pretty much all day on Sunday, and I usually don't do that. I have a feeling this will be one of my favorite dresses once I can get it to my satisfaction. :-)

CU of embroidery and holes
So now that “Jubilee” is finished, I'm on to the next project: A Bodiced Petticoat! I got the idea from the ones worn back in Regency days—basically like a modern slip, only made in cotton or linen rather than (yech!) nylon. Regency petticoats were of course high-waisted, and I was going to make mine that way, too, until the Lord gave me this pretty sleeveless blouse. Because of a couple small holes in the front (see close-up) and stains here and there (eeeew), it ended up in the Green Cross barrel at work. But of course I couldn't let such a pretty thing be made into rag rugs or whatever it is they do with our “rejects,” now could I? ;-) So I decided to make this the bodice of my petticoat, adding a slightly Victorian/Edwardian feel to it. The stains didn't come out, and the bodice is definitely less white than the skirt, but I plan to throw the whole thing in a pot of Color Remover when it's finished and see what happens.
The first pictures show what the blouse looked like last week. This one shows the changes Mom and I made to it. Since the blouse was a bit too big for me, and I wanted it fairly snug (not skin-tight, but enough not to be bulky under a dress, especially in Summer), I planned to put a couple Darts of Doom* in front and possibly the back if needed, with maybe French darts in the sides. But when Mom fitted it on me, we found a false princess-seam worked better. In order to get the back to fit smoothly, we had to take “some...uh...*creative* darts” (quoth Mom), which I daresay aren't like any darts you ever saw. Whatever works, wot?

* Darts of Doom = Usually refers to tightly-fitted, boat-shaped vertical darts (also called “banana-darts”) taken in the front of a bodice.
~Tom's Dictionary of Whacked-out Terms and Old Family Sayings

I also removed the front button-overlap, as I plan to put a side-zipper in it (that way there won't be button-impressions in the fronts of my dresses, nor two back-zippers on top of each other). To pretty it up, I sewed a bit of vintage entredeaux (no, I don't know how to pronounce it, either), which belonged to either my grandmother or great-grandmother, in the center-front seam. I had to take out a bit of the trim and binding in the neck to open up the overlaps, and I may end up removing the trim altogether, as I need to lower the back neckline so it doesn't show above those of my dresses.
For the skirt, I cut up a cotton twill curtain panel purchased at Value Village...um...last year. :-P I used McCall's 8796, View B, making it long enough to be about mid-calf-length when finished (including the lace to be added), then cutting off about 10” from the bottom. The reason is that I have a couple dresses that are just-below-knee-length, so I need my petticoat to be above the knee so it won't show below the hems of these dresses. The 10” portion will later be made into a detachable extension for longer dresses.
Today, but God's aid, I was able to meet my goal of getting the bodice and skirt sewn together. Yay! I tried to take a picture of it in its current state, but Bro had to play with the adjustments on my camera for the photo shoot, and I don't know how to change them back! So y'all'll just have to wait until next week. Perhaps by then it'll be finished. :-)

D'y'all remember “Wild Irish Rose”? Well, Cousin Laurie informed me yesterday that it's finished. Interchangeable stones and all. And it's due to arrive tomorrow morning, according to the message from FedEx. PTL!
Copyright © 2011 Wild Rose Designs

Because of the complexity of the design, it didn't turn out exactly like my “sketch,” but I kind of expected that. Instead, it ended up looking like my original concept, shown at left. I'll be sure to get a photo of it when it arrives.

In other news—

Aw, you sound like an anchorman. :-P

Ahem. In other news....


Until next time, Gentle Readers,
God bless,

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