Sunday, August 21, 2011

Lofty Goals on a Zero Dollar Budget!

Woo hoo! Go me! I am an expensive woman on a very tiny single income budget but go me!  
The SCA and me is an odd affair. I am not involved as much as I would like to be, or should be. My first event was Pennsic, I am very at home at Pennsic but locally I tend to not be that involved. And I have been working on changing that. I just have an incredible shyness and tend to cling to people I know. It is not easy for me to just jump into these situations so I tend to avoid or fade in or out, quietly.

However.. I have a registered persona, she is Turkish and that was years ago and now I can't remember why I chose Turkish. The history of Turkey intrigued me but for me being a through the ages fashions fan, not expert, fan, I can't quite put my finger on why I would choose Turkish. I am a fashion 'ho, plain and simple. The last few years my shifting interest has been Italian Ren, Flemish and Spanish is what I would really like to play in! I have been thinking about changing my persona but I really don't want to bail on Safiye yet.  
I do know I want to explore fashions of many area's and kid and tease that I am going to change Safiye bint Kara Sun'Allah to "Safiye of a Thousand Dresses"! But then again, maybe I will have a lot of fun with that many dresses! Woot.

I have had this idea for a couple of years now and then decided why not put it in a plan. I may not get to it or much of it but why not get it down on paper what I would like to do?  
The Idea. Take one woman - middle class/lower noble class during the years 1550-1560 and create complete ensembles of different places. I already have a plan in mind for Florentine. I want to do Venetian, Spanish, Burgundian, Scottish (Only because that is my heritage) and maybe German. Flemish? Oh, and Turkish! My Turkish garb has been Pennsic serviceable, not any WOW! affair. Anyway, you see where I am going with this. And why am I so hung up on Smocks, Chemises and Camicia's? But guess what? I have kind of started. I have two very plain Camicia's that I made this winter for Pennsic and I didn't end up going. The Florentine dress I want to make has a Camicia much like what I made and so I will add the embellishments. The other might work for the Venetian, I have that half kind of planned.

I know what I like, not much of the history so this will be a challenge in sound documentation and research. I am a family Genealogist so it is not like I don't know how to cite my sources and pay attention to detail, still.. I am in unfamiliar territory.  
Like I said, lofty. I don't know how to do things small I guess. I have the sewing skills for this at least, my weak area's being knowledge and period construction techniques. There are a wealth of blogs out there that I follow and websites and I am sure I will be able to do this project. Or at least as long as I stop looking at fabric that is over $200 a yard! :) I am not putting a time limit on this, it will be a long term project.

Friday, September 3, 2010

I had meant..

... to be better about this blog as I made a lot of garb during May, June and July.  I wanted to document some of my time spent in the fury of Pennsic prep.  My winter list didn't end up touched and so it was down to the wire sewing for three people.  For myself I didn't really need much garb wise but I had  bought this beautiful fabric last year that I wanted to make an Entari out of it.  My daughter decided on her persona (15th Century Florentine) and her boyfriend has been inducted into the SCA by becoming part of our family (he is 13th Century Celt migrated with the Romany to Italy).  His very first event was... Pennsic.  He is still grinning over the experience.  Both he and my daughter registered names and devices while there, they were really productive.. he even has his persona's story, my Safiye has no story!).  I had made him five very simple "starter" tunics and we will pinpoint his garb interests soon to start getting some things done for him.  My daughter had four dresses made.  I have the fabric to make a very nice ensemble for her, it is not every day were.  What we did learn is she spent more time in one dress that had no sleeves to it, Pennsic was extremely hot this year so she will need a couple more dresses like that for next year.  Next year I will be there two weeks being on Staff, if they can make the two weeks they will, it depends on their job/school.  So that means being prepared clothing wise.

We are "half" period and I want to focus on being all period this winter.  We have no cold weather wear.  No nightwear.  I want to pay a little more attention to detail, I seem to deal with time and quantity.  At Pennsic we purchased trim to add to his tunics so they will be a bit more nice for him.

Me, Myself and I.  Safiye, my persona is 16th Century Turkish.  I have never pinpointed her time and place, her social status or anything and every time I see Italian, Tudor and Flemish art, well I want one of those, those and oh! those too!!  This year I have been thinking about changing persona, Spanish intrigues me but then I still like every period bit of clothing I see.  So I expect it is not the persona but my interests.  I want to make garb, I want to get good at it.  I want to be able to look at a painting and create.  So, I am toying with Safiye being "Safiye of 1000 Dresses".  Lol.  What I would like to do is decide on a period of time and perhaps make garb from different places but stick to that time.  Take advantage of the Silk Road.  One idea I had was to pick three regions of Italy, say Rome, Florence and Venice and a 20 year range of time.  Then research and create working class, middle class and upper class examples.  That is 9 ensembles and that will take me a long time.  But the idea is forming and being mulled over daily.

In the meantime, I am starting with Reconstructing History's Campi's Fruitseller pattern #508 for myself.

Pictures, not the best, but you can see the dresses I made my daughter, we really need to do the full garb/look and do some proper photographs.. I will put it on the winter project list.. ha ha ha:

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Holy Moley, here comes Pennsic!

Okay, last fall I started with this huge list of "winter projects" and come April I said... "wow, its April and I haven't even started on my list!".  Pain issues slow me down so some days I do nothing.  On a brighter note I got a lot of Genealogy done on my grandmothers side!  Cleaned up a lot of clerical work for my family history so not a total wash.

However, here comes Pennsic at us like a freight train and I am the costumer for three of us.  My daughter has decided on a persona place and time and her boyfriend wants to come along too so for him, this year, just some T tunics so he can have time to figure out his persona before we start sewing for him.  But it still leaves a long list.  I am glad I have plenty of garb for a week there.  Next year I will be at Pennsic for two weeks and will need more gomlek's.  Next winters project!

To Do List:
Chirka's for me:  white/black, brown/tan stripe

Entari - red pattern, gold.  I know I don't need anything but this was my fabric buy for last year and will be nice for Court and Khan's Court.

Turkish Embroidery - just 1 gomlek.  I did get the simple design penciled on the gomlek the other day.  I am starting very simple on this one and can add more embroidery if I am good at it and like it.


One camicia to finish.

Two light weight camicia's to make.

4 Florentine gowns to make.  After much research and anxiety over starting a bodice and the art of draping, I chickened out and bought the Period Patterns No. 41 pattern.  Once I get the idea of construction then I will get more brave in her gown construction.

4 T tunics - pattern worked out, waiting for the fabric.

Three cloaks....

No pressure - this list is not, obviously, showing all the other things, paint the mirror box, sheet walls, a flag for our tent.  Jewelry search and so on.  Ugh, I am tired!

My daughter and I are going to War Practice this coming weekend.  We have no cloaks, there is no wool to be found here in fabric stores, we are going to freeze our butts off!

I will try to remember pictures, I get very focused on sewing and crank it out once I sit down.  Right now I am in the foraging stage.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

A very Happy Thanksgiving is wished to you and yours. 

Just some pictures to catch up with the last blog of no pictures.  I finally took the time today to snap off a few photos.



I ended up deciding on the Ashland Bay Trading Co Mer/Angora blend for next on the wheel:

Bluefaced Leicester skeins finally photographed.  The bottom pic is kind of blurry.  I have a very hard time getting color out of this digital camera, next spring I intend on treating myself to a decent camera.  When I do pick out the color, the photo is blurred so I try to grin and bear it.  :)



Friday, November 20, 2009

Camicia's in Progress and Fiber

The Blueface Leicester is done (and has been). It has been hanging on a chair from its bath for a few weeks now. I spun it 3-ply and when I was down to just one bobbin with fiber on it I navajo plied the remainder. I have to say that when I spin BFL again, I will opt to navajo ply it all. I really liked that small skein more than the three bobbin plied. It looks firm and more compact with a nice looking finish and I had forgotten just how much I like to navajo ply. I like the blend of color and I am not sure what I will do with this yarn.

Lately the spinning and knitting have been at the bottom of the attention ladder. I have been sewing. In order to get moving on my daughters 16th century Italian Ren SCA Court garb I had to get a camicia (chemise) done for her. So while I had the linen out, I cut out four and sewed them all with french seams and now I am working on one at a time to do the neckline gathering and hems. I have learned that with chemises and gomlek's (16th Century Ottomon Turkish type "chemise") if you make one, you may as well make a half dozen! Pennsic alone requires a few for weather and hand washing issues.  Already I am aiming at Pennsic 2011 as I will be there the entire two weeks so need to start planning now.  Back when I did primitive dolls for craft show selling, I was big into production sewing and would make 100 dolls at a time. I just finished the first camicia yesterday after dragging it to Pennsylvania with me this past weekend for a meeting. I used a 5.3 ounce linen.  It is a nice weight for warm Italian Ren but I am not so sure about summer or Turkish Gomlek's so will order the lighter weight for those and more summer weight camicia's. I heavily rely on three websites to find my way though this new territory of Italian Garb, again I will say I have no recollection why I chose Turkish at the time.  I think it was I liked the history more than cared about the garb.  Which is probably how it should be however.... I love fashion, so why not embrace it! Thank goodness for dressmaker blogs and websites!

My favorites (and where I go most for help even if I haven't really produced anything but a camicia!!  Lol.).  I am heavily dependent on these blogs right now until I have a sense that I know what I am doing.

Daze of Laur
Dress Diary of a Novice Renaissance Seamstress
Festive Attyre Chemise
Realm of Venus 

I do have a confession, I have no clue what Steam Punk is but I love seeing the very cool garments out there in blog world.  Very super cool and creative costumes that simply will amaze you.  Google and find out!

And now to decide what to spin next. I had to dust my spinning wheel. That is not a good sign. So I will be deciding on my next bag/box of fiber to spin. On my 101 in 1000 list I have an entry to spin 8 bags of fiber out of my stash before I purchase anymore. I am 2/8! I have a beautiful merino angora blend, maybe that will be it or...... I have about a pound and a half of corriedale roving sitting in a bump.... or..... well with my stash my choices are many!

And a favorite thing.  While I was in the kitchen making sauce and meatballs today, I was listening to the Scarlet Letter.  Heather Ordover does one of my favorite podcasts but I kind of got on re-listening to every Diana Gabaldon book BEFORE I crack open her new book which is beside me on my desk.  I am to book 4 but waiting for it to be available at the library.  I have all the actual books but I like to listen to audio books during my 10 hour work day at a desk.   Anyway, by reading the Outlander series, I got distracted from Craftlit.  What I like about Heather is she does a chapter per week depending and she really teaches what the book is about too.  I know I read the Scarlet Letter in high school (ages ago) and back then I just didn't care about it. But now I am enjoying it and have pointed my college age daughter to the podcast too.  Check it out!  It is fabulous!  And thank you, Heather!  I love your podcast!


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunrise and Blueface Leicester

I finally finished Sunrise! And this updates my 101 in 1001, number 44, 1 bag of 8 bags of fiber spun up and finished before I can buy more!  I have a few more skeins in a basket and need to measure to see what I have in total yardage and weight.

(Edit: I ended up with 2,304 yards and 8 wpi.)

Next up and half done is a beautiful roving of Blueface Leicester that I purchased from Three Waters Farm. It is a 4 ounce tip that I split into three lengths and spinning to 3-ply. I just started the third bobbin and will be plying soon.


Next is a bag of Corriedale top that I got with my Kromski wheel when I purchased it. It was a 2 pound bag and I have spun one skein of yarn from it.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The hard part - Getting started.

So.. it is time to think about getting to some serious seamstressing. So I was mulling over starting this Florentine dress for my daughter and I realize this is not going to be all that easy. Turkish garb is not all that difficult. I pour over dress making logs, have collected a ton of links and have found I am a picture looker and skim sites more than I read them and that is a tsk tsk on me. So, I have to settle down and do some serious research and I am making a list of starting questions to help me keep focused.

If you have looked at any of my posts, you might get that I am a "list" sort of person. You should see the post-it notes I stick everywhere with lists on them.

Preliminary Questions to get myself started:

Just what did a 1500's woman wear under that gorgeous dress we "see" and oooo and ahhh over?

What are and what are the proper names of garment pieces a woman would have worn.

Study each garment piece (once I know them): ie. what is it made out of. How will I duplicate it. Decide what they will be made of and produce a plan.

How do I drape. Read up more on garment construction.

There, that is enough to get me started. I do have 20 yards of linen to start a chemise for her (the Italian name eludes me at the moment). We did find the Florentine gown fabrics. I will post pictures soon. The sleeves we bought black velvet and the body is a very pretty rusty red color. I am one of these people that likes 100 percent natural fibers for any garb work. In this instance I didn't follow that.

101 in 1001 list update. - I did #100. We bought the Zelda game for the Wii. I used to play Zelda games so many years ago that the Wii is a new learning curve. I talk with my hands, I am not sure how many things I threw Link off of with that motion remote, haha. However, does this clash with "Learn to say no to self" and "Be frugal"? I did by a preowned copy if that puts me in the good column. :)

I am adding one to the Genealogy column. Go to 1 or 2 conferences. I do see my list is full of things that require big money. I guess it is time to stop thinking about a 2nd job and just doing it. :( Which cuts into my hobby time! Good grief.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

101 in 1001

101 in 1001
October 1, 2009 - June 28, 2012

1 Blog more - - -
2 Cable bill - lets learn the due date.
3 Clean out PSP folders, tons of duplicates and this will be a big job
4 Dentist - start some needed repairs
5 Find a second job - plan to work 8 months.
6 Go to the Rochester Art Museum
7 Go to the Rochester Museum and Science Center
8 Go to the Strasenburg Planetarium
9 Learn more of the folklore of Scotland
10 Learn some Gaelic
11 Learn to say no to yourself.
12 Letterbox more
13 Lose thirty pounds
14 Move to a cheaper apartment.
15 Once a month - day trip with daughter
16 Pen Pal - so far these penpal sites look kind of cheesey?
17 Read 6 books - I buy books and don't read them anymore, I listen to audio at work (0/6)
18 Research cost of Scotland trip to build goals on. - Look at tours
19 Take a college course (or some kind of education) - history
20 Take better care of my legs
21 Visit Scotland. (Plan for August of 2012) - with Sheila.
22 Walk for 30 minutes twice a week

23 Fix them - need I say more?
24 Get $1200 in a savings account that I don't have to borrow on regularly.
25 Get HBSC 1 cc to zero balance
26 Get HBSC 2 cc to zero balance
27 Learn to be frugal
28 Save for trip to Scotland - DO IT! (Goal 8/2012)

29 Complete my first sweater - don't let it sit.
30 Duct tape dress form for me.
31 Finish duct tape dress form for Mackenzie
32 Handweavers Guild of America - Spinning CoE
33 Italian chemise - Mackenzie
34 Knit 8 skeins of sock yarn before anything more is purchased. 0/8
35 Knit a shawl for work - I am cold a lot.
36 Knit every shawl in Folk Shawls by Cheryl Oberle. 0/25
37 Knitters Guild of America - Knitting Masters
38 Learn to knit something you don't know how - cables
39 Learn to knit something you don't know how - colorwork
40 Learn to knit something you don't know how - lace
41 Organize Knitting stash - is your Ravelry up to date? Not.
42 Research the steps to make a Florentine gown. Just how many parts are there! Yikes.
43 Spin 10 minutes a day at least.
44 Spin 8 bags of fiber before buying more -srsly wtf - 0/8
45 Spin for every shawl in Folk Shawls by Cheryl Oberle. 0/25
46 Stop hording my angora bunny fleece. Blend with a nice wool and spin!
47 Turkish hats

48 Documentation - Italian Garb
49 Documentation - Period Natural Dying
50 Documentation - Spanish garb
51 Documentation - Turkish Embroidery
52 Documentation - Turkish Garb
53 Garb - Italian (1 complete outfit)
54 Garb - Spanish (1 complete outfit)
55 Garb - Turkish - add Turkish Embroidery to 3 En'tari's 0/3
56 Go to 2 Thescorre Events per year
57 Go to 3 Thescorre Meetings per year
58 Learn about Medieval Spain. Do I feel a persona change coming?
59 Natural Dying - period - for Ice Dragon/Pennsic A&S
60 Paint mirror box
61 Tent - decide and get one, or a Ger…
62 Turkish Embroidery - Complete Entari, Period - Ice Dragon, Pennsic by 2011
63 Turkish Embroidery sampler to get a feel for the process.

64 20 hours per month spent on family research
65 Be more dedicated to the Graveyard Rabbit Blog… slacker
66 Census records - Baldwin
67 Census records - Duncan
68 Find a good wall map of North Carolina
69 Find a good wall map of Scotland
70 Find a good wall map of Tennessee
71 Find a good wall map of Virginia
72 Find Baldwin connection to Connecticut
73 Find current day relatives in Dundee/Angus
74 Find-a-grave - Add the stones you have to the site.
75 Genealogist Certification? (long term project)
76 Get all photo's from Mom, identify everyone and get everything scanned
77 Get the Fender tree more complete for trip in 2012 - know what you are looking for when you go
78 Get to 3 DAR meetings per year
79 Get to 3 Genealogical Society Meetings per year
80 Go to Tennessee and/or North Carolina to find ancestor cemetery's
81 Learn the counties of Scotland and their history.
82 Random Acts of Kindness site.. VOLUNTEER
83 Take 4 online Genealogy classes to further my research skills. (0/4)
84 Trace Duncan line to the DAR, it is thought John Duncan was in the Rev War
85 Transcribe!!! Genealogy documents received.
86 Visit one cemetery every 3 months.
87 Volunteer for the Ontario County Genealogical Society
88 Write to Michigan cousins on a more regular basis
89 Write to Patsy every 6 months with updates.
90 Write to the Ohio family and make contact - it has been too many years.

91 Canning - get back to it, use the farm markets
92 Cook Books. French (20 recipes) 0/20
93 Cook Books. German (20 recipes) 0/20
94 Cook Books. Italian (20 recipes) 0/20
95 Cook Books. Mexican cook book on the shelf (20 recipes) 0/20
96 Cook Books. Polynesian (20 recipes) 0/20
97 Recipes into Big Kitchen and make cook book… 2 years procrastinated so far??
98 Save for the ultimate food processor/blender

99 Buy a GPS
100 Find a fun game I will like for our Wii
101 Watch the Lost Series - the only reason cuz is is instant watch on Netflix.. =/
102 Watch the Madmen Series

September - my "something is missing" month

September has been an odd month for me for many years. I feel like I should be doing something, anything and for a couple of years I couldn't put my finger on it. About 10 years ago I quit everything I loved and looking back realize .. well we can't go back and fix, now can we. Decisions sometimes are a good thing or not a good thing, we just never know when we step out of what we know. So I will admit for shutting down and I suppose it could be considered a depression, a long one. I hated the apartment I was forced to move so my daughter and I didn't have to give up our cat. I hated losing my house because I had not worked for ten years to be a homemaker for my family. I hated going back to the job market with a ten year hole in my resume and feeling like I had stepped back, not forward and I hated doing the jobs I do just because it is what I know how to do and not really what I love to do. Yes, I confess, I am one of those... I work because I HAVE to. I love to stay home and I love being a homemaker.

Over the last two years I have started to dig out. I am back to spinning and my my my... I love sitting at my Kromski going into my zone. Spinning has always made me feel grounded and where I should be. I am so surprised I almost sold all of my spinning equipment and supplies! Phew, that was a narrow miss!

September is canning season and I realized that is my problem. When I lost the house, I lost years worth of gardening. I had over ten varieties of thyme for starters. I grew 4 varieties of basil every year. I grew rosemary, oregano, name it, if it was growable in my region, it was growing in my herb and perenial gardens. I grew medicinals, I grew a witches garden... I just grew stuff. By the time I moved there were hundreds of lavendar plants bordering my beds that I started from seed. I started most of my plants from seed. January was planning month, my husband and I gardened year round, there is always something to do even with 3 feet of snow outside.

I am used to September being hectic. Thousands of tomatoes eyeing me until put in jars. We made salsa, canned tomatoes, apple butter, jellies, jams and more. If it wouldn't go in a jar, it went into the chest freezer. We planned a year round food source and was usually to the last of the frozen and canned foods as the new and fresh was coming in. The freezer would be stocked with every freezable vegetable we grew, the blueberries we picked, and well I could go on forever. I did this for years so it is no wonder I wander around my apartment wondering what I always do with myself, haha. We moved last November to this new place and the kitchen is huge and I like the apartment far more than I did the last one that I actually stayed in for 8!!! years. I think it is pulling out by inner canning spirit. I bought a canner! I am not sure I will get anything canned this year, jars seem sold out everywhere currently in my area but it is a start and I do have a jelly I want to make for Christmas. Maybe this means I am ready to reach back and snatch up the things I gave up in order to shut a door. I am not really sure why I did this but maybe it is a clue that I was not totally happy with some decisions I made but that is where we come up with that saying... "live and learn".

So, I did commit myself to something that has been fun so far (so far meaning day 2!), we will see day 500 when much of my list is not done! I am a list person, putting a list in front of me is like waving a red flag in front of a bull, I become obsessed. Tikabelle, from a podcast I listen to, Gives Good Knit, does a list called 101 in 1001. It is actually a good list. You can put some pretty lofty goals there with that kind of time frame and it helps you not forget things you might want to do but just seem to mull over on occasion. You know.. those "I should" and "someday I would like to" or "someday I might....". But it on a list, print the list and put it somewhere where you can see it often. You just might get to those "I should" and "someday I might"'s. So far I am to 50 plus and my starting date is today, October 1 and end date being June 28, 2012. Wow, 2012. I have lofty goals but that is just fine with me. I am challenged and there are things I have been dreaming of and intend to make real. Like, going to Scotland, my dream as long as I can remember. I set a date, I am going, I will work on the funds the next 2 plus years, period. I will post my list once I have all my detail in my spreadsheet and it is more complete.

One thing on the list is something I have been thinking about for a long time. I want to knit every shawl in Cheryl Oberle's Folk Shawls book and actually, I want to step it up too. I think I want to spin for every shawl and then knit it. So, that is going on the list. Like I said, LOFTY goals. But it keeps me out of trouble, right?

Sunrise update.. I am getting there! I filled 4 bobbins for the last time I think. I am going down to 2 bobbins now as I am fanatical about coming out even on bobbins. I like things even, what can I say.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Duct Tape Dress Form

I have spent the last week skimming through online tutorials and this morning going through YouTube videos.  I liked one especially as it showed the actual taping.  So many did not show how they taped, we saw once the taping was done.  I recommend watching this YouTube video, I actually like the way they taped, it seemed to make more sense to me and I liked seeing the order of taping.  They are silly and I actually had to laugh a few times but it was very concise and I will be trying this method on my daughter.  She is the first duct tape victim of the two of us.  I would like to skim another 5-10 pounds before I do mine or I will be making one ever six months which is not a bad thing if the weight is going in the right way!

Another thing I found that I will use on ours.  I have read and watched so many construction methods for a stand or suggestions of a hall tree, etc.  The most simple I have found and cheap is a straight microphone stand which I saw here.  It is easily adjustable and I really liked how easy and clean this looks when it is finished.

For stuffing, I have been saving all those grocery bags over the last 8 months or so out of sheer laziness about getting them back to the grocery.  I did buy some of my own grocery bags, the ones the stores all sell to bring back and refill?  Well, my bags are always in the neat lower rack of the closet door rack, not in the car where they can be used!  So.. I will use the bags I have and finish off with poly-fill stuffing.  It seems most economical. 

One more thing and I can't remember where I read it or saw it. When cutting up the back, one person suggested a zig zag cut up the back as opposed to a straight up cut.  This ensures you are getting the form back together accurately.

And so, the first part of the project was done.  My daughter is small waisted and large busted and I was concerned about strapping her down but shaping does take place if you take the time to shape the tape.  We used 80 yards of tape.  I am almost wondering now if one more layer might have been better but we will see how the mounting and stuffing goes after we find a microphone stand.  Only one oopsy.  I cut her bra right off when cutting the model from her, haha.  I was so worried about keeping the scissors from hurting the skin that the bra was our only loss!

She said she felt like the tin man but all in all it was a fun project.

She has decided on her first SCA Italian Ren gown and that will be of the Florentine style, 1520-1540's.  I am very eager to get started on this project so time to find fabric, some playing around with patterning and getting that dress form done.  In another post I will give more information on her choice of gown.  I am brand new to Italian dress construction so I expect a lot of mistakes as I learn the ins and outs of Italian Fashion Medieval style.